IndiaCSR Awards: Deepak Foundation Felicitated With Best CSR Project Promoting Safe Motherhood

Deepak Group of Industries with the aim of providing maternal and child care services to industrial workers living in Industrial area, launched  ‘Maternal Child Care project’ for the benefit of nearly 50,000 rural populations around its plant in Nandesari, Vadodara in Gujarat. This CSR Project was implemented in a phased manner starting from four tribal blocks in 2005. A massive multi layered field network of trained local women volunteers was aligned to support the government’s frontline health functionaries 

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NEW DELHI: : Deepak Foundation has been conferred with the prestigious India CSR Community Initiative award for its CSR Project in Maternal Child Care. Anand Mani Sharma received from the hands of Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, DG & CEO, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs and Rusen Kumar, Founder & Managing Editor, IndiaCSR and CSR & COMPETITIVENESS during the Annual India CSR Awards Ceremony held at PHD House, New Delhi on April 6, 2015.The award winning case study is also featured in special edition CSR & COMPETITIVENESS, March 2015. CSR & COMPETITIVENESS is publication of IndiaCSR group.

deepak Foundation
Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, DG & CEO, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs and Rusen Kumar, Managing Editor, IndiaCSR and CSR & COMPETITIVENESS handing over the Award to Anand Mani Sharma of Deepak Foundation.

India has undertaken various strategic efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality. The government, through the JSY (JananiSurakshaYojana) in 2005-2006, made attemptsin promoting institutional deliveries through cash transfer program implemented by community based health line workers.

Despite being an affluent state, Gujarat ranks 10thin the India’s HDI ranking of States (India’s Human Development Report, 2013). The state governments in India, such as Gujarat State Government have initiated their own schemes such as emergency transport facilities for women in labour, innovative public private partnerships to involve obstetricians from private sector under the Chiranjeevi Yojana and establishment of village based frontline workers to motivate women to deliver at health facilities and facilitate delivery of community based interventions .

Maternal and Child Care Project

Despite efforts, high infant mortality rate (38/1000 live births) and maternal mortality ratio(128/100,000 live births-SRS, 2012) in an affluent state like Gujarat continues to pull down its ranking of HDI.

To reduce infantmortality rate (IMR)and maternal mortality ratio (MMR)in rural areas of Vadodara district in Gujarat large scale CSR intervention was undertaken by Deepak Foundation to reduce IMR to half (30/1000 live births)and MMRby three fourth (100/100,000 live births) through a comprehensive package of services in partnership with the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat.

These efforts have resulted in significant increase in institutional deliveries but has not brought the country close to achieving the Millennium Development Goals-4&5 (MDG-4&5).This setback is mainly due to constraints in state’s infrastructure, lack of human resources and decreasing expenditure on health by states.

The Government of Gujarat continues to solicit support from private sector to undertake various social development initiatives particularly in sectors like health and education in order to improve its HDI ranking.

Deepak Foundation was established in 1982 by Deepak Group of Industries with the aim of providing maternal and child care services to industrial workers living in GIDC area comprising nearly 50,000 rural populations around its plant in Nandesari, Vadodara in Gujarat.

Over two decades of services, there is improved institutional deliveries and reduction in maternal and infant deaths in the catchment area. The result gave impetus to scale up the project beyond the catchment area with the aim to reach out to the poorest and vulnerable population groups in Vadodara district in the year 2004-5.

National health surveys such as NFHS-2004-5, RCH facility survey 2003-4, etc. did not provide information on district level IMR and MMR data and the government service data could not be relied as it was often fabricated. Hence a third party baseline survey was conducted in four remote tribal blocks of Vadodara district (now carved out as ChhotaUdepur district) comprising 700,000 tribal population to obtain key indicators like institutional deliveries, MMR and IMR.

The findings were shocking! Institutional deliveries were merely 14 %, IMR was 57/1000 live births and MMR was 430/100,000 live births. 80% of the government health facilities in peripheral areas were non-functional with no health functionaries, transport facility was negligible and there was not a single first referral unit (FRU) comprising specialists like gynaecologists and paediatricians and no specialist providing private health services within a distance of 80 to 100 km catering to the needs of these predominantly tribal population groups.

Women had no choice but to approach traditional healers to address maternal and infant health complications. The challenge was to serve the underserved area and undertake a large scale project to improve the public health delivery system from district level to village level.

The company visited various sites in India to study successful intervention projects aimed at reducing maternal and infant deaths. An advisory group was constituted to assist in project design, setting goals and objectives and a systematic implementation plan.

Hence, with a robust implementation strategy in place the decision to undertake a unique public partnership project to improve the delivery of public health services from district to village level was made by identifying the gaps in the delivery system and plugging the gaps with trained manpower, infrastructure, systems for monitoring and surveillance and capacity building.

Thus the engagement of private partner in improving the last mile reach for improving preventive services through behaviour change communication and demand creation was envisaged resulting in the genesis of ‘Safe Motherhood & Child Survival’ project to cover the entire rural areas of Vadodara district

About IndiaCSR Awards

Instituted by IndiaCSR group ‘IndiaCSR Awards’ is an endeavour to promote reporting and communication in the CSR domain in our country. It is a milestone and an iconic event that acknowledges the unique and extraordinary contributions in the CSR domain. This is a premium honour that recognizes the most admired and outstanding CSR initiatives and ventures in India. The awards acknowledge the noble contributions in the CSR domain that are raising benchmarks by bringing radical and transformative change in the development arena through innovation and excellence.

The IndiaCSR Awards, in 21 categories, were opened to all organizations registered in India that engage in social responsibility. The Awards was opened for nomination by all companies, corporate funded foundations and partnerships operating in India.

The vision of the initiative is to identify and recognize the corporate best practices of ongoing Corporate Responsibility initiatives in various domains in the country and mission is to inspire, encourage, and facilitate corporate social responsibility awareness and practices among corporate India. The aim of the Awards is to recognize the best CSR and innovative projects, and translating best practices into concrete action on the ground. The awards encourage the organizations on social projects or programmes to increase the recogniznition of CSR principles in their operations.

This exciting and need based initiative focuses on successful partnerships between business and society, with particular emphasis on collaborative projects that tackle contemporary social issues through innovations and action oriented interventions.




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