India CSR News Network
Tata Steel’s journey over the past century is a fascinating saga of pioneering initiatives in steelmaking, responsible industrialisation with minimal impact on the environment and the socio-economic empowerment of the community.
A LEGACY OF COMMUNITY SERVICE
As its operations have expanded to new geographies, the Tata Steel Group has retained a collective focus on various areas of corporate sustainability that impact people, the environment and society at large. Founded on the philosophy that society is not just another stakeholder, but the prime purpose of its business, the Company, across its various operations, is committed to making a positive contribution in a number of ways. The Company believes passionately that good corporate citizenship and good business performance go hand in hand and nurture each other through good times and bad.
LOOKING BACK WITH PRIDE
The policy of inclusive development is not just a policy on paper, but a value ingrained in the system through years of amalgamating social change with industrial progress. On 27th February, 1908, when the first stake was driven into the ground at Sakchi in Bihar, few would have guessed that just 20 years down the road this harsh, unrelenting land would become the site of one of India’s most modern and ideal townships – Jamshedpur. A planned city, complete with wide roads, water, electricity and the best amenities in education, health care and basic infrastructure, Jamshedpur is India’s best example of a sustainable community created around an industry.
Before his death in 1904, the founder, Jamsetji Tata, already had a vision in his mind of what this town should look like. He told his son, Dorabji Tata:
“Be sure to lay wide streets planted with shady trees, every other of a quick-growing variety. Be sure that there is plenty of space for lawns and gardens. Reserve large areas for football, hockey and parks. Earmark areas for Hindu temples, Mohammedan mosques and Christian churches.”
In many ways, Jamshedpur went on to become a living manifestation of Tata Steel’s community work. In 1915, Mrs. Perin, the wife of the consulting engineer at the Steel Works, started a primary school for children in the area. In 1916, a social welfare scheme was initiated by the Group to assist people in the areas of education, vocational training, family welfare and self-employment. In 1936, a night school was established in nearby Golmuri to help people who worked in the Company’s factories. Today the Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company (JUSCO) runs nine schools and one college in the city.
The Company’s social outreach programme covers 600 villages in and around its manufacturing and raw materials units, through initiatives in the areas of income generation, health and medical care, education, sports, among others. Tata Steel is a founder member of the United Nations Global Compact and Jamshedpur became the first city in South East Asia to be chosen for the United Nations Global Compact Pilot Programme.
LOOKING FORWARD WITH HOPE
The idea of inclusive development continues to drive the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. Just as it did at Jamshedpur, Tata Steel is developing model townships like Trijanga, Sansailo and Gobarghati, close to the Company’s Greenfield Project at Kalinganagar in Odisha. Infrastructure development continues to grow in the states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, where many of the Group’s operating units in India are based.
A CONTINUED FOCUS ON HEALTH CARE
With emphasis on improving the health and welfare of employees and local communities, the programmes conducted by the Group focus on adolescent health and HIV / AIDS awareness. In South East Asia, NatSteel has a comprehensive programme of health screening for employees and their families. This programme also creates awareness on lifestyle diseases among the community.
Mother and child health
The concept of a healthy mother and a healthy baby is one of the cornerstones of Tata Steel’s health care programmes. Through investments in maternal and neonatal programmes, the Group has helped improve the health of thousands of women and children each year.
The hospital on rails continues its journey
The Lifeline Express – the world’s first hospital on rails – offers medical services such as on-the-spot diagnosis, medication and advanced surgical treatment for orthopaedic, ear, nose, throat and eye ailments. In a recently concluded camp, conducted at the Jajpur Road Railway in Odisha, the Lifeline Express gave services to 4,309 physically challenged people from the districts of Keonjhar, Bhadrak, Dhankanal, Jajpur and Cuttack in Odisha.
Strengthening the future
The most common threats to growing children often arise from lack of nutrition and hygiene. To control these problems, the Tata Steel Rural Development Society has been conducting regular health checks in schools and providing children with necessary medicines free of cost.
Drug and alcohol abuse
In an effort to battle the high rate of drug and alcohol abuse in the towns of Port Talbot and Newport in South Wales, Tata Steel has joined forces with various organisations like the Gwent Alcohol Project, the West Glamorgan Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, the Community Union and key contractors. The Group has also raised funds for the development of community centres which could help young children stay away from drugs.
Tata Steel believes that education is a basic human right that must be provided to all. This vision is the force behind the Group’s involvement in a number of educational programmes around the world.
The promise of a bright future
Tata Steel has always endeavoured to promote higher education and vocational training. It was this intention that drove a tie-up between Tata Steel Cote d’Ivoire (TSCI) and Yarani, a vocational training institute for girls in Abidjan where TSCI would provide scholarships for the education of students. This tie-up saw two bright students from the nearby town of Bongola being selected for a management programme in hospitality with a specialisation in baking and cooking.
In India, the Group provides financial support to students at the primary and secondary school level, as well as scholarships for higher education. Through scholarships such as the Jyoti Fellowship and the Moodie Endowment, Tata Steel supports the education and development of students in the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal as well as of children from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The Group’s Tribal Cultural Society also provides coaching to students to prepare for a variety of vocational examinations.
In South Africa the group has pledged Rs 50,000 (US $5,275) for a period of three years to Brackenham primary school to help parents who are unable to pay school tuition fees. In the poor rural area of Mandlanzini, Tata Steel has sponsored the school fees for 50 orphans and provided administrative support to a primary school.
In Thailand, the Tata Steel initiative ‘Grow Smart with Tata Steel’ has continued to prosper. The initiative aims to promote self-learning and development in youngsters living in remote areas by nurturing their interest in reading, and expanding their knowledge and capabilities.
NatSteel, along with the NatSteel Employees Union, holds a joint merit awards presentation. Since the inception of this award in 1991, nearly 1,000 recipients have received more than S $500,000 in awards that support education.
Ensuring inclusive growth for all its stakeholders is one of the key cornerstones of Tata Steel’s values. It is this vision that manifests itself in a focus on providing rural services in the hinterland around Jamshedpur and in Odisha where the Company’s mines, collieries and greenfield projects are based. This intervention is undertaken by four organisations: The Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS), the Tribal Cultural Society (TCS), the Tata Steel Family Initiatives Foundation (TSFIF) and Urban Services.
Building the future
Chris O’Brien grew up in Port Talbot and often wondered about the impact of the steel plant on the environment. After gaining a degree in marine biology, O’Brien joined Tata Steel in 2007 as a graduate environment engineer and has since played an active role in spreading awareness about carbon emissions in the community. O’Brien runs workshops for local primary schools where he imparts environmental awareness.
In South East Asia, NatSteel is actively involved in community work and corporate philanthropy in the countries in which it operates. Its ‘Building Beyond Borders’ CSR programme focuses on supporting the underprivileged elderly as well as the education of disadvantaged youth. In Singapore, regular engagement with the Company’s three adopted charities raised staff volunteering rates to over 30% last year, compared to 22% the year before. The charities that are supported work with elderly people, disadvantaged youth and physically challenged people. At the NatSteel subsidiaries in Australia, China and Vietnam, CSR activities include granting bursary awards, engagement with local schools as well as disaster relief work.Tata Steel Thailand also actively participated in disaster relief work last year, distributing supplies to people affected by the flooding near its SISCO plant.
Sustainable livelihood through wasteland development:
Another strand of the work Tata Steel does with rural communities focuses on strengthening agricultural capabilities. Aid is offered to farmers to increase productivity and to bring wastelands under cultivation. A large portion of India’s land falls under the category of wasteland. To better utilise this land, Tata Steel has been partnering the National Horticultural Mission since 2005. By 2009-10, almost 9,000 acres of land had been brought under cashew and mango plantations, benefiting 3,700 households from 129 villages in the East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. At the Joda East Iron Mine in Odisha, Tata Steel has also introduced a scientific rainwater harvesting system to check the depleting levels of ground water. A large storage-cum-percolation lake has been constructed at a favourable location to pool in the water from the vast catchment area around the lake. This project will help increase the ground water levels of surrounding settlements, including the Joda township.
Self-help groups for women:
Self-help groups (SHGs) formed by rural women have been effective agents of change in rural areas. Empowerment initiatives have raised the skill levels of rural women, enabling rural households to benefit from additional income sources. While the SHGs get financial assistance from government departments and banks, Tata Steel’s support is both financial and technical. The Company often partners with professional groups to assist women in starting their own businesses.
Apart from a strong focus on primary and secondary education, the Tata Steel Group has actively supported employability or vocational training. The initiative aims at developing skills among communities, women and young people, supporting local artisans to provide them with better opportunities to compete in the job market. Joboriented training programmes are regularly conducted in many centres in India, Africa and South East Asia.
UK Steel Enterprise
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Steel, UK Steel Enterprise Limited (UKSE) was established in 1975 with the purpose of improving the economies of those areas of the United Kingdom that are most affected by changes in the steel industry. It has fulfilled its aim, creating nearly 70,000 new jobs and supporting more than 4,500 small businesses. UKSE delivered a package of support measures in the wake of job losses at Teesside, including grant and loan funding for more than 100 new businesses in the region, and an expansion of the innovation centre at Hartlepool’s Queens Meadow Business Park. Additional funding has been provided to a variety of businesses across all steel areas of the UK to help create new job opportunities in steel communities.
ONE STEP CLOSER TO A DREAM
A simple husking machine was all it took for the smiles to return to the faces of Sukanti Murmu and her husband, Shyamsundar. Sukanti, is a member of the Hirla Marang Buru Self-Help Group (SHG) in Tangiriapal, Keonjhar, Odisha. Sukanti purchased a husking machine with the help of her SHG. Her small venture, which started in a makeshift shed, is just one small success story. She works at the machine along with her husband and the two have managed to pay off their loan, and also ensured that they have a steady income stream every month.
REARING A LIVELIHOOD
The idea of a self-help group in the small village of Badeparoda, Chhattisgarh initially met with a little hesitation. In 2010, however, a group of women, decided to create their own SHG, focused on goat-rearing, with support from the TSRDS. A year later, the group’s activities have expanded. They now look after 10 animals and make revenues of 30,000. Their success is encouraging other women to come forward and form self-help groups in the region.
HOPE TAKING ROOT
Two women’s SHGs in Bichakundi and Joda in Odisha are finding success the green way. The groups have been growing saplings for the last three years according to the requirements of the Tata Steel plantation in the area. Every year, the groups grow around 100,000 saplings. This profitable activity helped them earn 4.5 lakhs in profit. The groups are now looking to expand their initiatives into vermi-compost production.
POULTRY UNITS AT KALINGANAGAR
As part of its many activities aimed at generating alternative income for the people of Kalinganagar, the Company has helped enable the establishment of poultry units. Last year, 11 farmers undertook poultry farming after receiving advice and support in poultry farm management. In just one year, the group achieved a turnover of 14.7 lakhs with a net profit of 86,003.
Promoting tourism in Chhattisgarh
Tata Steel participated in the Chitrakoot festival held in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. The festival, which promotes tourism in the state, also hosted a sports event. The Company supported the tournament as part of its policy to encourage local talent.
Lending a hand of support
Tata Steel Thailand supported several disaster relief projects during the year. The Company distributed a disaster relief package for flood victims in the vicinity of its SISCO plant. The Company also donated funds to the Embassy of Japan in Thailand in the wake of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Bonding over sport
The Sukinda Chromite Mine in Odisha organised a week-long, day-night cricket tournament. Teams from neighbouring areas such as Kankadapal, Ransol, Jajpur, Sansailo, OMC Kaliapani, Kuhika and Tata Mines participated in the tournament.
A mark of respect
As part of its initiative to promote local culture in Thailand, the Company donated the customary ‘Khatin’ offering to Buddhist monks. The donations comprised robes and essential materials. The Company also supports monasteries by donating construction materials to build temples and schools.
The Ores, Mines and Quarries division of Tata Steel was a major part of the Jhankar Cultural Institution’s celebrations this year. The acrobatic dance nuances of the Gotipua dancers – boys in the age group of 15-16 years – captivated the audience at this popular event.
The TSRDS undertook infrastructure development projects in the Kotpali and Nayagarh villages of Joda, Odisha. These included the reconstruction of a check dam and the development of a school.
Getting back on the road to learning
Respecting the basic rights to education and learning of every individual, Tata Steel’s CSR activities at Noamundi include a unique education camp. This camp for girls is a bridge course that helps students who dropped out of school complete their education. The girls are tutored and then moved to mainstream education in the form of local schools. As many as 200 students have benefited from this camp.
(Based on Annual Report 2010-11 of Tata Steel)