Written By Rusen Kumar
NEW DELHI: Wonder Cement Ltd, one of the country’s youngest and fastest growing cement company has launched a campaign christened Swach Jal Sabka Haq under its Corporate Social Responsibility programme. In its third year with an objective to provide free, clean and cold drinking water to people across 70-90 locations of selected 29 districts to provide relief to over 16 Lakh people in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The campaign has been providing some relief to the general public and help them cope with the summer heat.
In an interview with Rusen Kumar, Editor of India CSR; Vivek Patni, Director, Wonder Cement shared his noble mission towards Swach Jal Sabka Haq campaign. He said that CSR budget has never been a constraint for contributing to the society. So far Wonder Cement has spent Rs. 22.40 Crore (2007 to March 2016) for the community and this year company has doubled CSR budget (Rs. 13.40 Crore). Here are the edited excerpts:
At the time of the year when the water crisis is a major concern and some of the cities in India are facing drought-like situations, we decided to launch Swach Jal Sabka Haq (Every one has the right to Safe Water). We aim to reach a minimum of 70-90 locations in each district. Over 16 Lakh people are going to be benefited through this campaign. The prime objective of the campaign is to reach out to those remote areas where cold drinking water is a challenge and providing them with facilities in order to give back to society as our social responsibility.
Is it a part of your CSR programme?
Yes, however we strongly believe in giving back to society and Swach Jal Sabka Haq is one of the many initiatives that Wonder Cement has pioneered for the social cause.
Is it long term project or is it only for this year?
Yes. This is our third year of executing this initiative.
Tell us about Wonder Cement’s journey and its business philosophy?
Wonder Cement came into being with a dream to build a better place for the youth, their families and the nation at large. Not only did we dream of being a leading cement manufacturer, but transformed this dream into a reality by setting up one of the first fully-automated plants in India. We have invested in state-of-the-art German technology and were one of the first to introduce new standards of quality control.
Cement is the foundation upon which we construct our lives, our homes, our schools, our roads and our societies. Our structures will not only serve the generations of tomorrow, but will also carry our legacy as they stand the test of time.
Wonder Cement has ambitious plans to further expand its current capacity to 10 Million tons by setting up a third production line for which land and layouts are ready.
Can you discuss your company’s CSR journey?
Based on the need assessment study of the villages conducted in 2012, we developed a long term 10-year plan. This study was conducted by the team of experts from ML Sukhadia University, Udaipur, Rural Development Field.
We have set up a dedicated CSR team for execution of programmes, to meet the villagers’ decade old requirements of infrastructure development.
From constructing class rooms at a local government school and organizing medical camps for the villagers, we now have various programmes to cater to the needs of all the neighbouring villages, under which we have constructed a health centre in Nimbahera town.
What are key CSR projects initiated at plant locations?
We have major focus on Health, Education, Environment Conservation and Infrastructure requirement of 20 villages under 5 Gram Panchayats – Phalwa, Fatcher Ahiran, Badoli Madhosingh, Karunda & Lasrawan in Rajasthan.
We focused on providing healthcare on both fronts, i.e. Curative (Patient treatment) & Preventing (Awareness creation & Creation of required infrastructure) stages.
For curative measures, we are working with a joint team of Govt. Health Department and health functionaries (ASHA, Anganwari Worker & ANM) for regular check-ups. Free medicines and patient counselling is also provided.
We supply hospital and medical equipment, patient beds etc. to various health centres. We have refurbished 10 Anganwari Centres for children of 3 to 6 years. Awareness programme for swine flu and other seasonal diseases, training programmes to equip village level health functionaries, construction of independent house hold toilets for more than 500 families are a few steps in the preventive measures to ensure better health to the villagers.
Wonder Cement have adopted 20 Govt. schools of neighbouring villages. Within three years of adoption we have provided all the basic requirements like boundary walls, separate toilet blocks for girls & boys, electricity connection and safe drinking water arrangements for all.
We have constructed 50 toilet blocks to provide separate access for girls in 44 Govt. Schools of Nimbahera & Bhadesar Panchayat Samities of Chittorgarh district under ‘Swachha Bharat Swachha Vidhyalaya’ programme of our country.
Two schools have been completely refurbished including construction of class rooms, water proofing of roofs, computers, child friendly paints etc. We also provide complete education kits, uniforms, for both summer & winter, to students in need. We have driver training programmes on Road Safety for commercial truck drivers, youth coaching programmes for enabling them to compete in Govt. competitive exams.
Wonder Cement has established a Panchfal Udhyan (Orchard) in partnership with village Panchayat. It is a unique programme of NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) convergence for generating regular income for village panchayat. We have planted fruit plants and provided water facility, surrounded by orchards, under expert advice from horticulture team. Regular maintenance, protection and development activities are undertaken by villagers and they get imbursed from NREGA fund.
We are supporting 200 farmers for making ‘Organic Manure’ under Farmer Development Programme, which includes activities like exposure visits, training on farming techniques, planting of fruit plants at their field. We have established rain water harvesting structures in our plant area and also support various initiatives, like Deer Park – Chittorgarh & Biological Park – Udaipur, of govt. forest department for the protection of wild life.
Our endeavour is to provide better community infrastructure to villagers. So far we have supported construction of gravel road approx. 10 KM and CC/ Bitumen road approx. 3.5 KM. We have constructed community recreation centre in two villages, where villagers organise their cultural function, marriages & other activities. These centres have facilities like toilet complex, bathrooms, a big hall and open spaces; which are maintained by village level committee. Other common amenities (Water collection platforms, water supply facilities, animal water drinking ponds) are also improved.
What is your annual CSR budget?
Budget has never been a constraint for contributing to the society. We have always taken up causes after proper research and need of the hour. So far we have spent Rs. 22.40 Crore (2007 to March 2016) for the community through Wonder Cement. Moreover, this year we have doubled our CSR budget (Rs. 13.40 Crore), in order to create a ripple effect in other states.
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