The steel plant at Burnpur has been a source of pride, strength and happiness for local residents and surrounding areas for nearly a century. Spreading its wings far beyond the scope of industrial manufacturing, the plant has engaged itself in a number of cultural, social and community services. People, the real driving force behind every step, have always been the centre of such activities.
Burnpurians enjoy a rich cultural life, being part of a unique milieu carrying elements of the old and the new. The residential bungalows spread over the serene township of Burnpur are reminiscent of British architecture of the bygone era. Tree-lined avenues, colourful gardens, the Nehru Park on the undulating banks of the Damodar, all provide a setting replete with natural beauty. On the fringes of the township have sprung up modern structures of steel and glass housing a variety of enterprises. The hubbub of commerce mixes effortlessly with the cosmopolitan culture of the people. If puppet shows, jatras and kavi samellans are the carriers of the rich legacy of the past, fashion shows, DJ nights and swimming galas mark present day interests.
Burnpur is a place where different people of different cultures and religious denominations stay together in harmony enjoying all the flavours of life. It is like a mini-India which ties all the souls together like a garland. The city is a perfect place for those inclined towards natural beauty. Festivals like Durga Puja, Kali Puja Saraswati Puja, Guru Nanak’s birthday and Eid are celebrated with great ferour here. For those seeking spiritual zen, the local centre of the Brahma Kumaris is popular.
The city boasts of renowned schools like Loreto Convent, St. Patricks and St. Vincent which offer quality education at par with the best schools of the country. The neighbouring city of Asansol has also trudged towards urban development with swanky malls and multiplexes cropping up. Amidst all this stands IISCO steel plant as a harbinger of hopes, dreams and reality.
One of the foundational principles of ISP lies in giving back to the society what it takes from it. ISP’s initiatives in education, healthcare, sanitation and energy have brought vast changes at the grassroots level in surrounding areas. Villages like Haramdihi, Naksaradata, Gutgutpara, Dhoyrapara, Kakardanga, Purshottampur and Bhallukjor adopted under ISP’s CSR initiatives are now centres of growing prosperity and happiness. Solar lights installed by the plant in villages light up many homes. Through its various social service programmes ISP is also making some difference to the lives of less privileged people. The plant has adopted the inmates of Cheshire Home, a centre for differently-abled persons. A number of employees and their families are closely associated with the home and its noble activities.
Numerous company-sponsored organisations work in areas of women empowerment and welfare. Two of the well known organisations that are run by the spouses of the steel men are Mahila Samaj and the WVS (Women’s Voluntary Scheme). The Mahila Samaj runs a school named Kishalaya Preparatory School for underprivileged children. Training centres at Nivedita Enclave with wings for making spices, apparels, bed sheets and embroidered clothes provide livelihood to 20 women who have been working here and also provides them with vocational training.