By Kaushik Gupta
Electrosteel ventured into sustainable community based CSR programme from 2007 in Bokaro and does pursue a systematic approach to address the issue of health, education, social security, livelihood opportunity and environmental management in order to achieve continuous performance improvement. . To reinforce its value of engagement with community and in compliance to its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, Electrosteel handholds the villagers to build up their own strengths and make them realize their potential.
The Green Field Project of Company puts continuous effort and intervention in the nearby villages under the Social Responsibility delivery model for the up-liftment of the poor and the marginalized section of the society. Various initiatives have been taken into consideration to contribute an increase in the HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX of the region.
Our social and economic development initiatives are carried out under the aegis of both Sparsh Trust, an apolitical social development entity supported by Electrosteel and also by company itself where the need is pressing.
In Health, Electrosteel set up small hospitals at Chandaha and Bhandih Villages, under the block Chas, district Bokaro to provide quality and responsive medical facility especially to address the need of the rural area. The initiative named as Sparsh, touching lives of people, provides a comprehensive range of modern health care and in patient treatment facility to under-privileged community dwelling in 30 villages in Bokaro district especially in remote rural areas.
The initiative has been involved in making a meaningful impact in the quality of life of the down trodden people especially pregnant women, lactating mothers and new born babies. The entity has been identified as nodal agency for several government sponsored programs like Janani Surakshay Yojna (JSY), Pulse Polio Programme etc.
It treated around 7320 villagers during last three years through two institutional units. The entity also conducts mobile health camps and treatment on wheels facility in 25 days every month in and around villages located in plant and Coal area. More than 10000 patients were treated by doctors and provided free medicines in mobile health camps during these years contributing to a remarkable change in the health standards of those areas compared to average national health indicators.
Awareness and sensitization programme on health in collaboration with health department of Jharkhand Government especially on safe motherhood, immunization, malaria, Adolescent girl health prog, Diarrhea, Tuberculosis, vector Borne diseases were conducted in surrounding villages round the year. Electrosteel in partnership with Red Cross Society, Bokaro organized biggest blood donation camp at company premise in 2013 where 110 employees donated blood for the great cause.
Company also arranges free cataract operation camp every year in partnership with Government of Jharkhand. Poor and old Cataract patients identified from villages through a special drive conducted by company are sent to Government Hospital in Bokaro for free operation every year.
Electrosteel arranges transportation facility of these patients for operation and review purpose as well other costs like spectacles, medicines that are excluded from free Government package are also borne by company. 30 patients of very poor economic background were benefitted from this initiative.
Education is the backbone of every country and one of the most important factors of Millennium development goal. Considering the importance of the quality education at village level, Electrosteel supported village based government and private schools in Siyaljuri, Talgharia, Bijulia, Parvatpur for its overall development.
Construction of Pucca class rooms, toilets, kitchen sheds were done in provisioning of large student in take facility. Company supported in designing of standard course curriculum with support of other experienced schools of Jharkhand Board and capacity building of the existing teachers was done with tie up of them.
Prerna Class, a special free tuition facility for meritorious but poor students appearing for Board Examination started in 2011 on experimental basis with 20 students in Siyaljuri. Duration of the compact course is 12 months and special arrangements are made to promote girls education for higher studies. The course has been designed with help of local experienced teachers to bridge the gap of quality education that is available in cities. Based on its successful debut in 2012 Board Examination and on demand of villagers across areas, 5 such classes are running in 2013 to cater students of 14 villages.
Total 110 poorest of the poor but meritorious students are trained here and are provided best of the education facility and IEC materials as available to city students. Last year 80% students from these centers secured first division and rest of them secured second division. Successful students are facilitated by company every year with books and education materials as a mark of encouragement for higher studies.
Company has also developed the infrastructure of the old schools including establishment of modern science Labs and library facility in Bijulia High School in order to provide quality education facility to 900 students. ESL also provided school buses to transport school children of Modidih and Bhagabandh.
Pure and safe Drinking water facility has been organized in 6 middle schools in the areas last year. Schools were donated Kent water filters to access pure water. 40 water filters has been donated in the current financial year to include all schools in the area to leverage the benefit of pure safe drinking water.
Training on First aid was done in 21 schools and 10 Anganwadi Centers. First aid medical kits and medicines were distributed to all of them.
In Water and Sanitation, Company has installed 60 tube wells, 20 ponds and repaired 150 defunct tubewells during last two years. Company has engaged 3 mechanics to repair defunct tubewells within 48 hours of reporting to ensure availability of safe drinking water in all villages round the year located in and around plant and mines.
Company also provides drinking water through tanker to the households especially in the months of summer, festival seasons and community functions. Electrosteel provided free water tanker facility in 544 places in 43 villages during last three years.
Electrosteel also conducts bleaching powder distribution and safe drinking water awareness programme in all 30 villages round the year to sensitize community on diseases spread through polluted and contaminated water. Villagers across areas of importance now can access clean and safe drinking water round the year.
Apart from pond excavation & renovation proper maintenance of these water bodies is also equally important. In spite of being working in mining areas, the water levels are maintained even during lean season providing relief to human being & livestock, soil collected from excavation of ponds are used for embankments protecting from deposition of soil & sand in the water bodies. Company is also engaged in repairing of existing wells and administration of water testing kits for ensuring the portability of water for human consumption.
With an objective to promote sports and engage youth; Cricket, Football, Volleyball and local sports were promoted in the nearby villages by Electrosteel. As a motivational aspect Cricket Kits, footballs and Volleyballs were distributed from time to time to the young players. Yearly football and cricket tournament were also organized among the teams of 30 villages.
Company undertakes Blanket Distribution programme every year being a responsible corporate citizen. Bokaro faces an onslaught of severe cold every year. The underprivileged sections of the society, those living in distressed conditions especially the elderly, disabled, widow and children are the ones most affected, vulnerable and impacted. Empathizing with their struggle, Electrosteel distributed 1000 blankets in the year 2010, 50 blankets each in every Panchayat in both Chas and Chandankiyari block through elected Panchayat representatives in the year 2011, 4000 blankets in 2012 and 2000 blankets in 2013 in 30 villages located in and around steel factory and coal site in Chas and Chandankiyari block .
Electrosteel being a serious corporate citizen connects with the farmers intensively in promotion of High Yield agriculture production in the villages it functions. Electrosteel CSR department in association with PRADHAN, a pioneer development agency in India, organized regular workshops on System of Rice Intensification (SRI) involving farmers in last two years. Around 200 practitioners were benefitted out of the training. SRI is a methodology aims at increasing the yield of rice produced through farming. In simple terms we can say that “more production in less land”.
Women Empowerment drive has brought considerable changes in socio economical values in the villages in Bokaro. Formation of 250 Self Help Groups (SHGs) consisting of women members with homogenous socio economical backgrounds and training of these SHGs on credit culture, accounting and book keeping enable them to mobilize savings and use it for consumptive and productive purpose. The Project has made them free from the clutches of money lenders and social exploitation.
Promotion of Micro Enterprises is an important CSR initiative that Electrosteel committed to focus in villages. Company aims to promote an equitable society without poverty by helping create and broad basing livelihood opportunities for the marginalized communities and also to connect people, especially in and around its working areas, with the mainstream market. Arrangements have been made to establish Sewing Centres and Garment Production Centres in 5 villages to ensure regular income to women. 300 women were already trained in handloom activities and another 120 students are undergoing training this year. Talented Graduated students are then linked with company run production centre to produce garments and handloom products.
ESL is committed to contribute to Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Programme covers the location of the plant and the surrounding villages including their inhabitants. Other key activities of the company include working in collaboration with local NGOs, Government Departments, and Community based Oganizations to implement socio economical development activities –targeting inclusive growth under social security scheme, making village youth employable in exposing them to vocational and behavioral training, awareness building on organic farming and most importantly social and community mobilization for industrialization.
(Author is Corporate Head CSR, Electrosteel Steels Limited, Kolkata)