World Environment Day - Planting of Saplings
World Environment Day was solemnly observed across the Voltech Group on June 5th, marking the observance of a day whose ideals have become deeply ingrained in the corporate philosophy of the company. The morning of the 5th of June saw the distribution of plant saplings to all the heads of the departments and various divisions of the company by the MD, numbering over 300 saplings. The day was also observed at all the factories and commercial complexes of the company where saplings were distributed to the staff and employees. The importance of Environment Day was emphasized in a speech highlighting the global problems faced by the present world, while underlining the importance of sustainability in the development and the utilization of modern technologies. The company’s intended plan to reduce its own carbon footprint, as well as its contribution to the environment in providing clean and renewable energy, energy-efficient equipment, and imbibing best practices for the environment both at its corporate offices and factories were revisited, even as the company inculcates a growing sense of responsibility to its stakeholders through its many projects to become self-sufficient in power generation, while also endeavoring to contribute power to the collective grid.
New Year Pooja Celebrations
New Year Celebrations, a blessing Pooja and a small get-together were held on the 1st of January 2019 at 9.00 am at the Eco Tower Head office and later at Voltech Technopark, Pillaipakkam and Kovoor at 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm respectively. The MD’s revered father, Shri. N. Murugesan led the event in solemn prayer as the MD and Director U. Kalaivani delivered their New Year’s messages after the religious ceremony.
Voltech enjoyed the full blessings of Mother Nature in 2018, as well as the bounty of her treasures through a rewarding calendar year. The fair weather and pleasant climate also lent great cheer throughout the staff members’ ranks. On the nice cool morning, at the headquarters, the Pooja celebrations, which were an offering of grateful thanks was performed, for allowing the safe passage through the year 2018.
After the ceremony was concluded, gifts and sweets were distributed to all employees by the MD in the presence of his parents, along with the 2019 corporate diary and a wall-calendar. On account of the ceremonial importance of the auspicious day, the corporate office functioned only till noon.
The Voltech Group began the New Year in earnest with splendid celebrations and splashy festivities, marking the annual harvest festival of the state of Tamil Nadu called Pongal. Pongal is one of the most celebrated occasions on the Tamil Calendar, and is symbolized all over the state through the ubiquitous sales of sugarcane to mark the fruits of harvest. The ceremony of boiling milk in the clay pot as it spills over, to cries of ‘Pongal O Pongal’, is another tradition that goes back hundreds of years. The entire second week of the month of January was celebrated as the feast of Pongal was observed throughout the state, with exchange of greetings, love and bonhomie
Thai Pongal, which is the first date of the Pongal celebrations, is the celebration of the winter harvest. This day is worshipped to thank the Sun God and farm livestock that helped create the abundance of the yield. The day is crucial in the festivities as it marks the beginning of new opportunities and the sense of enterprise
At Voltech’s corporate head office and factories, Pongal observances were colourful and rich in vibrancy as young lady staffs wore ‘pattu pavadai’, a traditional garment made of silk, and participated in the ‘kolam’ (Rangoli) competition. Kolam is a regular feature of Tamil households, a chore performed during the early hours of each morning with religious regularity, using powered rice, mixed with colours, on the threshold of their homes and auspices, symbolic of welcoming guests, a value based system that goes back thousands of years, as echoed in India’s culture “Athithi Devo Bhavah”.
Many of the participants were also encouraged actively by the menfolk of the group. The competition displayed some very creative and ingenuous designs, and was appreciated by the judges for their novelty and artistic sense. The afternoon was celebrated by a grand luncheon of a 7-course Tamil feast, featuring Tamil delicacies, sweets and savouries.
Republic Day Celebrations
The 69th Republic day was a day of much celebration and joy as a billion voices united in chorus to uphold India and her sovereignty. The enormous efforts and sacrifices of millions of freedom fighters whose blood and sweat gave birth to the Republic was remembered and cherished. The Republic Day symbolized India’s republican values
The Tri-colour was proudly and patriotically hoisted on the momentous occasion of India’s 69th Republic Day at the Eco-Tower Headquarters by the MD in the presence of all Senior Heads and Staffs of Voltech. 2019 was a year of merit and achievement, as the Voltech group and India showcased her industrial prowess to the global powers. The MD took the opportunity to remind the staff and all employees about their sacred duty to the motherland and also to each other as citizens of a great nation, reflecting on the message of the President Shri. Ram Nath Kovind on building and sustaining the republic in its undiminished form for the generations to come.
The day was observed and celebrated through hosting numerous games and particopative events. Employees pitted their skills and gifts against each other in games of wits and intellect. The AGM-HR commented “We hold these games to promote a spirit of camaraderie and kinship, providing many moments of light hearted banter and joy.”
National Safety Day Celebrations
The National Safety Week was flagged off throughout the country beginning 4th March, and the National Safety Day was also observed on the same day. Voltech led the campaign at all its offices and factory locations, alongside site locations both in India and overseas, emphasizing the importance of safety, increasing awareness of safety, and inculcating best practices.
The response to the campaign was very enthusiastic with active participation from all levels of the corporate, as the safety team led the initiative for much of the month of March. Special programmes were organized by the Chief Safety Officer and his team, through various channels such as interactions, videos and presentations to give employees a first-hand experience of safety hazards, and the damage it could cause both to the person as well as the company. The team particularly emphasized on the problems caused by industrial accidents, and the importance of safety legislation to ensure worker health and wellness
Resonating with the national theme for 2019, which was “Cultivate and Sustain a Safety Culture for Building Nation” the week long programme from 4th of March to 10th of March hosted a number of unique and engaging campaigns, Safety outside the workplace was a key focus of this year, allowing the safety team of Voltech to focus on other core issues related to employee’s lifestyles, bringing to discussion common problems that pose safety and health hazards in daily life.
During the week, scripted programmes such as fire-fighting techniques, usage of fire hoses and extinguishers, electrical safety, emergency first-aid and the use of safety tools and equipment were highlighted. The programmes were customized to fit the workplace and task protocols of each location. As part of sensitization training, personnel were exposed to examples of injuries sustained at various jobs and workplaces, and the enormous loss it created in the lives of those affected. Testimonials and other forms of feedback were also used as reinforcement techniques to hone in the point. The 5000+ employees of the group collectively took the safety oath at every location on the morning of the 4th of March
The safety team also organized poster and painting competitions for adults as well as children to make safety a habit. Aside from these, badges, stickers, instruction cards, posters and other paraphernalia with EHS slogans and messages were given away by the safety team to all personnel employed in sensitive locations.
Industrial staffs engaged in the manufacturing plants were given special training on the training and examination of pressure vessels, lifting machines, chemical and electrical safety, risk-handling and assessment, fire control and first aid techniques.
As a special measure, this year the Safety Team also conducted interactive programmes and awareness campaigns on Road Safety. Defensive Driving techniques were particularly made the highlight of the event, as the Safety Officer went on to explain “Nowadays, a lot many of our staffs are commuting by two-wheelers. In major cities all over India, accidents are on the rise. Fatalities are in the range of millions annually. Our measure not only goes to help employees commute safer, but also give them sufficient training to render assistance to someone in case they witness an accident on the road.”
The Chief Safety Office issued a formal statement: “The Safety Team aims to eliminate preventable deaths and injuries at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.”
Formation of Committee to Prevent Sexual Harassment
In due deference to the “Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act,” passed by parliament in the year 2013, and also as a forward looking initiative, the Voltech Group constituted an all women-committee comprising of senior personnel from all major administrative wings of the company to ensure the wellbeing and safety of women at the workplace. The internal committee also serves to prevent and redress complaints arising out of matters relating to sexual harassment
The president of the internal committee, Mrs. B. Shameena said in an official statement “The Voltech Group aims to position itself as a frontier corporate organization in the Engineering and Services sector, being fully cognizant and responsive to the emerging national and global needs of creating workplaces that value inclusion, sensitivity and protection of rights.”
The committee members have taken up the aim of creating and maintaining an environment which is free of all forms of gender violence, sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex/gender. The committee also reiterated its intention to uphold the rights of all who come within its jurisdiction
Speaking on the occasion, the AGM-HR said that this process in an important step in developing a permanent mechanism to address such cases, and create heightened levels of awareness about its social and psychological implications on both the victim and the perpetrator. He said “As a progressive employer, we have gone to great lengths to implement the law, not just in form but also in spirit. As it is, more than 50% of our staff at our Headquarters are women. So this is more than lip service. It’s a call to action!”
The Internal Committee (IC) consists of ten members, who were appointed by the Director. The IC specially ensured complete inclusiveness, by involving personnel from various group companies, factory locations, as well as belonging to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes or other backward castes or religious minorities. The IC has included one Mrs. R. Gayathri, the founder and president of WEDA (Women’s Economic Development Association), an NGO which is committed to the cause of women as a special advisor and member. The IC has tenure of 3 years from the date of formation. The names of the committee members are given below:
Mrs. B. Shameena – Presiding Officer
Mrs. M. Lakshmipriya – Asst Presiding Officer/p>
Mrs. E. Tamilselvi – Member
Mrs. G. Sathya – Member
Mrs. T. Sangeetha - Member
Mrs. S. Sangeetha - Member
Mrs. Sivaranjani – Member
Mrs. Lavanya Mohan - Member
Mrs. Rajalakshmi – Member
Mr. N. Baskar – Member
Voltech Manini Valar Mandram Inaugrated
The Voltech Manini Valar Mandram (pronounced as Maaninee Vaḷarmaṉṟam), literally translated as Women’s Development, is a special initiative of the Voltech Group to pool-in resources and skillsets to holistically develop womenfolk of the company, the community areas surrounding its offices and factories, as well as outreach locations where its CSR impact is felt. Established as a visionary group comprising exclusively of women encompassing all levels of the conglomerate, the initiative is radical and sails towards unchartered waters in bringing a larger share of women’s participation into the nationhood.
The team was set up with the objective of integrating the women employees of the Voltech group into a cohesive organization that spurs its own initiatives. The Director Mrs. U. Kalaivani said during the setting up of the group “It is high time to involve the voices and ideas of women in mainstream public affairs. With the election approaching around the corner, it is tantamount that our collective chorus is heard and responded to.” The initiative aims to encourage and popularize voluntary work among the female personnel of the company. This is over and above the considerable CSR efforts and funds dedicated by the management for public welfare.
Mrs. R. Indira, President of the team elaborated, “We are part of a generation which is ageing quickly and approaching the senior years of life. We feel the moral weight of responsibility tugging at our heartstrings especially when we consider how blessed we are. Providing healthcare and education to disabled people has been one effort where we felt we could make an impact to society. This initiative would bring women together to work for collective welfare, and its benefits will accrue to both society as well as the nation.”
Mrs. S. Nirosha, Vice-President particularly emphasized, “Our initiative is part of a tenacious effort to educate spiritual, ethical, moral and humane values for the future generations of India. It is a matter of great pride to me that I have been chosen for this prestigious position in making such a difference on our own resolve.”
The team comprises of 45 Members, with the Director Mrs. U. Kalaivani leading as the Chief Advisor. The team was officially created in a formal function within the Eco-Tower Head Office on the 8th of March, and a special WhatsApp group comprising of the members became active and functional on the same day, to facilitate seamless communication. The team has at its motto, the twin goals of serving humanity and ethical integrity. Being an action oriented group with stipulated deadlines and explicit outcomes, the team has already etched out plans for a number of events and programmes. The half-yearly review of the initiative is slated for the mid-September period of 2019.
The Voltech Vanini Valar Mandram has also planned its own mouthpiece to reach out to larger audiences. The initiative has as one of its outcomes, a monthly newsletter as well as a bi-annual magazine where content will be published in both English and local vernacular. The newsletter and its distribution is projected to be a Launchpad and tool for drawing in other participants from outside the company, with special focus on areas such as motherhood, parenting, and children. Explains Mrs. S. Hemageetha, editor of the magazine: “We also want this magazine to be a platform for women to showcase their talents. We are planning a number of sections to appeal to different interest groups. These include cooking, health and exercise, as well as other focused columns for storytelling, poetry and art. However, the core focus of the magazine will be closely aligned with the goals and mission of the initiative.”
MoU with PSNA College
As part of Voltech’s unwavering commitment to its community, the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PSNA College, Dindigul, Tamilnadu which outlines a framework for the two institutions to provide students with crucial insight into the industrial environment.
On the signing, the Managing director, Mr. M. Umapathi said; “It is a great privilege to be able to support young minds and enterprising students from PSNA College of Engineering and technology, as they carry out their studies and prepare to embark on their careers.”
“At Voltech we believe in nurturing great talent and recognize that experience in an international organization not only provides students with insight into their chosen field and how business done, but can also give them a competitive edge when applying for jobs.”
The MOU outlines a number of areas for mutual collaboration aside from developing students’ holistically through internships and guest lectures.
Voltech Establishes ‘Centre Of Excellence’
The Voltech Group established a Centre of Excellence at PSNA College of Engineering and Technology, Dindigul as part of its outreach towards educational institutions in preparing graduate students for a career in industry. The Centre of Excellence, hosts state of the art labs in Switchgear and Protection. This is in tandem with the group’s focus and expertise in Electrical Engineering. In addition to the generous donation of industrial equipment for training and education purposes, the group has also charted out a knowledge transfer scheme for the benefit of the students and faculty. As part of this initiative, experienced trainers and professionals from the realms of Voltech group would teach both students and instructors on the current developments in the field, with practical insights into the working and execution of such equipment. The interaction is also slated to provide an opportunity to share detailed business intelligence reports and industrial forecasts with the institution to help them better prepare their students for employment.
During the inauguration of the centre on 30th March 2019, the Managing Director said in the speech addressed to the gathering “This would be an immensely useful tool for the students, and augment the existing knowledge skillset of the institution through an effective academia-industry interface. The program is just the beginning of a series of initiatives by Voltech to make inroads into the educational landscape.”