We Utilize the Development Funds to the Maximum: R Raveendranathan Nair, Director & Chief Operating Officer, GMR Kamalnga Energy

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I believe that CSR should not be used as risk mitigation instrument rather a moral responsibility of corporate houses to solve India’s societal problems and has to be embedded in core values and principles of the company”- R Raveendranathan Nair, Director & Chief Operating Officer, GMR Kamalnga Energy

By Rusen Kumar

BHUBANESWAR: GMR Kamalnga Energy Limited (GKEL), an SPV of GMR Energy Limited, which operates 1050 MW (3X350 MW) coal-based thermal power plant located at Kamalanga Village in Dhenkanal District of Odisha. GKEL is making substantial efforts so that the quality of life of individuals in neighbouring communities is enriched by its transformational Bz, health care, livelihood and women empowerment focused CSR interventions. Here are experts what R Raveendranathan Nair, Director & Chief Operating Officer, GKEL, says about his company’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives at its project area.

GKEL COOYou have spent a substantial amount on CSR activities looking at the size of your project?   What kind of activity you are doing at your project area?

Yes, you are correct. We have spent a good amount for establishing infrastructure development works for community. We have been working consistently with the communities in the nine villages. We started CSR activities in early 2007 in Dhenkanal’s Mangalpur Panchayat to enhance the quality of life of people dwelling in GKEL neighborhoods. Our focus areas are education, health care, livelihood and women empowerment. We have well experienced strong CSR team working for communities and all works are supervised by me directly.

How do you involve the project affected people in CSR decision making process?

We conduct needs assessment in the community before the start of financial year. Based on the community needs we formulate CSR programs, and in the implementation, people, community institutions share responsibility and programs are executed to achieve the objectives. We try to ensure that there is a convergence with government schemes. In that way we utilize the development funds to the maximum.

You have set up a good Hospital and DAV Public School at Kamalanga. What is the objective for setting up such type of infrastructure in a remote village? Are land loser children getting any benefit from DAV School?

We have set up a state-of art Hospital and a DAV Public School at our Township near Kamalanga Village. Besides this, we have set up an Accidental Care Unit at Dhenkanal Government Hospital. Our objective is not only to set up a good power plant, but also to provide better health services and quality education to local community. We are providing fee concession for land loser children and other facilities also. Our aim is to make this school a better one in this region.

You have distributed health insurance policy to land losers. What kind of benefit they will get from this?

We have distributed health insurance policies to 2,264 members of the local community of Mangalpur Panchayat belonging to land loser families. By doing so, GKEL became the first corporate house in Odisha to offer health insurance policies to land losers and ensure their health security as part of its CSR activities. The ‘Gramin Suswasthya Micro Insurance Policy’ offered by GKEL secures each policy holder family to the extent of Rs. 30,000 for medical treatment during hospitalization and up to Rs. 1,25,000 in case the head of the family dies in accident.

How have you improved quality of education in Government Schools?

We have undertaken many initiatives to promote quality education in Mangalpur Panchayat. For instance, we have installed three Kidsmart Center in collaboration with IBM, which provide opportunity to students to learn by using technology enabled learning resources. Eleven teaching volunteers have been provided to Govt. Primary Schools where student and teacher ratio is low. Two High school, eight primary and U.P school, 16 Anganwadi centres are being supported to provide quality education.

You are promoting agriculture based livelihood activities at the project area. Can you elaborate few livelihoods interventions?

Yes, through this we want to ensure harmonious co-existence of industry and agriculture. We are providing support including training to the farmers for agriculture activities. People are harvesting well including paddy and groundnuts.

This year 60 farmers adopted SRI (System of Rice Intensification) method in paddy cultivation. They received about Rs.2000/- extra income per acre of land. Fish farming promoted in individual’s as well as community ponds by which more than 100 fish farmers harvested about Rs.5000-6000 per pond. More than 500 acre of area covered under groundnut through which farmers got about Rs.4000/- profit per acre of land.

Three tailoring centres benefitted more than 100 girls by means of providing skill building training and marketing support. Some of the trained girls provided with sewing machine, which helps them to earn Rs.2500-300 per month.

How would you define CSR as?

I believe that CSR should not be used as risk mitigation instrument rather a moral responsibility of corporate houses to solve India’s societal problems and has to be embedded in core values and principles of the company.

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