RANCHI : Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das has said that his government was working on a Trust to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of private and public enterprises in the state more transparent, time-bound and convergent with government schemes.
Speaking at the The Telegraph’s Caring Jharkhand: A CSR Conclave 2015, a daylong event held at a well-known city hotel, the chief minister stressed on result-oriented activities and added that they would soon send formal letters on the Trust to corporate and public sector units.
“The purpose of the Trust isn’t to ask companies for money or bank details but genuine intentions of your financial commitment towards CSR in Jharkhand. Please have no confusion or apprehension. According to norms, every company has to spend 2 per cent of their earnings on CSR. All we want to know is the actual amount proposed and timeframe for work. In a democracy, people have the right to know. Depending on your key areas of commitment, the government may also supplement them with schemes,” Das said, thanking The Telegraph for taking the lead to churn positive debate on socio-economic development.
The chief minister stressed the state Trust was important to usher in convergence in social spending.
“Despite so many years of Independence, many villages still lack clean drinking water. Government and private entities working in isolation can’t beat these problems. There is need for total commitment across the board,” he said. The high-powered event started at 11am when chief minister Das, The Telegraph resident editor Shantanu Datta and guests lit the ceremonial lamp.
Datta also moderated a vibrant panel discussion on corporate responsibility towards the state. Panellists comprised DVC chairman Andrew W.K. Langstieh, HEC CMD Avijit Ghosh, Medica Group of Hospitals chairman Alok Roy, CMPDI’s CMD A.K. Debnath, Maithon Power CEO K. Chandrashekhar, SAIL’s Bokaro Steel Limited CEO Anutosh Maitra, Devkamal Hospital & Research Centre CEO Anant Sinha and Unicef (Jharkhand) chief Job Zachariah. The event’s second half had presentations of Central Coalfields Limited, Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), Whiz Mantra, SAIL (Bokaro Steel Limited), Maithon Power Limited (a joint venture between Tata Power and DVC), Medica and Devkamal hospitals. A lively Q&A session wrapped up the proceedings. Opening the panel discussion, DVC chairman Langstieh highlighted their social uplift programmes across 337 villages, including those in Koderma, Hazaribagh, Bokaro and Dhanbad.
“We tuned our CSR into multi-pronged approach,” he said, citing primary education and healthcare, community health via mobile healthcare, fishery and poultry training, construction of household toilets and roads as focus areas. “We provide water to about 1.55 lakh people, some 60,000 local students are enrolled in schools, 6,000 trained in vocation skills, about 3 lakh treated at our hospitals.
“We want to do more,” he said, acknowledging the chief minister’s move to set up a Trust. “The government has the right to ask for outcomes,” he asserted
HEC CMD Ghosh spoke on skill-building initiatives for tribal youths such as technical and nursing training and health services for the displaced. “In five years, we want to train 10,000 youths in various capacities for which we want support from the government. We also want to open a medical college,” he said
Medica chairman Alok Roy said they were operating in Jharkhand with a vision to curb fatalities and disabilities related to road accidents.
“No one should have to go out of state for superspeciality treatment. We have all facilities here. Just give us the medicine cost, we will treat 100 patients in the state free of cost,” Roy told chief minister Das. “We are soon coming up with our nurses’ training in Bokaro.”
“I want to assure CM sir that if we make any profit, we will invest it back in Jharkhand for next 20 years. We are ready to take up urban and lake beautification. If you have any plans, please give them to us and we will run them on a no-profit, no-loss basis,” Roy stressed.
CMPDI’s chairman-cum-managing director Debnath also assured the state of their full support. “We are coming up with adivasi schools at Godda and Kanke. Recently, we extended financial help to the KC Roy Memorial Hospital in Ranchi. We are ready to partner with the state on CSR work.”
Devkamal Hospital & Research Centre’s chief executive officer Anant Sinha, who is a pioneer of Smile Train Project, called for greater support for people suffering burn deformities. “In CSR, we need to focus on R (responsibility) the most. If six are benefited, papers end up showing 60 or even 120. That can be curbed only if we work among the target audience and not make plans sitting in air-conditioned offices,” Sinha said.
Making his suggestions, he said: “Rather than making new schools, funds could help make existing ones function better. For example, you can free schoolteachers from the khichdi-making business by taking over the midday meal.”
Maithon Power Ltd’s CEO K. Chandrashekhar said they were undertaking a survey of school dropouts of up to 35 years of age. “We are focussing on people to reconnect them with education or skill building. Education and sustainable income generation are some of our key CSR areas,” he said. Bokaro steel plant CEO Anutosh Maitra conceded survey-based focussed spends led to a “result-oriented CSR output”. “Two years ago, we got baseline survey done in our area on various parameters before rolling out need-based schemes. It worked well,” he said. Unicef (Jharkhand) chief Job Zachariah stressed on “realistic developments” and asserted the need for every stakeholder to be in the loop to promo te clarity and prevent duplication.