INDIACSR News Network
DEHRADUN: Rakesh Khare is the President of SEWA- THDC and General Manager – CSR, Tehri Hydro Development Corporation, Rishikesh (Uttarakhand). He heads SEWA-THDC, the social arm of Tehri Hydro Development Corporation. Anil Jaggi, Executive Editor, INDIACSR talked Rakesh Khare about corporate social responsibility at Tehri Hydro Development Corporation.
Below is the edited transcript of the interview:
Welcome to INDIACSR, please do tell us more about your organization and your involvement in CSR related activities?
THDC India Ltd. is a Public Sector Company under Minister of Power, Govt. Of India and has considerable presence in Hydro Sector in the State of Uttarakhand—1,000 MW (4 x 250) Tehri Dam and Power Plant is operational since 2006-07, another 200 MW of 400 MW (4×100) Koteshwar Hydro Electric Project has been commissioned in March 2011 and 1,000 MW Tehri Pumped Storage Plant is under construction. In addition, various Hydro Projects in Bhagirathi, Alaknanda and Sarda basins are under various stages of development. The Hydro potential in Uttarakhand is approximately 20178 MW out of which only 10-15% has been harnessed till now.
SEWA-THDC is an social offshoot of THDC India Ltd., which is a registered under Indian Society Act 1860 and is sponsored by THDC to carry out its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibilities) related activities in Uttarakhand, UP in general and effected area in particular.
As it’s a very new initiative under SEWA-THDC, which is officially started its efforts in 2009 with focus on improving the livelihood status of local community specially around Tehri Reservoir area in its “cut-off areas” of Gajna Patti of Pratapnagar.
Kindly brief us about THDC‘s Vision, mission and objectives as well as historical backdrop? How much Corporate Responsibility is attached to the business and operations? Our readers are keen to know more about of it. Please explain.
Yes, THDC has clear vision to be partner with all stakeholders and like-minded organizations, professionals and work for the betterment of their Socio- Economic status. We do have clear vision that to accept CSR including Rehabilitation and Resettlement of project affected persons with human face.
To build sustainable and value based relationship with all its stakeholders for mutual benefit and growth.
Recently SEWA-THDC has signed an MOU with PHD Chamber of Commerce to promote sustainable CSR related activities in the project area and likewise we are moving ahead to have much more stronger working networking in the region with other grassroots NGOs, SHGs and professional bodies etc.
What do you think of Indian Govt emphasis on CSR, especially for PSUs?
Indian Govt. is quite serious about the integration of CSR activities with core business group of all business establishments be it PSUs or private player, as without such endeavour social and financial transformation is not possible in a large country like India where approx 30 % population is still living in extreme poverty.
THDC, being leading PSU in power sector has taken the CSR very holistically and are able to make tangible impact on its target regions. As this is just starting point, we do expect more visible results in coming years.
On other part our team has also undergone extensive training of one year to understand the intricacies on strategic and sustainable CSR to get better result and work on community centric projects.
Being a CSR leader, According to you, What should be the CSR trends in India?
CSR initiatives is not charity and therefore need a different vision to work towards making CSR more strategic and sustainable. I still feel that it’s a team work and development can’t take place in isolation, so joint working models need to be developed under proper supervision and a dedicated team. It would be too early to define the CSR trends and established it impact at ground level but yes, some PSUs have taken this very seriously and getting good results.
CSR has positive impact on overall development of organization. Do you think of CSR need to be integrated into the heart of business policy and strategy?
Very True, as an organization we need to integrate responsible attitude and social obligation with core agenda of the organization and make every employee, suppliers, supply chain and other stakeholders sensitive towards such attitude.
SEWA-THDC, has taken such steps and in a process to educate all employees of the organization and is in process to sensitize all stakeholder in phase manner.
How will you define the Corporate Responsibility in the competitive context ?
Strategic CSR can bring very encouraging results in terms of motivation and morale boosting for its employees. And when Employee are motivated company can do wonder in very competitive world. In the recent trends when there is lot of unrest in the country, such activities will help overall improvement in production, confidence building among all stakeholder.
You are in core management team of THDC, which is your focus area for CSR and related projects initiated by you at THDC?
Livelihood and sustainable practices which can create rural employment are always encouraged under our mission, few such projects are as follows:
1. Promotion of Improved agriculture practices and capacity building of farmers
2. Improved Drinking water program
3. IT and Hotel Management Training to local youth from BPL families
4. Promotion of Women and Rural Entrepreneurship to check large scale migration
5. Organizing Health Checkup and Awareness camps
6. Cutting, Tailoring and Knitting Training programs
7. Plantation Drive in the region
Likewise we have more activities, with clear focus on empowering local communities. We invite interested organization to come and visit our projects site for any collaborative models.
How do you rate Indian business vs. global business on corporate responsibility?
We need to learn from multinational organizations that how they are able and scale up their operations globally successfully . When Indian companies are now going global and they have to follow international standards of various compliances be it ISO26000, UN-Global Compact and GRI etc.
What are your success mantras and recommendations to combat the challenges in this sector ?
We believe in micro level participatory interventions which are workable, scalable and self sustainable in nature and on the top of it if monitoring is done properly , project gets favourable results. This is a very simple working model for all ground level interventions of SEWA-THDC.
(Anil Jaggi is the Executive Editor at INDIACSR. He is an Independent Consultant and Social Entrepreneur working in the domain of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), ICT4D (Information & Communication Technology for Development) and Inclusive Education for the last two decades at regional and global levels. Anil is heads and promote regional “Sustainable Development” platform under “Green Earth Alliance” http://www.greenearthalliance.in/ in South Asia for CSR related awareness, capacity building and lobbying with Govt., Corporate World, B-Schools and other stakeholders.He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org )