About Sports Goods Foundation of India (SGFI)
Twenty five exporters of sports goods joined hands together voluntarily and created the Sports Goods Foundation of India (SGFI) in 1998. Registered under Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 vide Registration No. 1681 of 1998-99 Dated 25th January 1999 as an NGO. It is a non-profit making organisation committed to the prevention and rehabilitation of child labour in the sporting goods industry.
SGFI is an ISO 9001: 2000 certified organization by SGS India Pvt. Ltd. Vide certificate number SG05/0280.
Today SGFI membership consists of 30 manufacturers & exporters of footballs/volleyballs/rugby. These members are responsible for appox. 95% of the total exports of these inflatable balls. All members of SGFI are voluntarily contributing a fixed percentage of their exports of inflatable balls every month for this noble cause.
VISION: To foster and energize social responsibility initiatives of the Indian Sporting Goods Industry.
Ø To prevent and progressively eliminate child labour in the manufacture or stitching of Soccer balls.
Ø To facilitate an attitudinal change in the community as well as the worker’s families regarding the importance of education and evils of child labour.
Ø To promote education in the inflatable balls stitching community.
In order that the above objectives are achieved in a time bound manner, it was decided to involve other technical support and donor organizations as partners of the foundation.
WFSGI : The World Federation of Sporting Goods Industries, Switzerland has been involved with the foundation right from the beginning. They have been working hard to coordinate efforts of the major international brands and the manufacturers and are very concerned about the use of child labour. They have been extremely active in helping the foundation at every stage.
FIFA Marketing: FIFA Marketing have been key supporters of the foundation. FIFA had agreed to fund the monitoring program by SGS for four years Jan-2000 to Dec-2003. FIFA Marketing has allowed it’s licensees to produce these balls in India only from firms that are members of the foundation and who are all in compliance with the rules of the foundation.
SGS India Pvt. Ltd: They were appointed as the external monitors of our program. They had set up an office in Jalandhar dedicated towards SGFI programme. They monitored all our stitching locations and if any children are found stitching footballs, SGFI was immediately informed so that we get these children involved in the social protection program and weaned away from child labour.
Now SGS is our certifying body for ISO 9001:2000 and is auditing our monitoring program regularly.
UNICEF: They bring to the foundation their enormous wealth of knowledge on issues related to the exploitation of children, social awareness. While not a financial contributor to the foundation, their advice and guidance has been invaluable to our social protection program.
SCF-U.K: Save the Children’s Fund-U.K, have been involved in this program even before the foundation was officially started. Their active participation in our program along with UNICEF has been the key factor in getting our social protection program started. They suggested that a steering committee be formed between the foundation and it’s partners so that the monitoring and social protection program can constantly be reviewed.
GOVT. OF INDIA, DEPT. OF LABOUR: They have been supporting the foundation and its objectives from the beginning. Theirs has been a key role in the establishment of the 27 Transitional Schools in Jalandhar, 8 of which are being run by the foundation. They provide a substantial grant for the running of these schools. In conjunction with the Govt. of India, Dept of Labour. Their Jalandhar office & the transitional schools played a major role in shaping our social protection program.
United Nations Industrial Development Organisation- Cluster Development Project (UNIDO-CDP)
SGFI has been sub-contracted a three year project on Corporate Social Responsibility by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation- Cluster Development Project (UNIDO-CDP). This project is called Social and Environmental Responsibility of Businesses (SERB). Under this project SGFI has scaled up its child labour project with more community participation and home-based workers, strengthened educational initiatives, focus on health and safety at workplace and Environment issues. SGFI is also providing advice to its members on Social Compliance to handle social audits done by their respective customers.
Lions Club – Jalandhar East.
Lions Club has partnered with SGFI for health awareness camps. The team of doctors is from Lions Clubs. SGFI has also created 5 tuition centers that have been adopted by 5 different lions clubs. 152 eye surgeries have been performed in the last 2 years, 2 bone density camps, 2 drug awareness camps, 2 diabetes check up camps & 1 dental check up camp have already been organised .
Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
SGFI has partnered with LIC to promote micro insurance scheme “Jeevan Madhur” amongst its household workers. Till date it has covered 800 workers. Target is 15000 workers. Recently 1 worker passed away after paying only 1 premium, LIC gave a cheque for Rs. 28000. This week a women worker who was the head of her family passed away, her family will be getting Rs. 85000.
Cheque being presented to the widow of the deceased.
ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS
The immediate challenge for the programme was to locate the home based locations and register them for the monitoring programme. Members of SGFI provided the information regarding each contractor and their subsequent stitchers. SGFI processed the information and gave unique location numbers to individual location. This database was used for regular external monitoring by SGS on random and unannounced basis. Today SGFI has over 3300 families under close watch covering over 15,000 stitchers.
SGFI is running an awareness campaign in all football stitching areas in Jalandhar and Batala by organizing free medical camps, magic shows, street plays etc. which brought people out of their homes to listen to us.
In year 2000, UNICEF introduced the Center for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), to undertake awareness raising exercise. CRRID’s main job was building the credibility of SGFI initiative amongst the critical mass. The stitching community, local youth clubs, Mahila Mandal (women’s groups) and local leaders were identified and made part of the programme.
After that SGFI took training from CRRID and sustained the awareness campaign on its own. Now SGFI has a regular campaign targeting the less aware areas. The profiling of the families was done to understand the reasons as why they engage their children in labour activities, which helped in planning for rehabilitation.
This awareness campaign has been very successful in terms of reaching the stitchers and making them understand that their children should be going to schools and enjoying their childhood and not doing any labour activities.
SGFI is committed to work on sustainable ventures so that this problem does not re-emerge or find its way out into some other area. The external monitoring and social protection projects will continue and we are constantly trying to increase the effectiveness of our campaign.
We have seen a dramatic change in the attitude and awareness of the community against the child labour. Now the village leaders (Panchayat and Sarpanch) have also started working in partnership with us. This partnership has been a breakthrough in accessing the community in a credible and trusted manner. They understand the importance of education in building the future of children.
NCLP Special Schools:
Successful establishment and running of 27 transitional schools in Jalandhar in September 2000 under National Child Labour Project funded by Ministry of Labour, Govt. of India. Each school has 50 children with 2 educational instructors and one vocational instructor. 1350 Children are benefiting from these schools.
SGFI has adopted 8 schools that cover 400 children. The children in these schools were not going to school or dropouts and are from the ages of 8 yrs to 14yrs. The objective of these schools is to prepare these children to enable them to join the regular schooling system.
Since September 2000 funds are coming from Ministry of Labour, Govt. of India which is routed through Deputy Commissioner who is the Chairman of this project.
FACILITIES AT TRANSITIONAL SCHOOLS:
• Mid-Day meal
• Free Books.
• Rs.100/- as monthly stipend to each student
• Free Uniform .
• Free Medical / Dental Check up camps
• Competitions like painting, sports meet, cultural etc.
• Vocational Training – garments stitching, pot making etc.
· Under Supervision of a qualified principal.
Regular Health check-ups at the schools
Health is always given importance by SGFI, so health check up for all children studying in schools as well as in free tuition centers is organized on regular basis.
A dental check-up, eyes and general check up is conducted by qualified doctors. Some doctors have volunteered their services to SGFI project on long-term basis.
Free Tuition Centers:
SGFI is running 30 free tuition centers for rehabilitating children who were previously involved in labour activities. Each tuition center looks after app. 25-30 children. These tuition centers are helping those children who are going to school in the morning.
Most of their parents are busy in their work or they are not educated enough to teach their children at home after the school. The Children therefore, visit the tuition center between 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The time spent by these children at these centers means time away from any form of child labour.
One big achievement of these free tuition centers has been to inculcate a sense of responsibility among the parents who now prefer to send their children to these centers and not get any work done from them.
Free computer education
SGFI is running a free computer training centre in collaboration with Punjab Rural information Technology Management Agency (PRITMA) at village Tajpur, Jalandhar. This centre will give free computer literacy to all children of this village and then will move to next village. This centre would be covering appx 300 children. Two instructors are hired to provide training. Village Panchayat has provided a room in the community centre building. Children are given basic training on computers and in second phase specialized training would start in collaboration with some professional institutes like NIIT, APTECH etc.
Self Help Groups (SHG):
SGFI has built over 52 SHG with 15-20 women in each group covering 1000 families. SGFI found that these people are under debt constantly as they are not able to get loans for their micro finance needs and end up borrowing from local money lenders. SGFI created SHG where these women are contributing Rs. 100/- monthly towards their bank accounts and the banks have allowed them overdraft facility also. The money so collected is being used by the SHG members for inter loaning. Few SHG have also availed of a bank loan & have successfully repaid back also. SGFI is currently in the process of linking these 600 families with health insurance & pension benefits also.
SGFI member’s wives have formed this project through which underutilized material is collected and recycled. Items like clothes, books, household items etc are collected through regular collection drives at its collection centers. This material so collected is then distributed to the poor and needy people.
Swasth Man Swasth Tan (SMST) – Healthy Mind Healthy Body.
Our health project is called SMST. Under this SGFI conducts one medical camp each week at 2-3 of its tuition centers / NCLP schools, a major camp every 2 months for its workers outside of the factory. Awareness camps for health related issues are conducted at the factory itself. Besides this, daily 70 first aid kits are issued to our 3300 household workers through our monitors. This kit is replaced every 3 months. SGFI has conducted over 150 eye cataract operations recently.
Charitable trusts / foundations run by SGFI members.
- F.C. Sondhi charitable trust is run by F.C. Sondhi & Co which provides scholarships to students.
- Nivea charitable trust is running a charitable hospital which is opened by Freewill Exports.
- Sports Syndicate is also running a charitable hospital.
- Ranson Sports is running Aashi Foundation to work towards providing free education.
Monitoring System of SGFI.
- As per Atlanta agreement 1996 & other partners.
- Random & unannounced visits.
- Minimum of 8 visits per year
- Monitors will confirm name, age & production capacity.
- A first aid kit is given in every visit.
- Check for children stitching.
- Check further sub contracting.
- Check ID code of manufacturer.
- Check general hygiene/cleanliness of work area.
Modus Operandi of monitoring program.
- Members of SGFI submit internal monitoring reports to SGFI office.
- SGFI verifies that report by going to the site and prepares an external monitoring report.
- SGFI database is updated.
- Any issue of child found stitching, further sub contracting, id code of member not printed on the football etc is informed immediately to the concerned member. Member’s internal monitor will then verify and take action.
- A monthly Report of Inspection (ROI) is prepared and sent to all members. This report gives a list of all locations visited that month, how many child labour cases found, number of further sub contracting cases, id codes not printed etc.
- SGFI monitoring in-charge & project director conduct regular internal audits of its monitoring team to ensure reports are prepared fairly & monitoring team does actually visit the sites.
- SGS conducts annual audits on SGFI as per ISO 9000 to ensure proper, smooth and transparent working.
No of stitching units/centers under monitoring
No of monitoring visits undertaken in Nov 09
No of monitoring visits undertaken since 1999
No of stitchers monitored
No of manufacturers/exporters who joined the program in 1999
No of manufacturers/exporters currently enrolled
A feather in our cap: Seeing the working of SGFI, the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education), New Delhi has included a chapter titled “SGFI & its Organizational Setup” in the official text book of health, physical education and sports for class XII nationwide.
Another Feather in our cap.
IIM (Indian Institute of Management) Bangalore has written a 28 page case study on SGFI which will be taught to MBA students this session onwards. The same case study will also be taught across 500 B-schools worldwide.
Corporate Social Responsibility Award.
SGFI won the Corporate Social Responsibility Award given by Teri (The Energy Resource Institute) & HSBC Bank jointly in 2009. Out of 67 applicants nation wide, SGFI won the special award which was given by H’ble Minister Salman Khursheed.