The Foundry Of The Steel Giant

Saavdhaan! loco aa rahi hai” the haunting voice suddenly caught my attention as I donned myself with the safety gear issued for a visit to the workshop of sixth largest steel plant of the world.

My puzzled expression brought an indulgent smile on the face of the Plant’s representative who in an attempt to explain managed to confuse me further: “The train carrying torpedo is due to arrive and hence the announcement”

My brain often thriving on stories from war-spy-espionage thrillers went into an overdrive and I wondered what a torpedo was doing on a train…and what on earth was a train doing inside a steel plant? I was saved from an awkward moment when another visitor from our team reminded me of the rail tracks that we saw while driving in the steel plant. He enlightened me about this ‘torpedo’ shaped vessels that carry the molten iron.

I was recently visiting TATA TISCON, at ‘Tatanagar’ the ‘Steel city’ or Jamshedpur, aptly named after Jamshetji Nusserwanji Tata, the founder of largest conglomerates in India and instrumental in establishing the city. Earlier called ‘Sakchi’ the city was renamed after the great visionary Jamshetji Tata in 1919. Spread over 150 kilometre square area, it lies at the confluence of Subarnarekha and Kharkai rivers.

Once inside past the ever vigilant guards, with those coal-dust laden humongous pipes running in all directions, towering chimneys billowing gargantuan clouds of steam, workers with bright helmets and fluorescent jackets busy with their various activities and a very distinct sound of a well-oiled busy work place in background, I was awed and overwhelmed by the sheer scale and expanse of the facility. I wanted to absorb and observe as much…..

Tata Steel plant, Jamshedpur (photo courtesy Google Images)

Tata Steel plant, Jamshedpur (photo courtesy Google Images)

A brief introduction later we were ushered into a glass cabin and I could see the furnace fire raging….the smouldering flames leapt out with such a viciousness that the emanating heat could be felt even inside the glass cabin. The intense brightness and scalding temperatures that reach up to 1700 degree centigrade, gave me a fair idea what it might feel if I went near that celestial ball of fire!

The fire spewing furnace was alluring even in its scary glowing avatar….I felt drawn to it like a moth to the flame! Only the strict rule of not allowing visitors anywhere close to furnace prevented me from being singed like Icarus who in his recklessness flew too close to the sun.

Fiery furnace

Fiery furnace

The visit left me impressed at the motivation factor that guided such huge work force even though there was no new design, the end product was neither any attractive and even the working atmosphere was so very tough…

For me, at the construction sites, the knowledge that the end result of using all that unattractive material, the cement, brick, mortar and reinforcement, would finally be something very functional, aesthetic and attractive had kept me energised and motivated in spending hours going over all details again and again.

Steel bars in the making

Steel bars in the making

But here in this facility, may be it was the pride in being associated with the name who is considered “Father of Indian Industry” or the worker friendly fundamental rights advocated by him or the assurance of safe housing, education for their kids, medical facilities, and retirement benefits that made them stick to the brand……whatever it was, it showed in their enthusiasm to take us around their work place and explain the whole process in voices raised above the loud clank of metal.

The people here, be it a fore-man, crane driver, furnace operator or the top brass exhibited an unwavering commitment…Their loyalty bordered on reverence….and why not, if the employer is willing to give a free hand to the workforce in taking independent informed decisions that translate into a long-term profit and growth of industry.

In an evening spent dining with the top executives of TATA TISCON, I realised that people from as far as Tamilnadu, Punjab, Maharashtra had joined forces with the industry only to have stayed back for years with their kids and grandchildren growing up and working in same industry again. They had all amalgamated into one big family participating in each others’ joys and troubles, celebrating festivals, adapting each others’ traditions, looking out for each other….

It dawned on me, that with the largest plant in India, this was truly the foundry of the steel giant,the melting pot….where not only iron is melted and shaped but also blended are the variety of cultures and traditions shaping a self-reliant, self-sustaining society…

This post is a part of the #BuildingBlogsOfJoy activity of TATA TISCON  in association with



About shoma abhyankar

I like to believe that I am a creative person. I read, write, paint, sketch, rustle up some quick and some elaborate meals for friends and family, love chess, su-doku and scrabble, can hum an old Hindi song tentatively, always stand up for women rights, hate fake people, bugs, roaches, spiders and cigarette smokers!! I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1998. Soon after, I married an officer in Indian Air Force and have been on move since then. For a brief time of two years when we were posted in Pune, I worked as a junior architect in a firm. Being aware of frequent movement that we would have to live with, I chose to be a homemaker and concentrated on creating a warm and welcoming home for my family. But sitting at home without any creative activity was not my cup of tea. I learnt candle making and soon put up an exhibition at Poona Club when my daughter was barely a year old. I also enjoyed a short stint as a home-based entrepreneur, supplying chocolates and cakes on demand, while we were posted in Bareilly. With an inclination towards writing, I completed a diploma in ‘Creative Writing in English’ from Symbiosis College of Distance Learning, Pune. Then I discovered the blogosphere. Now I hope to not only travel and share my experiences with the world but also to pen a book someday....
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13 Responses to The Foundry Of The Steel Giant

  1. A good glimpse to an industrial legend.


  2. Alok Singhal says:

    Having worked for TCS, I have deep regards for Mr JRD Tata.

    A great post, and well deserved for BlogAdda mention!


    • After a visit to Russy Mody center for excellence I am impressed with most of the family.
      Thanks for encouraging feedback.Glad you liked it. And yes Blogadda has been instrumental in selecting me for activity..much thanks to them definitely.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful post…the way you have described the steel giant subjectively made it an interesting read. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Arun says:

    This post brings back fond memories for me as I am from a steel city, not Jamshedpur but Bokaro. Everytime when relatives used to visit us, we all used to go for a trip to the steel plant.
    And as you mentioned, in all these steel cities people from different parts of India come and settle down and it becomes kind of mini India where we are a part of almost all types of festivals celebrated across India 🙂


  5. uk8971 says:

    Beautifully penned Shoma. You have experienced the stay and infused it in your writing. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  6. Lakshmi says:

    Very well researched and such a detailed piece… wow..! Loved the reference to Icarus 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Pingback: Home - Kavi Arasu

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