CyberFair Project ID: 8261

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: JK Paper Ltd. - The Socio - Economic game changer of Fort Songadh, Dist - Tapi
Category: 3. Business and Community Organizations

School: Singhania Public School
    FORT SONGADH, Gujarat, India

40 students, ages 12-14 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on January 3, 2017. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2017

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. N Reddy, Mrs. S Shinde, Mrs. S. Singh and Md. Tauseef, VII,VIII and IX

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community centers around JK Paper Ltd. - a paper making plant run by JK Organization. It was established in 1960s by the Parkhe group but had to close down till 1992 when it was acquired by the JK Group who not only revived it and turned it into a high-profit yielding venture but also transformed the lives of more than a hundred thousand families- either directly by employment or indirectly by providing the necessary environment for livelihood. Ukai is not an unfamiliar name, to the state of Gujarat. It houses two of the largest Public sector undertakings, viz- The Ukai Thermal Power Plant that generates 600 megawatts and the Ukai Dam- the largest dam in Gujarat built over the Tapi and having the largest catchment area. Our project celebrates the third angle of this power-trio: JK Paper Limited -India’s largest producer of branded papers.. Its location falls in the tribal belt of the borders of Gujarat and Maharashtra which is why one would find the outlook of the town quite cosmopolitan. As one enters the town- the skyline beckons with the ramparts of the Fort on one side and the chimneys of JK Paper and The Thermal Power Plant on the other. Such is the impact of the company’s presence that one is compelled to think about what might have been the scenario before the plant existed and if it never had. Yes, the town would have developed like any other emerging town of our country but not to such an extent. There are thousands of towns with similar demographics but yet to figure in the list of influential ones. We have tried to probe deeper on the far-reaching effects of the name and the bigger picture of a multi-billion enterprise that has touched many lives & generations.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our project studies the impact made by the presence of a single large-scale industry- on the local population and overall impression of the area. Any enterprise of this magnitude would definitely be a catalyst in the development and progress of the local inhabitants, JK Paper is no exception. What makes it a ‘game-changer’ is a combination of factors like the brand-name and quality, nature of social responsibility and the opportunities it has generated. When the plant first began, it didn’t fare exceptionally well. When it was acquired by the JK Group, things began to move upward. Our project has tried to probe into the various factors that make JK paper- what it is. The multi-roles it plays through Social responsibility, Economic & Cultural impact. Environmental contribution and preservation of the ecological balance. Our data consists of inputs across the cross-section of the local population who are associated with JK Paper in some or the other way. We have endeavored to present the company’s spirit and vision through a panoramic approach. We have tried to find answers to what makes the name tick, why it is an endearing reference to residents and how has it touched lives and empowered hitherto economically challenged people to dream. The best part being- we are students of the school that has been established by this very plant with an aim to provide quality education (in English) to the vicinity. Our school is bang opposite to where all the action takes place and it was a matter of pride to conduct a research on home-ground.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

There were times when were cooling our heels for want of high-speed Internet and advanced design tools. However, the end result seems a fair justification of all our efforts.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

When we were informed about the category under which we were supposed to conduct research, it didn’t generate too much enthusiasm as many of the students were clueless about where to begin and whom to consult for past records and comparative analysis. After days of discussions and brainstorming sessions we finally began chalking out a time-line- that was really TIGHT! Adhering to the timeline itself was a challenge!! However, with the guidance of our teachers and the prospect of going on investigative field trips was nothing short of an adventure. We got to learn and explore as never before and had an all new way of looking at things, our town, our neighbors and our Plant.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The driving force of our project can directly be credited to the JK jingle that hints at how we can experience life on a sheet of paper. Right from generation of our own raw material to the various empowerment–ops, the endeavour called JK Paper has literally left no stone unturned to be a game-changer for millions in the state of Gujarat.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Since our academic curriculum emphasizes on activity-based learning and research-oriented approaches, the making of this project was not as cumbersome a task as expected. Our team-incharges had already conceptualized our levels of working and had divided our group of 40 students into 4 divisions , viz- The Literati, The Digizens, Club Four and the Technocrats. Club Four (inspired from the Fourth Estate) was the media-savvy one ; incharge of all the interviews and recordings. The Technocrats were assigned all things logistical while the Digizens were hardly seen peeping above their workstations. The Literati crafted the drafts and inputs of this project. We would approach our daily tasks with a great deal of curiosity, planning and sense-of-belonging. Though the scope of our investigation was limited to a ‘Before-and-After’ comparison, we ventured a little further to also incorporate the present effects. This itself was a vast and enriching experience as we got more than what we originally intended.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Laptops, Personal Computers, Still cameras, Video cameras, Cellphones with Hi-fidelity recording facilities, printers, Internet, Company ( JK Paper) archives. We had access to all of the tools mentioned above and our team was quite comfortable in handling equipment. Our most valuable tools were cellphone and camera.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

Since this was the ‘first-of-its-kind’ project in the district, onlookers were curious to see us armed with cameras and questions aplenty. Many people were even too shy to respond! However one thing emerged in common- ever single person had heard of the Plant and knew about the massive scale of work being done. The town of Songadh is basically a small and close-knit community where everyone knows everyone, so when we went active on field trips, our acquaintances were more willing to do their bit in adding value to our inputs. We ended up having data in excess and compiling it into the webpages of the project has been a great learning but quite taxing as well! Since we were juggling between preparations for our annual exams while in the final stages of this project, there were many moments when people in the neighbourhood would proudly look upon us as the ‘ Children who are going to tell us the story we didn’t know’.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

The community has opened up to an all-new perspective of the JK Paper plant and members seem keen to contribute in whatever way they can. They consider it a matter of honour to be associated with the project and are curious to know the outcome. Many crucial suggestions and chance inputs have also helped us to give this project its final shape.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

The town of Songadh is peculiarly divided into three-stages, separated by a distance of 4-5 km. They are- Fort Songadh (the hub and central part), Gunsada (where the JK Paper, its township and our school is situated) and Ukai (where the Thermal Plant, the Dam and its township are). Interestingly, each of these three is a mini-suburb and the population of our school comes from all three and in almost equal measure. When we formed our groups, this was kept in mind, with a teacher in-charge of each group hailing from a different suburb too. Thus collecting data, contacting important sources and spreading the word became easier and more widespread.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Discoveries: We were happy to work as a team and to discover our own capacity of being ‘ people-smart’ and ‘camera-savvy’ . Many of us learnt valuable lessons of team-work and bonding while working towards a common goal. Though we have been studying in the company’s school and looking at its edifice every single day, we were astounded to see things up-close –right from the way crude bark is made into milky white paper to the huge Greenhouses in our plantation division where genetically modified pulp-rich plants come to life; we have walked every step of this epic story called JK Paper Ltd.

Lessons: This is our maiden step in the world of CyberFair. The project had a delayed start owing to a number of reasons. This resulted in a severe time-crunch and deadline pressure. The best lesson we got to learn was to start early, from now on.

Surprises: While on the research. We interviewed many of the colony residents and were pleased to know that we had atleast one family or employee that represented each and every of our 29 states of India. Such is the charm and so bankable is the brand name that workforce ( Vice-Presidents, Managers, Teachers, Clerks and others employed in the company and its school) from across the length and breadth of the country. The township is a splendid microcosm where barriers fade, cultures blend and humanity rules.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 8261)

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