What does home mean to you? Many of us may be lucky enough to answer that it’s a place of love and comfort – we can relax in a cozy bed, enjoy the morning sun coming through the window and get together with our loved ones at the dinner table in the comfort of our own home. But for some others in the world, it’s a place in need of improvements to make it safer and cleaner.
By bringing its expertise on engineering and construction, our Samsung C&T affiliate has come up with ideas to help those people make their homes more homey and livable. As part of its corporate citizenship program, Samsung C&T has built and renovated residences for local communities in developing countries where they have conducted projects. Last February, the company completed their first project in Pasirhalang, Indonesia. The project benefited over 230 families with 110 new houses, public washrooms and a clean water distribution system. Additionally, last April, a project was launched in Chargaon, a small village located about 50 kilometers northeast of Mumbai, India, to construct 50 houses, 81 washrooms and computer classrooms at two local high schools.
Built with wooden frames and cattle dung, housing conditions of Chargaon have been poor, and thus, raising safety and hygiene issues. The village has also lacked public facilities such as washrooms. With a limited number of houses available, some of the residents have had to live with their parents or relatives even after marriage. But now, with Samsung C&T’s plans to build and renovate houses and public facilities in the village people in Chargaon are excited to make improvements to their living conditions.
“We had to worry about our house when it rained too much or the wind blew too hard. At our new house, made of concrete, we no longer have to worry and can get a good night’s sleep! With improved sanitary conditions, our children won’t be sick, either!,” said Mahalu and Nira Ugade, beneficiaries of the project.
“I got married a few years ago but still live in my parents’ house. It has been my dream to have a separate house for my own family. I appreciate Samsung’s work in our town – I’d like to invite them all for tea!,” Ananta Bhagat, a current resident of the village, smiled.
On April 7, about 200 residents of Chargaon gathered to celebrate the commencement of Samsung C&T’s human habitat project. Presenting rice, spices and sugar as offerings, and also burning incense, cracking open coconuts and breaking ground with pickaxes, the people of Chargaon held a traditional ceremony to attract sacred energy and drive away evil spirits, thereby wishing success to the meaningful project.
“This is a meaningful project for the volunteers and the company as a whole and we all look forward to working hand-in-hand with the residents of Chargaon,” Carlton Walker, general manager of the Dhirubhai Ambani International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DAICEC) project in Mumbai, India.
“I feel proud of being a member of such a conscientious and responsible project. I’d also like to participate in other projects in the future to help out more communities in India,” said Asharam Khatri, assistant of the DAICEC project whose hometown is just thirty minutes away from Chargaon.
The project will run for the next 18 months and many Samsung employees from Worli Mixed-Use, a mixed-use iconic skyscraper project in Worli, and the DAICEC project are planning to visit the village each month to offer volunteer services. Starting with its village project in Chargaon, Samsung C&T will continue expanding its efforts to other local communities in India. By building and renovating villages for more people in local communities, Samsung C&T’s hope is that the project will benefit as many children and families as possible.