MUMBAI: Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Ltd. (GNFC), a leading PSU, has been conferred the India CSR Innovative Project of the Year Award (Large Impact) for its Neem Project bringing economic empowerment to thousands women in the state of Gujarat.
Dr. Rajiv Kumar Gupta, MD of GNFC received the award from Ramdas Athawale, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment at India CSR Leadership Summit held on May 26, 2017 at Mumbai.
This award is in appreciation of the innovation, larger good, scale and sustainability of the Project Neem. It has been implemented across Gujarat and covers women empowerment, Environment-friendly agriculture and Neem based enterprises in Rural India.
Dr. Rajiv Kumar Gupta addressed the august gathering and shared his experience, mission and way forward for the Neem Project.
He said that the Neem Project is inspired by the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister for Neem coating of 100% Urea. The Project has generated Rs. 10-12 Crore supplementary income for about 1.25 Lakh rural women and landless labourers in Gujarat. Approximately 12,200 metric tonnes of Neem seeds were collected with an involvement of 4000 villages from 22 districts in the year 2015-16.
While receiving the Award, Dr. Rajiv Kumar Gupta said, “Neem Project is the answer to the agronomic need of the hour, based on successful partnership between business and society, with particular emphasis on collaborative supply chain, which tackles contemporary social issue of misuse of urea through innovative neem seed collection, with the holistic objective of social, economic and environmental empowerment.”
Instead of taking the more common route of buying tanks of Neem oil to coat the Urea that it produces, GNFC started a backward integration process aimed at empowering marginalised communities, and the rural poor, by collecting neem seeds from them and extracting oil from it. It laid targeted focus on women empowerment by aiding income generation and improving their livelihood prospects.
GNFC involved the rural poor, mostly landless labourers with focus on women, in neem seed collection.
The seed collectors would sell the seeds at the nearby Village Level Collection Centers (VLCCs), and would either get cash in hand, or get remunerated within a maximum of seven days. These seeds would then be transported by the VLCCs to service provider partners who would store it, till they finally get delivered to GNFC’s Neem oil extraction units.
The socio-economic success for its stakeholders in its backward integration model has motivated GNFC to roll out its forward integration model, by widening its downward product portfolio, while converging it with the national and state mission to impart skills training to the unskilled, especially rural poor women.
It has trained women from Sakhi Mandalis from the Bharuch district in end-to-end soap making. These women are now running the soap manufacturing in a soap making plant set up by GNFC in the district. The model adopted by GNFC has motivated other states and companies to come forward to implement similar development projects. Department of Fertilizers has directed all fertilizer companies to replicate this neem project.
About India CSR Leadership Summit & Awards
Prestigious and one of the largest CSR forum for the year 2017, the India CSR Leadership Summit & Awards was recently organized at Mumbai on May 26, 2017. The day long forum witnessed politician, social reformers, corporate leaders, CSR think tanks, academia and professionals of allied fields of CSR and social development. India CSR Awards is one of the prestigious recognitions that honours the outstanding and innovative CSR, Sustainability and Social enterprise projects and recognises leadership in CSR. The platform recognises individuals, organisations, corporates and projects that have made phenomenal impact to the society.
his year’s theme for the India CSR Awards is ‘Celebrating Innovation and Leadership in CSR’. India CSR Awards have been instituted to recognize the innovative CSR Practices in India and this is the 5th edition of India CSR Awards.
CSR Awards is one of the prestigious recognition honouring the outstanding and innovative CSR, Sustainability and Social Enterprise Projects and leadership in CSR. This year forum was supported by United Colours of Benetton, Vedanta-Balco, GNFC, Aditya Birla Group BIMTECH Greater Noida, Stem Learning Pvt Ltd, Robotics, Free Press Journal, Education Softtech Pvt Ltd, Cartoon Watch and Pehel, the CSR arm of Dainik Jagran Group.