CSR Interview with Sanjeev Jindal, GM – Engineering and CSR, Airports Authority of India

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By Rusen Kumar

Our today’s interaction is with Sanjeev Jindal, General manager – Engineering and CSR, Airports Authority of India. Jindal is a Graduate Civil Engineer with Post graduation in Project Management with around 25 years of experience in Planning , Designing and construction of Airports in India. He has worked as an Airport Director too for the world’s highest Airport i.e. Leh Ladakh. He has got various commendations and awards for quality and targeted assignments. He has simultaneously worked as Secretary AAI Officers Institute and Chief coordinator AAI Officers wives association Kalyanmayee. He has been the single point contact and nodal officer for various Deposit works all over india with AAI. He is the member of various committees and associations in AAI. He is the Vice President of AAI Engineers Guild and has worked as Joint secretary too. He has received various Awards and Commendations and has a keen interest in Teaching, practicing Yoga and Meditation. Rusen Kumar of India CSR Network talked about his company’s CSR journey and the impact created. Edited excerpts:

What according to you is the role of CSR towards nation building?

We are living in an era of consumption. We consume both products & services and our consumption behavior affects the socio-ecological balance of the world. Corporates play a key role in consumption as they are the producers of the products and services that we consume. And, in many cases, as employers, they also fuel the consumption patterns. The corporates therefore have a key responsibility to produce more by consuming less. And, take measures to make the existing resources more sustainable. On the social front, as corporates are part of the larger society, it is their responsibility to ensure that there is betterment of the quality of life in the societies they operate in and that the basic needs of the population are met so that the corporates exist in a healthy and prosperous world.

What are the CSR activities undertaken by AAI under your guidance in Skill Development?

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Airports Authority of India (AAI) has partnered with Construction Industry Development Corp. (CIDC), for Employment-Oriented Training and Skill Development Programme for 2000 women and unemployed youth candidates from SC, ST, OBC and people from EWS section of the society during 2016-18.

Skill India is an initiative of the Government of India which has been launched to empower the youth of the country with skillsets which make them more employable and more productive in their work environment. The National Skill Mission, chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 15 July 2015, has gathered tremendous steam under the guidance of Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, during the last one year. The target to train more than a crore fresh entrants into the Indian workforce has been substantially achieved for the first time. 1.04 Crore Indians were trained through Central Government Programs and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) associated training partners in the private sector. The time is not far when India will evolve into a skilled society where there is prosperity and dignity for all.

The Airports Authority of India, in its endeavour to further the skill cause promoted by the government of India, has allied with several skill training organisations. The agencies which have come together with AAI include NSDC, NSDF (National Skill Development Fund), CIDC among others.

As part of the agreement with CIDC, training and assessment fees of the candidates are completely paid by the Airports Authority of India. The initiative also helps in livelihood promotion for people from backward and remote areas as well as helps them gain meaningful employment leading to their social and economic upliftment.

The program is aimed at providing job oriented skill development and training to the marginalized and economically weaker sections of the society across India. The training is provided to the beneficiaries in CIDC centers and is geared to provide job-oriented skills to rural youth, women, SC/ST/OBC and other marginalized sections enabling their gainful employment in the construction industry. The CIDC training centers are located in Ranchi (Jharkhand), Rairangpur (Odisha), Daltonganj (Jharkhand), Dumka (Jharkhand), Chaibasa (Jharkhand), Ghaziabad (UP), Dhaulana (UP), Amethi (UP), Faridabad (Haryana), Gorakhpur (UP), Bharatpur (Rajasthan), Sidhauli (UP), Rewsa (UP), Chapaguri (Assam), Agartala (Tripura), Bheemli (AP), Ongole (AP), Vizianagaram (AP), Dilsukhnagar (Hyderabad), Srikakulam (AP) leading to successful delivery of training courses resulting in increased creation of employment opportunities for marginalized sections thereby meeting the goals of Skill India initiative.

With two of CIDC’s bigger centers located in the National Capital Region (NCR) at Dhaulana and Faridabad respectively, the largest number of trainees, 47% were trained in North region along with a sizeable number being trained at Bharatpur District in Rajasthan, Ghaziabad and other centers in UP. North East contributed 6% of the candidates and East India had 32% beneficiaries. The maximum concentration of training centers in Eastern India was in Jharkhand and sizeable number of students took training in Odisha.

This CSR partnership and other similar initiatives are a step in the direction of providing gainful employment to the weaker sections of the society and helping generate livelihoods and to provide a boost to the rural economies.

What are the other initiatives?

AAI has also contributed an amount of Rs 5.25 crore of its CSR funds to NSDF along with land and premises for setting up skill development centres in the country. Speaking about the Skilling India mission, Minister with Independent Charge of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, said, “The aviation sector has seen some good traction in the skill ecosystem. It is estimated that by 2035, the Indian civil aviation sector would employ 8 to 10 lakh personnel directly and another 3 lakh indirectly. To cater to this requirement, we introduced a new Sector Skill Council exclusively for preparing a job ready workforce for the aerospace & aviation sector, last year. We welcome the contribution being made by the AAIs through their CSR funds. We are certain that together we will be able to bring about a constructive change in the aviation sector in India.”

Any key achievement or result that you have seen in these activities that you would like to share with us?

Out of the 2048 candidates trained at CIDC centers, all candidates have successfully completed their training and are gainfully employed, 1005 have availed direct employment with leading construction companies across India and 98 have opted for self-employment or have chosen other avenues. The people who have been trained, from which some of them are working with reputed companies like Sobha Limited, Ekdant Buildtech Pvt. Ltd. and Gypsum India and many more.

Also AAI has kept as mandatory to keep CIDC certified workers in their Airports projects and so more and more such developed CIDC trained under privilege youth will get the job opportunity in companies i.e. L&T, Shapoorji Paloonji, Nagarjuna Construction Company etc.

One special drive of skill development we are soon going to start exclusively for North-East Region at Guwahati for 300 no. of youths.

What is your message to aspiring CSR PROFESSIONALS?

CSR gives us the unique opportunity to build a better world than the world we inherited. It is said that with power comes great responsibility and it is extremely true for CSR professionals. There will be times where we have to sacrifice small gains over a greater goal and it will need the ability to convince and take a stance. A lot of times the CSR person needs to have a strong back bone to be able to take tough decisions and see the greater goal that most may not be able to see. However, it is one of the most fulfilling experiences to be able to touch the lives of people positively and make a positive difference in the world. So if working selflessly interests you, if working against the current excites you, if facing challenges thrills you, CSR can be a very rewarding career.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the interviewee in this feature are entirely his own and does not necessarily reflect the views of India CSR Network and its Editor.

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