Home CATEGORIES Business Ethics & Philanthropy Corporate Social Responsibility in Aspirational District: Top CSR initiatives in Wayanad, Kerala

Corporate Social Responsibility in Aspirational District: Top CSR initiatives in Wayanad, Kerala

Wayanad, nestled in the northern part of Kerala, captivates visitors with its breathtaking landscapes, abundant flora and fauna, and deep-rooted cultural heritage. This enchanting district has recently garnered attention as an aspirational district, facing unique development challenges that have been identified by the prestigious NITI Aayog. With its pristine beauty and untapped potential, Wayanad has taken a significant leap forward by embarking on groundbreaking CSR initiatives that have captured the spotlight.

CSR Conclave: Wayanad Initiative for Future Impact (WIFI 2023)

In a remarkable endeavour, the district administration collaborated with the state government, NITI Aayog, and the state IT Mission to organize the Wayanad Initiative for Future Impact (WIFI 2023) – an event that marked a significant milestone as the first-ever CSR Conclave in Kerala. This visionary conclave aimed to bring together corporate entities and leverage their CSR funds to drive comprehensive growth and development in Wayanad. The enthusiastic response from both local and national corporations demonstrated a shared commitment towards uplifting this extraordinary district.
Representatives from 24 agencies actively participated in the event, while an additional five corporate agencies joined the conclave remotely. Esteemed public sector undertakings like Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Cochin Shipyard Limited, and Indian Oil Corporation were among the prominent attendees, demonstrating the collective effort to make a positive impact in Wayanad.
These corporations recognized Wayanad as an aspirational district with immense potential for growth and development. By investing their CSR funds, they aim to address the district’s specific challenges and contribute to the overall well-being of its communities. The convergence of corporate powerhouses in Wayanad reflects the shared responsibility and commitment towards sustainable development.
Kerala Chief Secretary V Venu, who attended the conclave remotely, lauded the innovative initiative of the district administration to bring together diverse CSR agencies under one roof. He recognized the conclave as a model initiative that promotes sustainable growth and contributes to the upliftment of weaker sections of society. This recognition highlights the significance and potential of CSR initiatives in Wayanad and sets a precedent for similar endeavours across the country.

Showcasing Promising Development Projects

During the conclave, various government departments, including health, tribal welfare, tourism, and forestry, presented an array of development projects valued at a staggering Rs 56 crore. These projects encompassed critical areas that require attention and investment to uplift the district and empower its communities. The presentations provided corporate representatives with a comprehensive overview of the projects, their potential impact, and the opportunities for collaboration.
Projects in the healthcare sector focused on improving medical infrastructure, access to quality healthcare, and specialized services for marginalized communities. Tribal welfare initiatives aimed to enhance the livelihoods and well-being of indigenous populations, promoting their cultural preservation and sustainable economic empowerment. The tourism sector showcased plans to develop sustainable tourism practices, protect the environment, and create employment opportunities for the local population. Additionally, forestry projects emphasized conservation efforts, afforestation drives, and the protection of wildlife habitats.

CSR Projects in Wayanad

Rural Rising Program

Herbalife Nutrition Ltd., United Way of Bengaluru (UWBe), and the Noolpuzha Gram Panchayat have come together with a vision to ensure integrated development of the Noolpuzha Gram Panchayat, Wayanad’s second largest tribal belt.
This integrated rural development program, called ‘Rural Rising’, is a flagship intervention of UWBe, built on a ‘convergence model’ where the program is implemented in aspirational districts and remote areas in various geographies in alignment with government schemes and implemented in partnership with government and private partners.
The multi-year Rural Rising program in Noolpuzha Gram Panchayat (GP) will address five key areas based on the need assessment – enhancement of children’s nutrition; quality of engagement with children in Anganwadi Centres through the Born Learning Campaign (BLC) of UWBe; strengthening the schools to retain and attract students from tribal hamlets; supporting the livelihood of women in Self Help Groups (SHGs) and skill development of youth in the areas of intervention.
Most children with malnutrition in Wayanad have been reported from tribal communities. Children and women suffer from nutrition deficiency and anaemia due to a lack of a proper and balanced diet. The Rural Rising intervention will ensure the availability of cooked meals thrice a day, six days a week, to children enrolled in four Anganwadi Centres, to begin with, at Noolpuzha.
Low attendance of students in schools and Anganwadi Centres have been another concerning issue. To make schools attractive and welcoming, play areas will be set up in two schools – Govt Lower Primary School, Muthanga, and Sri Jaya Aided Lower Primary School, catering to 250 students.
In addition, two Anganwadi Centres will be strengthened with new facilities and infrastructure support to make the centres safe and conducive for children in line with the ICDS guidelines. Additionally, Anganwadi Workers and Helpers will be trained on the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) curriculum and pedagogy.
The intervention will closely work with the Jilla Mission of Wayanad. Three hundred executive members of registered SHGs in Noolpuzha GP will be provided training in entrepreneurship development. Specific livelihood interventions will be provided to other SHGs.
Interventions ranging from providing grinding equipment to setting up of a grocery store are planned for various SHGs. To support the locals engaging in honey collection, eighty honey collectors will be supported with honey harvesting kits containing modernised tools to help increase their productivity and ensure safety. Apart from these, skilling programs will be provided to special people from the ‘BUDS’ Centre to help them generate income and live with dignity. Overall about 650 SHG members will be directly benefitted from the livelihood interventions.
Sports has been recognised as a powerful medium to instill positive social skills, leadership qualities, self-awareness, and creativity. For the well-being of community youth and to help them utilise their time judiciously, football coaching will be offered at the existing two Youth Resource Centres. The sports centres will also be equipped with different types of sports equipment and books for the youth and children of the community.

Federal Skill Academy

The Federal Skill Academy is committed to creating opportunities for young girls and boys and empowering them to achieve their dreams. This is part of the Bank’s CSR initiative under the aegis of Federal Bank Hormis Memorial Foundation.
Under the initiative, Federal Bank announced the successful completion of the first residential batch of girls from Wayanad at their Federal Skill Academy. The academy aims to empower young girls also and provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel. The residential training program, for a duration of 3.5 months was designed to offer an immersive learning experience to the participants. The first residential batch of girls from Wayanad consisted of 24 young, talented individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Books Donation by IIM Kozhikode

The 5th Edition of Book Donation programme, organised by The Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK) in May 2022, donated over 15,000 books worth Rs 75 Lakhs (approx.) to 30 colleges belonging to Kannur, Wayanad, Malappuram and Kozhikode Districts of Kerala. The event was attended by over 300 students and faculty members of the beneficiary colleges.
This Book Donation programme was organized by the Institute, as a part of IIMK’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative and was the fifth such instance since its inception. The event witnessed every beneficiary college being handed over close to 500 books each, worth Rs 2.5 Lakh (approximately) and covered a vast spectrum of academic subjects like Economics, Management, Accounting, Commerce, Marketing, Operations Research, Quantitative Methods, Organisational Behaviour, Human Resource Management, Business Ethics, Information Technology and Literature. These books have been handpicked and recommended by the Faculty, for IIM Kozhikode students, and were later contributed for the book donation drive spearheaded by the Library & Information Centre (LIC), IIMK.