It is in the DNA of Vedanta to create long-lasting value for the communities of the land on which we operate. We undertake various need-based community programs as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility practice that commits to aligning all activities with the evolving national and state priorities as well as local needs.
For almost all our programs, a bottom-up community engagement approach is non-negotiable. This collaborative approach ensures community ownership, suitable project design, effective delivery and post-project sustainability. Apart from communities, we also strongly believe in partnering with government agencies, development organizations, corporates, civil society organizations and, by no means least, the community to carry out meaningful initiatives. The community that was once seen as beneficiaries is now our partner in progress.
All our CSR programs are governed by Vedanta’s CSR policy, the Technical Standard 19, and each entity specific Standard Operating Procedures for CSR. The documents are periodically revised. Furthermore, in order to benefit from diverse perspectives and in keeping with a culture of collective leadership, Vedanta has formed a CSR Council. The Council comprises business leaders and CSR executives from different business units who are responsible for governance, synergy and cross-learning across the Group CSR efforts. It meets every month and reviews the performance, spends and outcome of CSR programs. The council is instrumental in implementing improvement projects to create a seamless, enabling ecosystem to carry out best-in-class community development programs.
We have a CSR Committee comprising most of the Independent Directors. The Committee provides strategic direction for CSR activities and approves its plans and budgets. It also reviews the programs and provides adequate guidance to the CSR teams to help them run well-governed and impactful community programs.
A brief overview of our community development programs of 2018-19 is as follows.
The Nand Ghar Project is the company’s flagship national initiative that aims to build new-age Anganwadis to support the health and education of young children in rural areas and promote women’s empowerment and skilling. The project ultimately aims to reach out to 85 million children and 20 million women across 1.37 million Anganwadis in the country.
At Lanjigarh, we plan to introduce 25 Greenfield Nand Ghars and 125 Brown Field Projects in this financial Year. Among the green field Project, one is complete and five are under construction. Simultaneously, in brownfield project, we are re-introducing 100 Anganwadis in Kalahandi and 25 in Rayagada as Nand Ghar. Currently, 11 Nand Ghars in Kalahandi and 8 in Rayagada are being upgraded.
Child Care Centre
Vedanta Lanjigarh has prioritized education and health of local children as part of its Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program that has been undertaken in 35 centers in 33 villages since 2005. Over 13,000 children between 2.5 – 6 years avail the best of learning and nutritious food from this program. The program organizes quarterly health checkup, mother committee meeting, games and programs. For this academic year, 851 new children were enrolled, out of which 51.3% were girls. The program also supports 100% mainstreaming of children into the formal education system.
Shiksha Sambal is a coaching program for under-privileged students of the local community who are studying in government and government-aided high schools. Vedanta is supporting all 7 high schools in the vicinity of the core panchayats where 17 teachers are provided for the high class for English, Math and Science and 1104 for VIII, IX and X standard to enhance the academic performance and board results of the students. Through this program we are encouraging higher education among the first-generation learners of the region.
To instill a temperament for science, Vedanta has provided schools with science kits and the employees of the organization volunteer regularly to hold special practical classes. The students appearing for board examinations were provided with geometry box to ensure that even the most vulnerable student is well equipped.
Support to Schools
Vedanta is supporting 6 government schools with teachers to address the low teacher-student ratio. Karate classes are being organized for 202 children in three government schools. 15 students participated in 3rd Kalahandi District Karate – Do Championship and with just 5 months of rigorous training, have bagged 16 medals in both - Technique and Fighting categories.
Vedanta endeavors to provide equal opportunities to women through multiple initiatives. The Sakhi Program at Vedanta Lanjigarh now has 300 SHGs (Self-help groups) reaching nearly 3202 women. Women from local community has been empowered through trainings on financial literacy training and capacity building. Access to various government schemes have also been provided to them. All the SHGs are linked to the bank with 60% SHGs in Grade ‘A’. Till date, INR 132,89,106 have been saved by the local women. Loans worth INR 70,48,207, taken for household consumption, agriculture and various income generation activities, have been repaid to banks and to Shaktimayee Foundation. The foundation currently supports 1064 women in various income generation activities. We aim to change the socio-economic status of Lanjigarh by empowering women entrepreneurs. We have leveraged more than Rs 38.87 lakhs from the Government.
Health is the most critical engagement area for Vedanta and we work to bring affordable healthcare within reach of our communities. Aarogya, a healthcare Initiative at Lanjigarh, is a commitment to improve the health status of less-privileged community of the Kalahandi region. Vedanta Hospital is a 20-bed state-of-the-art medical facility well equipped with doctors, physiotherapist and visiting specialists, and providing 24X7 ambulance service for referrals with a daily footfall of more than 200 patients in Vedanta Hospital.
The hospital services are recognized for sickle cell detection and antenatal check-up under Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matrutwa Abhiyan. A Mobile Health Unit provides health services to all 59 core villages and beyond per month, enabling senior citizens and women to avail quality medical consultation and medicines free of cost at their doorsteps. The community awareness team addresses the preventive aspects of healthcare by sensitizing the community through various health and awareness program such as Malaria, Diarrhea and viral diseases, alcoholism, nutrition for child development and pregnant women, family planning. IEC/BCC campaigns and sanitation drives are some of the areas of focus. The initiatives have garnered governmental support of INR 4.24 lakhs.
Vedanta is also supporting a hospital in the remote area of Bankakunduru – Maa Santoshi Jankalyan Hospital - catering to approximately 200 villages. It is the only medical service centre in the area. It is aiding local people to put their faith in scientific medical treatment. More than INR 14.30 lakh have been provided by the government to support the initiatives.
Swachhta Bharat Mission
Convergence with the government towards Swachhta Bharat Mission was inaugurated for the first time in Lanjigarh. Project Swachhta uses the Community Led Total Sanitation Approach to involve the community at each step towards making 6 Gram Panchayats of Lanjigarh Open Defecation Free. All 55 villages in the 6 GPs have been sensitized on the importance of safe sanitation practices. The community formed Nigrani Committee and took complete initiative towards construction of their own toilets. The INR 12000 subsidy was mobilized from government to the community by Vedanta. We have leveraged more than INR 3.81 Cr from the Government.
Vedanta Baljyoti Eye Health Program
Vedanta Baljyoti Eye Health program covers all children of Lanjigarh & Junagarh Block and works towards resolving simple problems that can substantially reduce the rate of school dropouts in these developing areas, enabling students to pursue their education with clear focus, and aiding them in creating a better future for themselves.
A tripartite agreement between the Government of Odisha, Vedanta and Royal Common Wealth society for the Blind was formed to establish proper screening methods, educate and equip 482 teachers, and conduct regular eye checkup of more than 45,000 children in 486 government schools. Vedanta, through the program, provided spectacles free of cost to 532 identified students with issues like corneal scar, corneal degeneration or any minor injury. Serious optical maladies like cataract, squint, viral keratitis, watering and redness have been referred to Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RSBK) for treatment. We have leveraged more than INR 1.26 lakh from the Government for the initiative.
Reviving tribal culture
Skill development is the need of the hour and can have a huge impact on creating livelihoods for millions of families. Our aim is to channelize the untapped potential of youth and help them become employable in the growing economy. At Lanjigarh, we are reviving the long-lost traditional art forms of Odisha by training 30 artisans under ‘Dhokra Art’ and 30 in its ‘Tribal Painting Training Academy’. The community has been involved in these art forms for generations. We are training the artisans to use contemporary designs while continuing to produce art in their traditional method in an effort ready them for the globalized market. Under Project Dhokra, we have leveraged INR 1.43 Lakh from the government.
Sports and culture have the ability to attract and mobilize youth and foster stronger community bonding. Vedanta Lanjigarh has been promoting sports among the youth of Lanjigarh by supporting the youth clubs in various village-level volleyball and cricket tournaments. District-level archery competition was organized where five districts of Odisha participated. Inter-state knockout football tournament was also organized where 11 teams from four states participated. An all-girl’s friendly football match was also organized to motivate them and promote sports among women. We sponsored three badminton players in district-level badminton competitions and 15 students in karate championships.
While human development is the key, but infrastructure also plays an important role. Developing and maintaining social infrastructure is critical for rural development and nation building. We are enabling villages with the development of basic infrastructure like approach roads, drinking water projects, local drains, community centres, etc. We have leveraged more than Rs 55.5 lakhs from the Government.
In 2018, Vedanta Lanjigarh spent INR 10.71 crore on CSR activities. Our company’s CSR policy upholds the commitment to conduct its business in a socially responsible, ethical and environmentally friendly manner, and to continuously work towards improving the quality of life of the communities in the areas where it operates.
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