NMDC has been at the forefront of CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility and has been one of the biggest CSR spenders among CPSEs. Being a responsible Corporate Citizen, it has been a pioneer in addressing its Responsibility towards Society. NMDC believes that the well being of Society at large is a pre-requisite for the progress of business and prosperity of the organization.
While pursuing its business vision of expansion in ongoing activities in India and abroad, as also by diversifying into new areas of mineral exploration, NMDC seeks to add value to its CSR effort by aiming for eradication of illiteracy, poverty alleviation, infrastructure development in the surrounding areas of its Projects.
The beneficiaries are mostly the tribal communities in the proximity of NMDC’s mines, which are in remote areas and cannot afford education or high-end medical services. NMDC pledges to stay by the people and provide them with the best facilities that will lead to a better life.
Sumit Deb, Director (Personnel), NMDC Limited shared his views on CSR of NMDC and ongoing CSR programmes. Excerpts of an interview:
Could you brief us about NMDC CSR?
NMDC operates mines in different parts of the country in the remotest areas like Bastar in Chhatisgarh. Mining production impacts the indigenous population of these areas, and depending on the area their needs are different. We at NMDC think of CSR as a strategic tool to change lives of those directly impacted for the better. With our CSR projects, we support causes and communities that are otherwise underserved.
We are very mindful that our funds be spent in the most impactful and thoughtful manner, which would not only serve the community but also create a sense of pride amongst us as a team. NMDC’s has a unique and widely acclaimed consultative mechanism spanning nearly the whole spectrum of stake holders right from village/community level to District level and extending right up to State Government level coordination.
What are the focus areas for NMDC in CSR?
NMDC has framed a comprehensive CSR policy for addressing its objectives, focus areas, organizational mechanism, guidelines for identifying the CSR activities along with the implementation and monitoring strategies. The Company is investing substantially in developing social infrastructure such as educational institutes, sanitation, healthcare, drinking water, infrastructure development and employable skill development, integrated village development, etc. primarily in peripheral areas of its operations.
NMDC classifies the CSR activities undertaken according to the focus area which are outlined below:
- Education: ‘Prayas – A Pursuit to Education’
- Health: ‘Niramaya – Towards Healthy Life’
- Infrastructure: ‘Prakalp – Creating Infrastructure’
- Drinking Water: ‘Payjal – Providing safe drinking water’
- Skill Development: ‘Kaushal – Skilling People’
What is Prayas? What kind of programmes are being taken-up in this?
‘Prayas – A Pursuit to Education’ is a Literacy and Education based initiative that is nearly two decades old. We are happy to say that from a modest beginning the initiative has now acquired the shape of a game changer for the local communities. The initiative was launched due to the situation where a significant percentage of children residing in communities around NMDC Projects were not even having access to primary level of education due to lack of quality educational infrastructure in the region.
We also noticed a high dropout rate among school going children and a lack of access to technical/ professional education due to economic & various other social factors. The prevalence of this difficult situation was more marked among the female student population, who had very few facilities to pursue higher education. To help these children realise their dream, the Prayas programme was launched. The different initiatives under the scheme are:
- NMDC’s ‘Shiksha Sahayog Yojana’
- NMDC ‘Balika Shiksha Yojana’
- Operation of Polytechnic College at Dantewada
- Operation of ITIs at Dantewada and Nagarnar
- Operation of ‘Astha Gurukul’ – Residential School for SC, ST & Orphans etc.
- Operation of 300 single teacher schools
- Operation of ‘Saksham’ – a School for differently abled children at Dantewada
- ‘Choo Lo Aasman’ Scheme – Provision of Tutorial Support along with regular schooling from 9th class to 12th class for Tribal students aspiring to appear in Professional Competitive Exams like IIT/ PET/PMT etc.
- ‘Ujjar’ – is a …….Programme to help 100 bright students to pursue higher education. NMDC provides financial assistance of upto Rs. 75,000/- per student, per year, for 4 years.
- ‘Lakshya’ – Providing coaching to un-employed youth to appear for job oriented competitive exams.
What are the CSR programs are you organising for Healthcare?
The situation which prevailed in the villages around NMDC Projects was marked by the near absence of health infrastructure including basic medical facilities for the local communities, which included an overwhelming majority of tribals. The situation was compounded even more due to the remote nature of the Project locations along with left wing extremist activities which resulted in near absence of any medical facilities for the local population.
In light of the prevailing situation, NMDC under its CSR Programme took up some initiatives for providing Medicare facilities to the local communities under the aegis of Niramaya – Towards Healthy Life’. Such initiatives have developed into a full-fledged programme which aims at providing Medicare and health facilities. The genesis of NMDC’s Niramaya Programme lies in in the fact that it is a unique programme providing a mix of preventive as well as curative healthcare and includes component of creating awareness among the local communities and mobilizing them on issues related to personal hygiene, safe sanitation and cleanliness.
Providing free treatment to local tribals at NMDC Project Hospitals in Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh. The flow at our Project Hospitals are in the range of 1,00,000 out-patients per annum and 10,000 in-patients per annum. Some major projects which fall under Niramaya are:
- Free medical treatment at Project hospitals
- Hospital on Wheels – providing Medicare facilities in remote villages through mobile medical vans.
- Organizing regular medical camps for local tribal population
- Contribution to Maa Danteshwari Sanjeevni Kosh for referring poor patients to Higher Centre of Medical Care
Could you brief us about the infrastructure CSR program – Prakalp
NMDC believes in growth for all and has always laid a strong emphasis on creating infrastructure in & around the Project locations from the inception. This was also necessary due to the extremely remote nature of the NMDC Project locations. Over these years, the thrust on creating sound infrastructure has continued and is facilitating main streaming of the local communities and the whole region.
NMDC has been mainly undertaking infrastructure activities in partnership with local State Authorities. These initiatives extend from creating roads to creating school buildings, health infrastructure to community centres. NMDC runs the initiative ‘Prakalp – Creating Infrastructure’ Programme which provides basic amenities like drinking water facility, water tankers, street lighting, CC roads, drains, construction of ‘haat’ bazaars for the local population. Other than these NMDC also uses Prakalp for development of Agriculture, Milk Dairies & Poultry Farming.
This helps to promote agriculture & animal husbandry among the local people and the adjoining communities for livelihood enhancement. NMDC also helps in construction of roads, High level Bridges, Bypass roads, Ashrams, Hostels, Health infrastructure and community halls under the Prakalp scheme. Similar initiatives have been undertaken in Project locations in all the states that NMDC operates. Some important infrastructural initiatives under Prakalp include:
- Construction of 100-seater Ashram at Jagdalpur
- Construction of Hostels in 10 schools in Bastar District, Chhattisgarh
- Construction of 14 hostels in Narayanpur District, Chhattisgarh
- Construction of Boys & Girls Hostel in Sukma District
- Construction of 10 community Bhawans in 10 villages of Sukma District
- Construction of Gaurav Path, 4 lane road at Bacheli & Kirandul in Dantewada Dist. Chhattisgarh
- Various development works viz. roads, bridges, culverts, drains, repair and maintenance of buildings etc. undertaken in Gram Panchayats of Kuakonda, Katekalyan, Geedam & Dantewada blocks of Dantewada District, Chhattisgarh
- Construction of CC Road in Navaletti, Dist. Bellary Karnataka
- Construction of NH-63 to Kodroji, Bijapur District
- Fencing works in 100-hectare land in Kondagaon District
- Construction of Auditorium in Bellary Dist. Karnataka
- Promotion of Solar energy – installation of solar pumps, solar electrification works, solar equipment distribution in various gram panchayats in Dantewada & Geedam blocks
What is Kaushal program? Which are the skills development activities involved in this?
The program ‘Kaushal – Skilling people’ is aimed at emancipation of the backward communities residing around NMDC Project sites. Skill Development initiatives have been undertaken to provide opportunities for local tribal youth and women in order to gain meaningful employment and for livelihood generation through skill development. Examples of some projects undertaken under Kaushal are listed below:
- Skill development trainings for tribal women are conducted to help them gain experience and help them in trades like Vegetable cultivation, Tailoring, Sisal Training, etc.
- Providing training for youth in Dantewada, Bellary, Bastar on mining and Steel sector related skills
- Enhancing technical training for students in areas situated around the Projects.
- Improving competitive capabilities and employability by imparting general & technical skills
What other societal development do NMDC focus on?
One other project that is close to our heart at NMDC is our quest to provide clean drinking water to the people living in the vicinity of our projects. NMDC has undertaken measures to provide clean drinking water to the communities. Under Nal Jal Yojana scheme, NMDC has been able to successfully cover all the surrounding villages of its upcoming steel plant at Nagarnar.
NMDC has partnered with State Governments for the “Group Water Supply Scheme” to provide clean drinking water and aims at providing safe drinking water through pipelines. Some of the projects undertaken by NMDC are:
- NMDC has installed about 350 hand pumps/ bore wells and dug around 40 open wells/ in Dantewada Dist,. Chattisgarh
- Hand pumps have been installed in villages around Donimalai Project in Bellary Dist. of Karnataka
- Initiative has been taken for providing clean drinking water through installation of storage tanks and laying of pipeline for distribution of water to nearby communities
- Installation of 39 water purification plant buildings in Bellary Dist., Karnataka
- Providing clean drinking water to surrounding villages around DMP, Panna Dist., Madhya Pradesh
Please share with us the highlights of NMDC support towards Government initiatives?
We believe that there is a great need to supplement government efforts in every area of human development to facilitate faster progress of the country. NMDC is committed to the Swachh Bharat Initiative and has taken up various activities in and around the project areas. Under the Swachh Vidyalaya initiative, 2089 toilets blocks have been constructed across Schools in Six Districts of Bastar Division in Chhattisgarh and in Panna District of Madhya Pradesh along with construction of 70 additional toilet complexes in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh.
It is the resolve of our Organization to support the Government in every possible way to accelerate the nation building initiatives. Continuing with the initiative of providing access to safe sanitation and promoting hygienic practices amongst the rural population, NMDC partnered with the State Govt. of Chhattisgarh under the Nirmal Gram Yojana for providing toilets to village households of the Bastar region. As a result, more than 20,000 toilet units were constructed under the project across 107 villages of the Bastar region during the year 2007-08.
Does NMDC work with partners?
NMDC follows a multi-pronged implementation strategy with regards to the CSR initiative. We always look for partners who can help us with the grassroot level implementation of the projects and this is where NGOs play their part. A huge segment of the CSR initiative is being implemented through NGO’s and also through the anganwadi staff of the government.
Some of the flagship CSR initiatives and being implemented by NMDC directly by way of novel schemes such as Shiksha Sahayog Yojana and the majority of the initiatives are implemented in partnership with service providers, State Authorities and in some cases all the three partners put together.
How do you measure feedback?
Initiatives taken by NMDC for overall development of the areas which include providing best in class educational & health facilities around its operations over all these years have not only improved the socio-economic profile of the region but have also contributed towards mainstreaming of the local communities who have historically remained on the margins.
This mainstreaming gets reflected in various aspects of daily life viz. better transportation facilities & connectivity to the outside world, enhanced aspirations especially of the younger generation to dream and achieve big by exploring opportunities for studying & working. Thus, it can be said that the efforts put in by NMDC in development of the regions around its various Projects are moving in the right direction. NMDC has also commissioned impact assessment and social audit studies to measure the impact and assess the feedback from the stakeholders.
How are you battling Covid 19 and what are the measures taken for the same?
NMDC, being a responsible corporate entity has engaged and taken up the following measures to prevent and battle Covid 19:
NMDC has given ₹ 1 thousand each to all contractual, daily salaried workers and trainees including their regular employees to meet expenses for preventing COVID 19. NMDC has donate Rs 155 crore to PM Cares Fund for COVIDー19 fight. Following Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi ji’s call, NMDC employees contributed one day’s salary (totalling ₹ 1.25 Crores) to PM-CARES Fund to fight COVID-19.
NMDC contributed 60 lakhs to fight against COVID19 in the district of Ballari, Karnataka. This amount has spent on procuring beds & oxygen line ext. to COVID-19 designated District Hospital. We are committed to helping our society to evolve through this pandemic with more strength & courage.
NMDC has contributed ₹50 lakhs to the Hyderabad Police Commissioner, Hyderabad City to enable Police Authorities to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other allied material for prevention & containment duties relating to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic emergency.
NMDC is engaging tribal women of naxal-hit Dantewada in production of masks, sanitisers. NMDC has distributed more than ONE lakh masks and hand sanitizers made by Tribal women groups of Dantewada to its personnel, COVID Warriors and other needy to prevent corona virus infection..
We have technology to close gaps in patient care at our Project hospitals in remote areas of South Bastar, Chhattisgarh, through video conferencing. And also organising free health check-up camps at all NMDC townships in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
A WhatsApp group of senior doctors, Head of Projects and Head of Personnel has been made with Director (Pers) interacting with them on regular basis for resolving any issues that may crop up.
Milk is one of the essential items in this Lockdown period and we have ensured uninterrupted supply of it in our Project townships & nearby areas through tie-up with local villagers under Bailadila Kamdhenu CSR scheme.
NMDC is distributing food grains to helpless and needy villagers under Anna danam initiative of GoI in Bailadila iron ore mines, Steel Plant at Nagarnar (Chhattisgarh), Donimalai iron ore mines and plant (Karnataka) and Diamond Mining Project (Panna in Madhya Pradesh). More than 50,000 Nos. of relief packages consisting of food grains and other necessary items were distributed to needy families by NMDC.
NMDC has taken up sanitation drive in residential areas, public buildings, market places, Hospital, RO plants, etc., at NMDC townships in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. Highlighting the concern, NMDC’s Project teams are also working towards raising awareness among the local villagers. Also, the most modern mist fogging decontamination drive has been started in the townships and surrounding villages of the project on a regular basis