Creating Value in Community: GMR’s CSR practices in Odisha’sKamalanga Area



GMR Group believes Corporates have a special and continuing responsibility towards the society. The grim reality in India is that millions of people lack basic amenities and live in abject poverty – a situation that cannot be redressed by the Government alone. The business sector needs to understand its corporate-social responsibility and work towards making a difference to society.

SRI technique of paddy cultivation promoted by GMRGMR Group is setting up a 1,400 MW thermal power plant in Kamalanga village of Dhenkanal district of Odisha. Out of four units of 350 mw each; one unit has already been commissioned. Like any other GMR Group companies, GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited (GKEL) is also committed to all round development of the periphery villages situated in and around its power plant. GMR Group believes that well-being of the people living in periphery communities is not its responsibility but a duty.

Therefore, participatory community development programs were initiated in four thrust areas namely education, livelihoods, health, and youth and women empowerment. While implementing the programs more attention was given to land loser families, SC/ST and women headed households and BPL families. Since last six years significant investment of Rs 35-crores has been made in social sector by GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited. This investment has created a lot of social infrastructure and opportunities for human resource development and income opportunities for the people living in GKEL periphery villages.

Backyard poultry promoted by GMRWhether Industry and Agriculture can co-exist, has been debated at many industry related platforms for past few decades. GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited (GKEL) has proved this coexistence in an effective manner by establishing a number of agriculture-based livelihood initiatives under GMR Varalakshmi Foundation in periphery villages in Dhenkanal district of Odisha.More than 100 acres of land has been cultivated and cash crops like groundnut, maize, mustard have been raised on the bank of Brahmaniriver and has provided opportunity to 250 farmers to earn extra income by reusing their fallow land.

Likewise, 29 farmers have started growing paddy by adopting System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method and are hopeful of harvesting more paddy this time. More than 400 families have been undertaken vegetable cultivation in the area. The foundation has imparted training to the families and provided seed, fertilizer, and farm equipment. “This has been possible due to the social commitment by GMR Group and because of special interest of our Group Chairman Mr. GM Rao and thewhole-hearted co-operation of local people,” said Foundation’s Program Leader, Jayant Kumar Mohanty.

GMR Varalakshmi Foundation provided us all training and support for the development of agriculture, Purendra Nayak, a resident of Mangalpur village, said. “The production of paddy has been increasing every year. I hope I will harvest more paddy this time from my land,” he added.

Mushroom farming has also been undertaken by women farmers in the area. Namita Behera from Kamalangavillage, informed that she has earned good returns from mushroom cultivations last year and hoped similar benefit this year. “I thank to the Foundation for providing support to our family for mushroom cultivation,” she added.

Besides agriculture, the foundation is supporting animal husbandry activity. More than 400 families have been given support for goat rearing, poultry, duck rearing. “More than 90 families have also received fingerlings from the Foundation. The fish farming has been undertaken in 90 individually-owned and community ponds in the area.

In order to help farming families to benefit from backyard plantation the foundation has provided mango and teak sapling to 800 families”. Besides, agriculture-based livelihood activities, the foundation is working on health and education at Kamalanga area. More than 67 un-employed youths have been trained to facilitate wage-based and self-employment opportunities. All these youths are school drop outs and with the help of GMRVF have been trained and employed in a phased manner since last three years. Youths were trained in various trades such as AC repairing, wielding, mobile repairing.

Many of the youths are working under the contractors of GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited and earning their livelihoods. The youths are trained in Bhubaneswar-based Centurion University, ET& T at Cuttack and GMR’s owned Vocational Training Centre at Jarjangi in Andhra Pradesh.

Similarly, 200 women have been trained in tailoring. GMRVF is running three community based tailoring centers in the GKEL periphery villages in which these women got the training. Few among them have started their own tailoring shops and rest are associated with a production center being promoted by the Foundation which encourage women to get involved in producing hand made products.

The Foundation is working to improve standard of education in the area. Nine Support Teachers have been provided to improve the quality of science and mathematics teaching in government primary schools. Two after-school Learning Centres have been established to enhance learning opportunities of students studying in government schools. So far, 182 students have derived benefits from these Centers. Advanced computer-enabled learning systems for children – KIDSMART Centres – established and equipped in two government primary schools.

A DAV Public School has been set up at Kamalanga village where land loser children get quality education. The foundation has also given importance to health in the area. Woman and child focused specialized monthly health camps are organized in the area for the benefit of pregnant and lactating women, and children. Specialized monthly health camps are also organized with a focus to address the health issues of aged population. Periodic specialized eye camps and cataract operations have been undertaken. So far 478 persons were given spectacles and 93 cataract operations have been facilitated.

To create access to quality healthcare, fully equipped accident care centre has been established at the Dhenkanal District Headquarters Hospital. In addition, an advanced health care facility, Vivekananda Hospital, has been set-up at Kamalanga Village.

To achieve the objective of creating a healthier community through improved preventive measures, awareness programs on different health and hygiene related issues have been organized in collaboration with village level health workers and government health officials.The same activities will continue on behalf of GMR Varalakshmi Foundation in the GKEL periphery villages in coming days.

Pravat Behera, a resident of Manibeda village, was a school dropout, wanted to start something new on his own. In order to realize his dreams, GMRVF extended helping hand and sent him for mobile repairing training to ET & T, Cuttack. After completion of one and half month’s course there, he was supported with the required equipment by the Foundation to start mobile repairing shop near the GMR Labour Colony. Now, Pravat is earning Rs. 5,000 every month.

GMR Varalakshmi Foundation
GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF) is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the GMR Group. Its mandate is to develop social infrastructure and enhance the quality of life of communities around the locations where the Group has a presence. The Foundation is a Section 25 (not-for-profit) company. It has its own professional staff drawn from top academic and social work institutions. It is governed by a Board chaired by Group Chairman, GMR Group.The vision of the Foundation is to make sustainable impact on the human development of under-served communities through initiatives in education, health and livelihoods.
GMR Group believes Corporates have a special and continuing responsibility towards the society. The grim reality in India is that millions of people lack basic amenities and live in abject poverty – a situation that cannot be redressed by the Government alone. The business sector needs to understand its corporate-social responsibility and work towards making a difference to society.


(Article First Published in CSR & COMPETITIVENESS, Monthly Magazine on CSR)

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