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Naya Daur

Maintaining safety standards has always been challenging at any construction sites and India is no exception. This is primarily due to the lack of awareness and deeper understanding of safety risks by workers on the ground, most of whom have a reactive approach rather than a proactive mindset.

With this in mind, Shell Technology India (STI) has initiated various activities at the Shell Bangalore Laboratories (SBL) site to address these challenges. This includes Hearts & Minds notices and posters in local languages, Tool Box Talks (TBT), role plays, detailed safety briefings and many others.

However, it was soon noticed that in addition to proactive measures to engage the workers on matters related to their job, many of them required exposure to soft skills. In India, a typical construction worker at a Shell site could be an illiterate migrant, unaware of his rights and having an indiscreet attitude towards life. Hence, this thought was explored and it further evolved to become the foundation on which Naya Daur was conceptualized, with a programme that emphasized on how ‘education and basic life skills’ can bring about a change in life.

Naya Daur

Naya Daur, which means a new beginning in Hindi, is a Shell Technology India (STI) initiative that focuses on imparting basic literacy and life-skills education to the underprivileged workforce, directly or indirectly working for the organisation. This initiative aims to make great strides in the journey towards Goal Zero by reaching out and raising the lowest common denominator of the society, thereby helping them help us.

The first Naya Daur programme was for 45 days, with regular 90-minute sessions after work at the SBL site. Writing one’s name, combating social ills like substance abuse and dowry, awareness sessions on environment, health, hygiene and family planning, importance of goal setting, savings, education and effective communication, and building self-confidence were some of the subjects that the Naya Daur programme taught its participants. These modules were taught using the conventional medium of textbooks along with demonstrations, interactive role plays, live examples, case studies, games and quizzes, which further helped register the learnings in a more effective manner.

During the course of the programme, punctuality and merit rewards were given to keep participants motivated. They were also asked to give daily Tool Box Talks to boost their confidence and morale when addressing fellow workers and staff, at the same time inspiring more people to take advantage of the programme. The end of the programme saw a well-informed and confident participant emerge who in turn became an efficient, effective and productive worker at the SBL site.

Naya Daur

Ad de Visscher, Bangalore Technology Centre Manager, said: “People began to notice apparent behavioral changes in the participants. They were more confident, became responsible for personal safety and hygiene, and introduced their peers and family to what they learnt. Supervisors saw increased efficiency due to better communication, and improved alertness and responsiveness to instructions. Naya Daur helped participants help us keep our high HSSE standards in place at all times on the construction site.”

Ad also added that he received encouraging feedback from participants’ family members who appreciated the programme because it brought about a positive attitude change at homes, especially towards family planning and substance abuse.

To remain sustainable, the programme aims at infusing the right sentiment in people and the environment by creating awareness amongst the underprivileged and the privileged sections of the society.