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Gammatwadis - Fun Preschools

The first Forbes Marshall supported ‘Gammatwadi’ was set at the Kasarwadi factory in 1999. The initiative filled an urgent need, as government-run pre-schools were rare at the time. Facilities in the area gradually developed and the preschool at Kasarwadi was phased out. 

However, the need still persists in the Morwadi area, where our Pimpri office is located. We currently host a Gammatwadi at our Pimpri facility, in association with Swadhar, where children learn through the play-way method. It functions as a bilingual pre-school for underprivileged children, and serves as a foundation to introduce them to formal schooling. Children are also given a nutritional supplement each day.

School Library Project

The School Library Programme was instituted in local schools to encourage children studying in primary grades to read, and to increase their access to books. This programme trains young mothers and girls from the vicinity of the schools as ‘book fairies’, who visit the schools for an hour and a half each week to distribute age appropriate books and assist children in reading. 

In partnership with the local government, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation together with Door Step School and Swadhar, two not-for-profit organisations, we have been able to expand this programme to include municipal as well as private affordable schools.

Study Hall

This is an after-school assistance programme for children from the 5th to 10 th grades. We provide a conducive atmosphere at our community centres in Kasarwadi and MIDC Pimpri for study. Development of good values and habits such as punctuality, respect, responsibility and personal hygiene is also an integral part of this programme. Study halls are gaining in popularity and student participation has been steadily increasing over the years.

iTeach Movement

With minimal access to affordable secondary education, students have virtually no chance at building careers. iTeach Schools aim to address this problem by establishing a chain of English medium schools for Grades VIII to X. They provide free, high quality and foundational secondary education, in partnership with the government to the poorest of students. 

Forbes Marshall is part of a Public Private Partnership with iTeach Movement since 2015. We currently support their Student Alumni Wing, which was formed with the objective of handholding students through college.

Swadheen

Forbes Marshall has partnered with Lend-A-Hand Foundation to introduce Swadheen, an employability initiative, at three higher secondary schools in Chakan. 

Through this programme, youth not only have access to introduction level multi-skill vocational training but also to career guidance, and employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. Skills covered include welding, electrical wiring, plumbing, carpentry, gardening and landscaping, health and hygiene, agriculture and food processing. Our goal is to help the youth realise their full potential and help meet their aspirations for a better life.

Forbes Vyncke Girls’ Scholarship Programme

The Forbes Vyncke Girls’ Scholarship Programme was launched in September 2017 to support education for girls. Under this programme, we support girls studying from grade 8 to 12 in five rural schools. The beneficiaries are referred by the school teachers, principals and para professional health workers. Of these, a majority are tribal girls belonging to the Thakar and Katkari tribes. Apart from financial support for education, we conduct sessions on health, personality development and related subjects at our Chakan factory.

TARANG: Life skill Education programmes for youth

One of our most impactful youth-focused programmes has been TARANG (Training Adolescents on Reproductive Health and Gender). Running successfully for many years, it aims to build awareness on issues which are essential to the development of a well-rounded, young adult. Sessions are conducted by trainers below the age of thirty and are attended by school-going adolescents as well as school drop-outs. Topics cover issues such as gender sensitivity and equality, physical and emotional changes, responsible and healthy sexual behaviour, sexually transmitted diseases and their prevention. 

Centre for Youth Development and Activities is our partner organisation in this initiative. 

We initiated this programme at Kasarwadi in 2006, and in August 2018 launched it at Chakan.

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Forbes Healthcare Foundation

The Forbes Healthcare Foundation (FHF) is a not for profit company of the Forbes Marshall group. The primary objective of the company is to support and promote the initiatives to establish, run and support medical services, especially for the needy and deserving and socially disadvantaged. 




The Shehernaz Medicare Centre, which started off as a dispensary on the Kasarwadi factory premises, is the flagship hospital of the Foundation. 
The dispensary was founded in 1973, when Darius Forbes witnessed a road accident on the way to work. He realised the need for medical care in the vicinity when the victims had to be carried back to the Sassoon Hospital, all the way back into the city. 

Today the Shehernaz Medical Centre is a fully equipped 28-bed hospital. Free medical aid is provided to members of the company, their families and the communities of Kasarwadi, Morwadi and Bhopkel. Each patient pays a token fee of Rs 5/ only. 
The centre is staffed with a team of doctors and nurses, including dentists, a visiting psychiatrist and an orthopaedic expert. In addition there is a family counselling centre. Regular health camps provide services such as cancer detection and eye check-ups. 

In addition, the foundation also conducts a community outreach programme, where doctors go into the communities to provide treatment.

Community Health Programme

A group of women from the community have received training from CARE in basic medical knowledge and skills. They play a major role in enhancing awareness on health-related issues, organising check-up camps and referring patients to appropriate health care services within the community.


Arambh, the Early Child Development Programme

Arambh is a development programme for the children in the age group of 0-3 years, run in the communities with the help of Community Health Workers (CHW). The CHWs have been formally trained in early childhood development by Ummeed, an NGO that provides specialised care for most developmental disabilities and has moved into areas of training, research and advocacy. The objectives of this programme are to promote child development in families at risk and to support the families of children with developmental difficulties. 

The CHWs help parents identify developmental delays and refer appropriate services for early diagnosis and treatment.


SATH (Safe Adolescent Transition and Health)

SATH is an integrated programme for empowering adolescent girls and protecting them from the consequences of early marriage, early conception, sexual and domestic violence. The programme is conducted for 23 villages of Chakan, Pune through the Karanjvihire Primary Health Centre.

Child Guidance Centre

We run a centre for psychological testing, assessment and counselling in association with the KEM Hospital's TDH - Morris Centre at our Kasarwadi premises since 2008. The centre provides assessment and counselling services to the non-affordable group. Cases are referred from all across the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation area. The paediatrician at our Shehernaz Medicare Centre assesses the referred cases every Friday. Two senior psychologists carry out the behavioural counselling, parent counselling, development assessment and IQ testing. Attention deficit issues, autism, hyperactivity, hearing impairment, academic related issues, bedwetting, stammering and other such issues are also handled at the centre

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Self-Help Groups of Women (SHGs)

One of our earliest initiatives was to catalyse the formation of self-help groups (SHGs). These are self- managed informal structures of women, living in one residential area.Members put in pre-decided small amounts of money, on a monthly basis and then use these savings to give loans, in times of need, to women in the group. A growing number of women have used these loans to start their own small businesses. 

At present we support over one hundred groups in Bhopkel and Chakan, totalling about 2200 members. The groups in Pimple Gurav and Kasarwadi now operate independently. To address the increasing number of loan requests, the women have formed a federation at Bhopkel. Some of the women from these groups have come together to start Samruddhi, their own credit cooperative society which has over 1500 members. 

Through this platform, we also provide training to members of the group, on a range of important issues such as finance, health and domestic laws and are impacting women at Kasarwadi, Bopkhel as well as Chakan villages. 

Our partner organisation for the SHG programme is Development Support Team.

Umang

Umang is a special group formed for the women in the community, who are in dire need of a regular source of income. These women are regularly provided with training in skills, such as making cloth bags, paper bags, greeting cards and photo frames. Additional support is provided for marketing their products. Today these women have found regular outlets for their handicrafts and thus earn a steady income. In addition, the group serves as a support mechanism for the women. We also provide them with counselling facilities.


Newspaper Bags Project
We started this project in 2014 for the women in the Kasarwadi and Chakan communities to promote the use of eco-friendly and bio-degradable newspaper bags in place of plastic bags. The objective of this project is to not only generate an income for the economically weaker section of society, making them self- reliant and confident, but also to contribute to a better environment.