Nine Birhor teenagers, who were ignored by government bureaucrats despite their having gotten educations, have been admitted to the Industrial Training Institute of the Bokaro Steel, Limited, (BSL) plant. The boys made the news about six weeks ago when they began protesting the way they were being treated.
They had passed their Class XII examinations at the special school set up by BSL, and had waited many months for jobs promised repeatedly by district government officials. But they had still not gotten the positions. They had been forced to return to their village and take up laboring jobs instead.
The company, which has not been shy about publicizing its corporate social responsibility to the Bokaro District of India’s Jharkhand state, has decided to continue to support the cause that it started, despite the attitude of the district government.
The CEO of BSL, Anutosh Maitra, met with the boys last week to offer them technical training for future employment at the steel plant itself. He urged them to make good use of the opportunity the company was providing for them.
The boys will receive a two-month orientation to the curriculum of the technical institute. Then, starting in August, they will be enrolled for a 12 month program of technical training. Throughout the training period, each will receive a monthly stipend of Rs 2500 (US$43.80). While they were working as day laborers, they were making only Rs. 70 per day.
They will also be given rooms during the training period. Once the training programs are completed, they will be moved into positions where they will continue to receive on the job training to further their skills.