On the occasion, Michael Boneham, President and Managing Director, Ford India commented, “As Ford continues to grow and expand in India, we believe it is our obligation to give back, particularly in the communities where we have operations. Our business philosophy is to empower our workforce and give them the tools and training needed to build top quality vehicles. With Operation Goodwill, our aim is likewise to help empower our local communities, providing the tools and training to improve quality of life.” Joginder Singh, president and managing director of Ford’s Global Business Services operation commented, “At Ford, we become citizens of the countries and the communities in which we operate. Our community service efforts at Global Business Services are a true reflection of this ‘People Serving People’ attitude. We are deeply committed to going further and making a difference in the communities where we live and work”.
Ford has partnered with and Aid India to launch 20 after-school tutoring centers near Ford’s Chennai Manufacturing Facility and in the Uthiramerur Block. The tutoring centers will coach government school students to improve their learning ability. Balaji Sampath, secretary of Aid India commented, “The objective is to ensure that every child achieves basic outcomes in Language, Math, English and Science and gets prepared to face the world with confidence. Local empowerment and a strong outcome focus are the hallmarks of the initiative”.
Ford has associated with The Society for Technology and Advancement for Rural Action (TARA) to build school and community toilets and to provide water filters. The company will work on enhancing the skill of women in rural areas of Chennai by engaging them in tailoring classes in association with the Society for Poor People Development (SPDD). Ford India will also engage in a multi-year infrastructure expansion activity at one of the village schools and to ensure adequate reading materials at two other Government schools. Speaking on the occasion, Jim Vella, President of Ford Fund commented, “Operation Goodwill represents Ford’s ongoing commitment to support our employees and dealers around the world in their efforts to go further to improve the living conditions of communities where we live and work. I am confident that with this grant in India, we will make a meaningful difference in the lives of rural women and school children in the villages surrounding our manufacturing operations there.”
Ford India has till date renovated two government schools in Chitamanur and Kizhakarmai villages in Chennai. The schools how have better toilets apart from good drinking water facilities. The employees of Ford joined hands during the Ford Global Week of Caring wherein more than 1,000 volunteers gathered to contribute towards various social causes. The company has partnered with its dealers and trained 4,500 drivers through its popular training programme, Driving Skills for Life (DSFL). The programme has educated new and old licensed drivers on safety, economy and environment friendly driving practices.
It is not surprising to note that Ford has bagged the Red Cross trophy and named as the largest Voluntary Blood Donor in the Industrial Category of Tamil Nadu for ten consecutive years between 2000 and 2010.