Building a Safer Future: Tata Steel’s SAFE Club Empowers Youth with Vital Safety Awareness

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Bhubaneswar: At a time when safety is paramount, Tata Steel has taken charge and started on the path of inculcating safety among young minds through its innovative initiative called “Safety Awareness for Everyone” or simply SAFE which was launched by the company in early 2000s by Mrs Daisy Irani.

Initiated as a community initiative facilitated by Safety Department of Tata Steel in response to the growing number of road accidents in Jamshedpur, SAFE later on covered relevant subjects related to safety for school children. Once led by Mrs Sumathi Muthuraman, Mrs Surekha Nerurkar, from 2016 SAFE is led by Mrs Ruchi Narendran as Chairperson who is the guiding light for all these initiatives. SAFE in Jharia. OMQ (Joda and Noamundi) and West Bokaro are led by Mrs Sunita Rajoria, Mrs Surbhi Bhatnagar and Mrs Raksha Dikshit respectively who review the deployment of annual activity plan in these locations. Each school has internal SAFE clubs where students are members. In Fy’24 1400 trainers were developed by SAFE for various topics which in turn touched 70000 school children across locations with this training content.

SAFE with its emphasis on promoting safety awareness and education, is meant to empower youngsters in Jharkhand and Odisha with the necessary skills-set that will enable them to cope with potential hazards in their daily lives. The aim of this mission is to sensitize school going children and youth on safe practices to reduce accidents that can be avoided within the community.

Tata Steel ensures that a culture of safety is ingrained in young people from early on. SAFE demonstrates presence in 31 schools in the steel plant locations while 19 schools in mining locations across Jharkhand and Odisha (Jharia, West Bokaro, Joda and Noamundi) thereby creating awareness to all School Students on Child sexual abuse, Road safety awareness (defensive driving), Health and Wellness, Disaster Preparedness, safe use of social media, cyber safety and addiction (substance abuse and behaviour addiction). Training sessions are included as well as demonstrations of life- saving techniques like usage of fire extinguishers and fire hydrant. SAFE also facilitates mock drills in schools with scenarios of earthquake and fire.

The SAFE Club also conducts targeted interventions that resonate with the participants and address specific concerns that are prevalent in these locations. As the steel giant emphasizes diversity, SAFE conducted sessions on creating SAFE spaces for children in school (LGBTQA+ awareness) which educated children to respect every identity and fellow being). As of now, over 77,500 children have been trained under the train- the trainer session during FY’24.

One of the top features of Tata Steel’s SAFE is its unique approach in educating children about safety. The SAFE Club does not depend solely on lectures and presentations but rather applies experiential learning technique that uses interactive simulations and hands-on activities to illustrate safety concepts. Participants are actively involved in the learning process by doing things like practicing CPR on a dummy (which is a digital mannequin) or navigating through a simulated disaster scenario thus making them enjoy and remember something about safety education.

Consequently, this has been accompanied with significant reduction of road accidents as well as fatalities in the district in Jharkhand. SAFE distributed 20,000 leaflets about six road safety commitments and school children got these leaflets signed by parents after elaborating these promises to them. This in turn also creates a ripple effect in community wherein children enforce safety by taking safety commitment from parents. Basic life support training programme has benefited more than 14,500 school children and the locations have them as emergency responders.

In Jharkhand’s vibrant steel towns and Odisha’s quiet littoral hamlets, you can feel the impact of Tata Steel’s SAFE Club. From decreasing accident rates on roads to enhancing emergency response time in disaster prone areas; these initiatives have direct impact on children across these regions. However, importantly, SAFE Clubs are establishing a safety culture which flows across generations thereby laying down foundation for a safer future where prosperity is shared by all.

In a world that takes safety for granted, this is why it is necessary to have a reminder like SAFE; it signifies that with right knowledge, skills and determination, everything is possible. And as long as there are young ignited minds who are prepared to learn about safety then Jharkhand and Odisha’s future will shine as bright as a new day.

Tata Steel is committed to ensuring zero harm to its employees, contractors and the communities in which it operates which is an integral part of business. To make safety a way of life amongst the citizens, primarily the youth, by creating  awareness of safe practices on roads, in school,  colleges and at home which will ultimately result in a reduced rate of avoidable accidents within the community that are served by the company.

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