BE spoke to some key CSR funders and implementers to understand the diversity and extent of CSR programmes in India. Excerpts below —
Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL)
SAIL is supporting many schools in various steel townships. Around 70,000 students in many government schools in Bhilai and Rourkela are being provided mid-day meals under the company’s CSR programme. Tribal children are provided with free education, accommodation, meals, uniforms, and textbooks. Vocational and specialised skill development trainings targeted towards sustainable income generation are also undertaken by the company. It is also looking to support people with special abilities. It is active in providing free medical treatment for gynaecological disorders, anaemia and tuberculosis. Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) run by the company’s CSR wing cover hundreds of villagers in remote areas and provide free medical care. It is also instrumental in rural infrastructure development and has been active in connecting inaccessible villages by building roads. Solar lanterns and smokeless chullahs have been distributed in different locations. It has also been active in building sanitation infrastructure and has built various toilets in schools, mining areas and steel plants under the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’.
Indian Oil - Kalikrishna M., Executive Director, Corporate Communications
Indian Oil’s key CSR thrust areas include providing
safe drinking water and protection of water resources, ensuring healthcare and sanitation, providing education and employment - enhancing vocational skills, guaranteeing empowerment of women and socially and economically backward groups. We are equally active in trying to replace the regressive practice of manual scavenging by bringing in robotic substitutes. For the year 2018-19, the entire CSR budget allocation of Rs 490.60 crore was spent and we achieved 100% budget utilisation.
Indian Oil’s ‘Arogyam’ - the flagship CSR scheme was launched in 2018-19. Twelve Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) cover more than 140 villages in the catchment areas of the company’s three refinery units. Indian Oil provided assistive devices like tricycles, wheel chairs, crutches,
walking sticks and braille kits for the visually impaired and we have also provided hearing aids to more than 20,000 differently abled individuals across 21 Indian states. With an objective to help girls from underprivileged sections to gain admission in prestigious engineering institutes, Indian Oil has started a unique programme called ‘Indian Oil Vidushi’ in 2018. The Skill Development Institute, Bhubaneswar (SDI-B) was established in 2016 with an aim to provide opportunities for skilling the unemployed and underprivileged youth of Odisha. Since its inception, 810 underprivileged young individuals have been skilled and certified with over 85% placement. Indian Oil’s ‘Gyanodaya Scheme’ was launched in 2017 with the aim to provide merit scholarships to students of some government Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and polytechnics colleges near the nine Indian Oil refinery locations.
West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. (WBIDC) - Vandana Yadav, IAS, Managing Director
The major social infrastructure building CSR projects of WBIDC are providing safe drinking water, contribution to the CM’s relief fund towards disaster relief, providing healthcare and sanitation facilities and donating medical equipment to various charitable hospitals. The beneficiaries are the public at large within the state of West Bengal. For the 2019-20 fiscal, a total amount of Rs 1.56 crore has been allotted for CSR projects.
WBIDC had implemented its CSR projects in some of the districts adjacent to its industrial parks. For the FY 2019-20, WBIDC has undertaken its CSR projects in Kolkata, Howrah, Panagarh, Purba Medinepore, Purulia and South 24-Parganas.
Jindal Steel & Power Limited - Prashant Hota, President, Group Head CSR - Education and Sustainability
Under the umbrella support of JSPL Foundation, JSPL has been implementing multi-dimensional CSR projects to enhance health and nutrition opportunities, implementing educational projects, skill development and sustainable livelihood and women empowerment oriented projects, building better rural infrastructure and contributing to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. JSPL through its CSR programmes is impacting about 20 lakh people living in 537 villages (138 core villages and 399 periphery villages) in three states (Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha).
Our major CSR projects includes promotion of ‘Project SAM Children’ (to combat malnutrition), Kishori Express in Odisha and Haryana to eliminate anaemia in adolescent girls, establishment of tele-medicine centres, providing clean and safe drinking water, building drainage and promoting sanitation projects, distributing smokeless cooking stoves, installing solar lights and water pumps, promoting quality mass education through the OP Jindal schools, ensuring higher education through the OP Jindal Global University and the OP Jindal University and focusing on skill development projects through the OP Jindal Community College (OPJCC).
‘Vatsalya - Comprehensive Mother and Child Health Programme’ is being implemented in Chhattisgarh’s Tamnar and Raigarh, Jharkhand’s Jereldaburu and Odisha’s Tensa, covering 88 villages. Another CSR project, ‘Sneh’ aims at the provision of food and healthcare support for undernourished or malnourished children. This project is functional in Chhattisgarh in collaboration with the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and more than 3000 malnourished children are being covered.
JSPL is the first metal and mining company in India which
has been implementing an ‘Integrated Watershed Develop-ment Project’ on a ridge to valley basis in Angul Odisha over a catchment area of 4500 acres for control of soil erosion and for conservation of ground water. This project is benefitting around 3000 farming families. For rehabilitating and mainstreaming people with special needs, JSPL Foundation has been implementing the ‘Asha the Hope’ programme in three eastern states - namely Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand. More than 4800 people with special needs are covered under this project.
Ambuja Neotia Group - Vijay Dwivedi, AVP - Corporate Affairs
Ambuja Neotia Group, as a socially responsible entity, truly believe that without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community. In line with this objective we value our role as a member of the community facilitating sustained community development measures for the well-being of individuals, families, communities and the society as a whole. The group has been involved with many philanthropic activities much before the CSR mandate came into effect in 2014.
Therefore, whether it is through dedicated CSR initiatives, by supporting social causes or simply by being there when help is required, the group has long established a culture of responsibility that is carried forward by all employees. Over the past twenty-five years, Ambuja Neotia has come a long way in trying to be the difference that it wishes to see in the world. Through its wide spectrum of community development activities - from education to healthcare and sanitation, child development and from restoration of cultural heritage to relief work – all have been an earnest effort to align company’s goals with a mission for social well-being.
Landmark Group India - Venkataramana B., Group President, Human Resources
The Landmark Group through ‘Landmark Cares’, the overarching umbrella for its CSR initiatives, is committed to making a difference in the lives of people from the under-served communities. The organisation continues to make an impact in the areas of women empowerment, nutrition, education and preventive healthcare. The key flagship programmes aim to promote preventive healthcare in marginalised communities in Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, Pune, Vijayawada, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Mysore and Hyderabad in urban India. Rural marginalised communities in Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Kerala, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Odisha are also being impacted.
Landmark Cares has a strong advocacy in the screening and outreach interventions for non-communicable diseases through programmes like ‘Get Active’, creating awareness about Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) among slum community members and manufacturing industrial workers. Our ‘Eat Healthy’ programme supports The Akshaya Patra Foundation in providing mid-day meals to un-served government schools. The ‘Life Ahead’ is a programme that continues to build the capacity of women slum-dwellers to manage and prevent NCD. The ‘Beat Diabetes’ programme is the oldest flagship initiative where free ‘Random Blood Sugar Testing’ is provided. Additionally, Landmark India also carries out a programme for girl child education along with various skill development programmes. There have been several changes in the CSR sector since the implementation of the law in 2014. Formalisation of corporate philanthropy with increased focus on developing flagship programmes and creating on-ground impact is being experienced.
Merlin Group - Saket Mohta, Managing Director and Founder, ‘I Am Kolkata’
The Merlin Group has been contributing to the development of community in a holistic manner by focusing on education, healthcare, environmental protection, women empowerment and skill development since its inception much before the CSR mandate under the Companies Act 2013 came into existence. Merlin appreciates the introduction of CSR rules of Companies Act 2013 so that companies put more focus on their CSR initiatives. In 2019, Merlin created a focused organisation called ‘I Am Kolkata’ which is the dedicated CSR arm of the group.
‘I Am Kolkata’ has focused on initiatives that include environmental protection, health and hygiene, promotion of art and culture, education and all round development of children, skill development of unemployed youngsters, promotion of sports, environment and community development and livelihood development and care for the elderly. ‘I Am Kolkata’ has been actively engaged with plantation activities in association with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and planted around 300 saplings and also undertaken a plantation zone in New Town, Kolkata. We also focus on the preservation of the heritage and intangible art forms of West Bengal.
‘I Am Kolkata’ has recently promoted an international art carnival ‘Chitropot’ in collaboration with a NGO. We have also undertaken an integrated waste management project in New Town. Through this initiative, we are promoting awareness about the importance of waste segregation at source and recycling the waste into environmentally friendly products which we will market directly. We have identified 50 women and will train them to produce recycled products from waste and also help them to become self-reliant. The United Nations has recognised this programme.
Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage (KSCH) - Arpita Lahiri Mukherjee, Co-founder
KSCH is currently functional in the states of West Bengal and Jharkhand. We started to operate with CSR funds since 2018 in addition to implementing projects of different govern-mental agencies. Having faith in the sustainable developmental model, KSCH is working for promotion of traditional cultural heritage of Bengal, promotion of contemporary and modern art, integrated solid waste management, homestay tourism and for providing market linkage for artefacts. Our immediate focus is on the development of existing livelihood opportunities through agriculture, horticulture, fish harvesting and poultry in rural and tribal areas. We have identified different cultural hubs in West Bengal and are trying to promote livelihood options through preservation and promotion of various cultural and handicraft making activities. Through CSR funds, we try to improve community infrastructure in our focus regions and involve ourselves in maintenance of proper hygiene, sanitation and for ensuring uninterrupted education for the children of the community. Our CSR exposure started with Sony and we have now associated ourselves with various other prominent corporate players. We are currently working in six districts in West Bengal namely West Medinipur, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Nadia and Kolkata.