L&T brings better quality of life and livelihoods through improving access to water

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By Rusen Kumar/ India CSR News Network

MUMBAI: The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mandate in Companies Act of India, 2013 has ushered in a new age of accountability and responsibility towards socio-economic development of the country. Construction major L&T has spent Rs 76.54 as against prescribed Rs 106.21 Crores for CSR focusing on social infrastructure covering water, sanitation, skill development, education, healthcare and aligned to the MDGs. in 4 states majorly Rajasthan, Maharastra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh during FY 2015.

Larsen_turboAverage profit of L&T in last 3 years is Rs 5310.29 Crores. CSR projects are being implemented with the support of Arpan Seva Sansthan, Seva Mandir, National Agro Foundation, Watershed Organization Trust and Environment Management Centre. Report claims that, 1.3 million people have been benefited through social infrastructure projects in 2014-15 alone.

A case story on L&T has featured in report ‘Good Corporate Social Responsibility Practices in India’, released in Mumbai on June 22, 2016 at CSR Conclave 2016 held at BSE auditorium, which also covered other larger corporations – Accenture, Bharti Foundation, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hindustan Petroleum and TVS.

Under its CSR vision, L&T aimed to enable water-stressed rural communities to become self-sufficient in water for drinking, sanitation and agriculture which in turn leads to better quality life through improved healthcare, education and higher income level.

L&T has long history of working on community welfare around its manufacturing centres, construction area and company offices across India.

AM Naik, Group Executive Chairman, L&T believes that there cannot be an India for the rich, and other India for the rest. Unity between extremes is inherently fragile, and even if it were to hold, would be unacceptable to any organization with a social conscience.

Water a Key Focus

Water security is prime area of works for the L&T CSR. After a detailed analysis and mapping of the water impoverishment across India and discussions with the community, started with its integrated community development (ICD) programme in the most water-stressed communities in 4 states. It is worth mentioning that L&T has gone well beyond its areas of operations to focus on communities and geographies where there is immediate need.

L&T ICD programme is implemented in phase manner – starting with creating sustainable water harvesting structures and water-based interventions and moving onto education, health and skill creation initiatives. Projects are running in 32 villages in 6 districts across 3 states. During the implementation of the projects at community, L&T ensured community participation and ownership of the process of social development. Village development committee are formed to sensitize villager’s contribution as labour. Self Help Groups (SHGs) and water groups have been formed which create a foundation for enhancement of livelihood, health care and other needs in the communities.

ICD programme is only 2 years old and there is much ground to cover before it sees full-fledged outcomes in the community. The results are largely positive – significant community interest, formation of over 70 SHGs and water groups as a foundation for development, over 95% of structures constructed with community resources and contribution, robust monitoring and measuring systems in place and a deep trust and engagement with institutions, village bodies, the Govt. and other institutions for sustainability.

The passing of the CSR Act in 2013 prompted L&T to undertake a large scale interactive process involving more than 3600 employees across designation and location through several workshops, surveys, stakeholder engagement discussion and more to crystalize L&T’s CSR vision through a bottom-up inclusive process.

Report also added that, the integrated community development (ICD) programme has been conceived right from the start to be a 4 years project with clear exits marked at the end of the 4th year. Self-sufficiency in water and community ownership over the programme outcomes are the indicators of the sustainability.

L&T employee also participated to extend their support to the various programmes. People are the key drivers in ensuring CSR projects scale in their reach and impact. Unit co-ordinators, employee valunteers in the individual companies, ladies clubs at the manufacturing plants and each and every L&T campus has teamed actively involved in social responsibility.

About Author: Rusen Kumar is globally renowned journalist writing on CSR issues. He can reached at rusenk@indiacsr.in

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Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author and the representative of the organization in this feature are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of India CSR.

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