Kutch is the largest district in India. It is, in fact, larger than some of the smaller states of the country. The region is mostly arid, with a major part of it covered by the salt desert. The world knew about Kutch because of the natural disasters it has to bear ever so often. In 2001, the region was hit with a major earthquake that caused devastating loss of life and property for the residents. Cyclones and droughts are very common in the region.
In the last few years, the region has gained a lot of popularity across the globe for its coveted Rann Utsav, occurring during winters in the salt flats. Recently, PM Narendra Modi visited the district to inaugurate ‘Smritivan’, the earthquake memorial museum, which is a world-class museum comparable to the museum built in the US and Japan for preserving the memory of the World Trade Centre attack and nuclear war, respectively. The monument has gained a lot of popularity in a short period.
This has brought about a lot of focus on the way of life of Kutch and the issues that come with it. It has also encouraged many companies across the countries to extend their CSR initiatives in the region. In FY2020-21, the district was the recipient of Rs. 34.65 Cr. in CSR funds from 106 companies in total.
Top CSR Spenders in Kutch
The top three CSR spenders in Kutch include:
Adani Wilmar Limited – Rs. 3.54 Cr.
Dharampal Satyapal Limited – Rs. 3.43 Cr.
Welspun Corp Limited – Rs. 2.53 Cr.
Other Companies for CSR in Kutch
Network18 has launched Phase 2 of the Netra Suraksha Initiative – India Against Diabetes. The 3-month long initiative is committed to protecting the eyes of the loved ones of India’s Defense Forces. The initiative was flagged off at the launch event held in Dharamshala BSF War Memorial, Kutch, Gujarat on 14th June 2022.
The event successfully flagged off the Netra Suraksha awareness camp. Mr. Sanjay Avinash – Commandant, 74 Battalion BSF inaugurated the testing facility at the location, and Mr. Yashvir Hooda – Officiating Commandant 3 Battalion BSF along with Mr. Saurabh Singh, IPS, Superintendent of Police, Bhuj were the first ones to get their eyes tested. The event also hosted panel discussions on raising awareness around Diabetes & Eye Health: Timely Prevention & Need for Cohesive Policy Change.
Hon’ble Smt. Dr. Nimaben Acharya, Speaker, Gujarat Assembly, said “I congratulate the team of Network18 to start this campaign from the border. Netra Suraksha is very important for BSF Jawans. Diabetes is a hidden enemy and people need to do regular check-ups to find out whether they have diabetes and need to be cautious of its adverse effect on the eyes.”
She further added, “Prevention is better than cure. Diabetes is not completely curable, it is a chronic disease, but timely treatment and preventive measures can surely help in avoiding the severe complications of diabetes, and Diabetic Retinopathy is the one among those.”
India is home to as many as 70 million diabetes patients and every one of them is at the risk of Diabetic Retinopathy impacting the vision and eventually leading to blindness. The discussion highlighted the fact that majority of the people are unaware of diabetes and its complications. However, it is a preventative disease and calls for early detection. If not treated timely, it could lead to blindness. The early stage of Diabetic Retinopathy is a-symptomatic. If the timely and early check-ups are done then one can avoid the severe loss of vision.
Mr. Sanjay Srivastav, DIG, BSF, Kachchh Sector said “This is an excellent initiative. Serving in the Kutch region is very difficult due to severe temperature, and scorching sunlight also impacts eye health. Diabetic Retinopathy leads to blindness and it is important to be aware of eye health and preventive measures. If our soldiers are aware of it then only, they can protect their eyes and can give the best service. Soldiers must get their eyes tested every 2 to 3 months. As our jawans are far away from their families, it’s every individual’s duty at home to ensure eye checkups for family members and go for prevention measures.”
Standing tall in various grueling locations and conditions, the Defense Forces are doing immense service in protecting the country. In an endeavor to serve the families of these brave hearts by protecting their eyes, the initiative is aimed at caring for the families of those who protect us. The initiative drives awareness of Diabetic Retinopathy and avoidable blindness and urges family members of the armed forces to get their eyes checked every six months to a year by a Retinologist.
Puneet Singhvi, CEO-Digital & President-Corporate Strategy, Network18 Group, said “Our soldiers put their heart, body, and soul into protecting the country and its citizens. We are extremely proud of our defense forces and equally of their families. Thus, phase 2 of the Netra Suraksha initiative is devoted to the families of defense personnel. It is a small gesture from our end to the families of soldiers serving our country day and night. Through them, we wish to encourage the masses to adopt regular eye check-ups and be aware of the eye disorders related to diabetes.”
Families of Indian soldiers take great pride in their army men for their fighting spirit in any odd case scenario, they are also advised to equally take care of themselves as they can lead by example and inspire people across the country to get themselves regularly tested to save their vision from Diabetic Retinopathy.
Ms. Vaishali Iyer, Country Head, Communications and CSR, Novartis India said – “At Novartis, it is our purpose to improve and extend people’s lives by reimagining medicines. This chapter of “Netra Suraksha” is of utmost importance as it is dedicated to our defense forces and their families. We are happy to have partnered with Network18 for this much-needed initiative, launched by them last year. A movement such as this needs the collective force of several stakeholder groups including the Government, Medical associations like VRSI and RSSDI, Media, Diagnostic and healthcare providers. And it is truly heartening to see that Netra Suraksha has garnered the support of each of these groups. With this shared purpose of raising awareness about Diabetic Retinopathy, I am confident that people living with Diabetes will get their eyes tested regularly.”
The 3-month-long initiative intends to spread awareness message across the country. The eye test screening would be conducted across the length and breadth of the country, especially for the Jawans and their families.
Known for its arid climate, erratic rainfall, and lack of irrigation means, the western most district of India–Kutch–has been a cause of woe for farmers, as it hampers agricultural practices. As a panacea to this struggle, Tata Power Mundra Thermal Power Station has set up one of India’s largest traditional (desi) seed banks. The native seed bank is benefitting the farmers and people from the community and bringing a drastic improvement in their lives while also providing them with a livelihood-linked ecosystem for more holistic growth. Initiative in alignment with Indian agri- tech practices empowering farmer groups. The Company pursued the campaign for “Seed Bank” intending to conserve, preserve and promote the native varieties of Seeds for various crops & fodders for an arid region like Kutch to address the climate change impact and ensure crop sustainability. To implement the initiative, Tata Power Mundra has closely been working with Kutch Fodder Fruit & Forest Development Trust ( KFFFDT).
Taking cognizance of the farming situation in the region and the problems of the farmers, Tata Power, Mundra launched the “Desi Beej Bank” program which has become one of the largest Desi (native) Seed Banks and the first of its kind in the Kutch District. The Company created awareness of the program by organizing Desi Beej Rath Yatra in all villages of the region to orient the farmers on several benefits of “Desi Beej”. The farmers were also trained on conservation practices for traditional seeds and about the approach methodology and implementation
These native variety seeds are weather resistant and suitable for the region as it requires less quantity of water, organic fertilizers, and fewer pesticides in comparison to conventional hybrid seeds. Conventional seeds tend to require high chemical-based fertilizer and pesticides which results in a decrease in soil fertility.
The seed banks have been created for the 7 crop varieties- Jowar, Guvar (Major crop), Bajra, Til, Moong, Urad, and Moth. 29,403 Kg of Seeds is available for the coming Kharif Season.
It will cater to the need of 2350 Farmers and a total of 6650 acres of cultivation would be possible during this Kharif season with this bank. Seeds have been provided to farmers at subsidized rates.
In the last year, desi variety seeds were collected from the locals during the mass campaign which enabled the farmers to create a source of income by selling the seeds to the seed bank. The farmers were informed about the benefits of the Seed bank and how it will support and benefit them during a drought or when the availability of the seeds is scarce.
Talking more about the initiative, Mr. A.N. Ramesh, Chief, Tata Power Mundra Thermal Power Station. said, “As an organization, we have consciously undertaken initiatives that ensure holistic and sustainable development of the region and its surrounding communities as well. With the Desi Seed Bank program, we have successfully managed to create one of India’s largest seed banks that will help in solving the problems that arise due to climatic changes. It also helps in conserving the soil for future use and ensures crop sustainability which benefits the local farmers in the long run. In the coming future, we wish to reach out and work with more such communities in remote regions to identify and solve the existing problems by implementing customized strategies & policies in a collaborative manner with like-minded stakeholders and agencies. ”
Welspun India Limited, global leaders of home textile, was recently felicitated with the National Water Award announced by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation. Welspun India won the 1st prize in Best Industry Category. The recognition came on the back of the social and environmental impact made by Welspun’s cutting-edge sewage treatment plant in the drought-prone Kutch district.
Installed in 2016, the 40 MLD sewage treatment plant utilizes the latest wastewater treatment technology to repurpose urban sewage water as high-quality clean water for industrial use, making it one of the first such facility to do so in India. This helped Welspun achieve zero freshwater usage for industrial applications at its manufacturing unit in Anjar while mitigating the environmental and community health impact of the pollution caused by the discharge of untreated urban sewage into the sea. The facility has also provided relief to the local farming community, as the freshwater from the Narmada river previously used for industrial application is now utilized for agricultural purposes.
Ms. Dipali Goenka, Jt. MD & CEO, Welspun India Ltd said, “As a responsible corporate citizen, Welspun India has always been committed to sustainability, environmental consciousness, and community welfare. Our cutting-edge sewage treatment plant in Anjar was designed to operate at the intersection of these three principles. We are delighted that our efforts to eliminate the dependence on freshwater sources for industrial applications has been recognized by the Ministry of Jal Shakti. It only motivates us to raise the bar even higher.”
Welspun’s project to utilize treated urban sewage water for industrial purposes has received appreciation from key decision-makers at the Ministry of Environment and Forest, as well as the State Pollution Control Board, during the clearance stage. It has also been hailed as the model for all major industrial projects to reduce their ecological footprint and add value to their local communities.