Reliance Industries Limited. (RIL) has been one of the largest companies in India for the better part of the last two decades. It leads the corporate world in net profits every year. As CSR in India is mandatory as per the Companies Act 2013, The CSR Journal in its #LetsTalkCSR series is evaluating the CSR initiatives of the top corporates of India.
Reliance Industries Ltd. was established in 1973 by India’s most celebrated entrepreneur Dhirubhai Ambani who is revered for his rags-to-riches story. The Company owns businesses engaged in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications.
The below video highlights the gamut of CSR activities undertaken by the Company around its world’s largest refinery in Jamnagar.
In 2021-22, RIL had annual revenue of about 7.9 lakh crore rupees with a net profit of about 67,845 crores. RIL ranks in the top 100 profitable companies in the Fortune Global 500 list of ‘World’s Largest Corporations.’ Reliance Industries Ltd. spent 1186 crores on CSR activities in India in FY2021-22. The Company has consistently been the largest CSR spender in the country in last five years.
1. Reliance Foundation – The CSR Arm of Reliance Industries Limited
CSR activities of Reliance Industries Limited are carried out in India through Reliance Foundation. Smt. Nita M. Ambani leads the Reliance Foundation, which was founded in 2010 and had a comprehensive approach towards the development of India. The Foundation addresses some of India’s most pressing development challenges in the fields of Rural Transformation, Health, Education, Sports for Development, Disaster Response, Arts, Culture & Heritage and Urban Renewal.
2. CSR Policy
According to Reliance Corporate Social Responsibility policy, sustainable development is at the core of its business decisions, and therefore it has aligned its sustainability strategy with its business goals. RIL CSR works with underserved people who often do not have access to knowledge or information on best practices and continue to be vulnerable.
Reliance engages directly, which creates multiple opportunities to empower the marginalized and deprived sections of the society ending up making a meaningful difference in the lives of the people. The companies social initiatives have impacted over 5.75 crore people across India in more than 50,600 villages and 200 urban locations.
2.1 Reliance CSR and Governance Committee
According to the guidelines of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the Company has constituted a Board-level CSR Committee to monitor the implementation of the Corporate Social Responsibility Policy of the Company from time to time. The Company’s CSR policy and initiatives delineate the vision, mission, thrust areas, and critical requirements as per the Schedule VII of Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 which lists out various areas in which corporate entities are expected to deploy their CSR funds and implement programs for social development. The Reliance Industries Limited Corporate Social Responsibility Committee comprises:
1) Dr. Raghunath A. Mashelkar
2) Shri Nikhil R. Meswani
3) Dr. Shumeet Banerji
2.2 Reliance Industries Limited CSR Team
Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries Limited, aims to play a significant role in addressing India’s development challenges through innovative and sustainable solutions. Led by Founder and Chairperson Smt. Nita Ambani, Reliance Foundation, is relentlessly working towards facilitating transformative changes to ensure overall well-being and higher quality of life for all. The Foundation and the CSR committee ensure that the sustainable goals of the organization serve as the pillars of the Company’s core business activities.
3. CSR Strategy
Reliance CSR initiatives are based on a three-pronged strategy:
3.1 Direct engagement with the community
Reliance directly engages with the community to bring about long term sustainable change in the lives of the people. Reliance Foundation understands the needs, plans, and implements the programs and measures the impact that they have created.
3.2 Forging Partnerships and Collaborations
To bring about a lasting change at the grassroots, it is essential to form strategic partnerships with governments at all levels. The resulting synergy between state government, local government, and non-government organizations result in coherency in the development initiatives. Reliance Foundation, in partnership with these organizations, leverages the capability of Reliance Industries and hence supports communities and resolves critical issues that are physically untouched through direct interventions.
3.3 Leveraging Technology
Reliance is known in the country for its breakneck speed of execution, which relies on the backbone of their technological infrastructure. In their CSR projects, Reliance leverages technology to provide sustainable solutions. These technological interventions connect communities on multiple digital platforms for optimum use of resources, informed decision making, and capacity building. Through the use of technology, Reliance has made significant progress in reaching out to people with various services such as information advisories, digital classrooms, virtual sports clinics, and record-keeping of patients, among others.
The Reliance family, which has about 6 lakh employees, is encouraged to participate voluntarily in the plethora of CSR activities conducted by the Company. Their core-competency and interests are taken into consideration so that the interests of both the employees as well as the social projects are served effectively.
4. Rural Development
Reliance works with the most downtrodden communities in India and empowers them to lead their own development. This creates long-lasting, sustainable change. Reliance CSR projects ensure that the community is the primary stakeholder in the process of development and engages them in planning and implementation of the village development plans, empowers them through training, and works towards scaling and sustaining the initiatives.
They don’t provide just aid but become partners in the process of social transformation, helping realize the vision of a self-sustained and flourishing village. Reliance partners with grassroots organizations, local government departments, and other technical resource agencies to share best practices, create a knowledge platform, and leverage resources.
4.1 Livelihood Enhancement in Rural Areas
Reliance CSR works to de-risk rural communities from economic vulnerability through agriculture and allied activities, enable market linkages, increase income from fishing, encourage entrepreneurship and diversify livelihoods.
In the past decade, Reliance CSR has supported farming communities, livestock owners and fishing communities in tapping new livelihood opportunities with innovative and sustainable solutions. Through intensive skill based trainings and capacity development workshops, the Company has helped women Self-help Group (SHG) members acquire entrepreneurial skills and become self-reliant as well as resilient.
Reliance Nutrition Gardens (RNGs), a low-cost kitchen garden model, not only helps rural communities become nutrition secure, but also provides scope for improving income by making home-grown fruits and vegetables accessible to communities. Where farm-based livelihoods are affected by water scarcity, the CSR arm of the Company, along with its partner organisations, works to make communities water secure and resilient through water conservation and harvesting.
Empowering Rural India through Technology
Digital technology solutions catalyse change and help communities make informed decisions. Information services provide communities an opportunity to enhance their lives both in terms of improving their livelihoods while also accessing their entitlements. Reliance Foundation Information Services reach communities through diverse modes including mobile phone services and social media platforms besides television, radio and toll-free helplines. Reliance has over 1,000 partners from which it sources accurate and relevant information and democratise it. This information, in 10 Indian languages, reaches 11.4+ million individuals in over 45,400 villages across 19 states and two Union Territories.
Reliance CSR helps farmers enhance crop yields and safeguard livestock. Given the context of restrictions to physical movements and pandemic-induced lockdowns, in 2021-22, digital advisories proved especially helpful as farmers received timely information on various agriculture and livestock management practices. In 2021-22, the programme addressed nearly 2.8 lakh queries related to weather (agro-livestock-marine), government schemes, and various crop and livestock management issues. Reliance Foundation conducts livestock camps in partnership with the Animal Husbandry Department or other health institutions to diagnose and treat animals, and provide relevant veterinary services. In FY 2021-22, over 2 lakh animals were treated through livestock camps (7.4+ lakh animals treated since inception). Farmers were also given free medicines and counselling for improving livestock health.
Digital Solutions for Fisherfolk
Reliance Foundation endeavours to make fishing safer, sustainable and more profitable for marine fisherfolk along India’s expansive coastline with information support from the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). The Machli app provides real time updates on weather and oceanographic parameters for all major landing centres. During FY 2021-22, information was provided in ten languages including English.
Promoting Local Partnerships
In alignment with UN SDG 8, ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’, CSR of Reliance works to enhance and strengthen livelihoods of rural communities. It promotes sustainable agricultural practices to enhance farm productivity and farm diversification with horticulture and other agri-allied activities like poultry, dairy, fisheries, goat rearing, etc., is encouraged to enhance rural household incomes.
Reliance Foundation has established strategic linkages for agri-inputs, technical knowledge and package of practices amongst others that contribute to income enhancement. Further, Reliance Foundation seeks to empower rural youth through various skilling and entrepreneurship development trainings and job fairs by adopting a convergence approach. During FY 2021-22, the Foundation supported 42,000 individuals to improve their livelihoods through farm and non-farm based initiatives. These interventions are implemented in collaboration with agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry departments, agriculture universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, District Industry Centre and other organisations, thereby creating an ecosystem of convergence and cooperation. Nearly 8,900 youth were provided skills training in retail and 7,612 (85%) trained youth were linked to employment opportunities in the retail sector
4.2 Improving Soil Health
Reliance CSR extended support to Bhau Saheb Bhuskare Smriti Lok Nyas in setting up a soil testing laboratory at Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh to help farmers. This will enable farmers plan their crops better and improve farm productivity.
4.3 Water Security
Reliance’s CSR interventions in the water space are aligned with SDG 1, ‘Zero Hunger’, SDG 6 ’Clean Water and Sanitation’ and SDG 13 ’Climate Action’. Land and water are the two major sources of livelihood for the vast majority of India’s rural population. However, due to inadequate, high-cost water harvesting solutions and climate change, agriculture and livestock based livelihoods are struggling. In order to address the issues of water scarcity, which impact food security and income, Reliance Foundation works with rural communities to improve water availability for drinking, irrigation and livestock needs while also balancing the climate change/ ecological needs of the area.
Reliance Foundation collaborates with village communities to implement need-based, low-cost sustainable water solutions by providing them techno-managerial support in planning and designing water interventions at the local level. Capacity building of representatives and leaders of community institutions such as Gram Panchayats, SHGs, youth groups, etc. on water conservation is provided for sustainability. The overall aim of such interventions is to ensure that the community has access to water harvesting technologies and is able to manage the resources in an efficient manner. Need-based catalytic gap funding support for water interventions aimed at harvesting rainwater and recharging ground water aquifer is also provided.
During the year, Reliance Foundation supported water harvesting solutions across 11 states, ranging from farm ponds and common village ponds to check dams, well recharge or traditional structures like Chal-Khals depending on the topography, soil quality, and availability of materials, thus contributing towards water conservation and climate resilience.
In FY 2021-22, 508 villages were supported in water budgeting for effective water planning and management, construction and repair to create 121+ lakh cubic metres of water harvesting capacity, bringing 5,600 hectares under assured irrigation, bringing change in cropping pattern and increasing agricultural income. Further, Reliance Foundation has improved drinking water access in 364 villages by providing families access to water in close proximity of their houses, contributing significantly in improving the quality of life and lowering the drudgery of women and girls engaged in fetching water.
4.3 Nutrition Security
In alignment with UN SDG 2 ’End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’, Reliance CSR promotes Reliance Nutrition Gardens (RNGs) to address the nutritional gap in rural communities, especially among women and children. The RNG is a backyard, cost-effective kitchen garden, wherein fruits and vegetables are grown using a multi-tier cropping system. As a low cost initiative, it has helped provide fresh fruits and vegetables, grown naturally, to rural households across the country. Community members have been directly engaged in Reliance Foundation’s nutrition awareness programmes through a mix of campaigns, training sessions, etc.
During FY 2021-22, Reliance Foundation facilitated the establishment of 10,896 RNGs across 11 states. Reliance Foundation supported the ‘Rashtriya Poshan Maah’ initiative, creating awareness on various aspects of nutrition for over 30,900 individuals by undertaking mass campaigns connecting with Anganwadis and frontline workers of the ICDS-WCD Department, Gram Panchayats, Krishi Vigyan Kendras amongst other stakeholders
4.4 Supporting Women Entrepreneurs
In keeping with SDG 5 to ensure ‘Gender Equality’, Reliance CSR has been working extensively with Women Self Help Groups (W-SHGs). During FY 2021-22, Reliance Foundation worked with 1,315 W-SHGs and 973 SHGs received support and accessed finance to the tune of Rs. 19 crore; thus helping women take up various livelihood opportunities.
Over 11,564 women were provided various information and capacity building inputs on gender equality, leadership, diverse livelihood options and government schemes. During the year, 5,882 SHG members were supported with end-to-end mentorship, linkages with banks, government departments and local markets. This support improved their existing livelihoods and helped them establish different farm and non-farm micro-enterprises. This increased participation of women in household and rural economy, helped break gender barriers in accessing markets and increased share of women in family’s income, providing them financial independence. By actively supporting these SHGs, Reliance Foundation has helped many women to come together and become entrepreneurs both at the individual and group level in areas such as bangle making, vegetable cultivation, detergent manufacturing, tailoring, floriculture, food processing, vermicomposting, vegetable and fruit nurseries, poultry, dairy, goat rearing, setting up petty shops etc.
To promote women’s participation in the digital space, and build skills that will help bridge the digital gender divide, pilot testing of a digital tool kit was carried out with 200 SHGs. In FY 2021-22, Reliance Foundation focused on livelihood trainings in collaboration with various agencies for the economic empowerment of women with end-to-end mentorship, bank and government linkages. Mentoring and trainings were conducted virtually or through small groups with utmost care for safety. This enabled women to use various digital platforms like WhatsApp to get timely solutions on diverse agricultural and livestock practices and improve their livelihood. Over 10,000 women have been provided information on backyard poultry, organic farm practices and nutrition garden development.
4.5 Market Linkages
In alignment with UN SDG 9 ‘Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation’, Reliance Foundation is engaged intensively with over 100 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs). The engagement models vary as per the need and evolution of the FPOs, with an approach to handhold and strengthen them. Of the 100, 25 FPOs were established by farmers from across Reliance Foundation’s programmes. Some of these FPOs have also demonstrated a cascading impact on the local ecosystem, providing capacity building, marketing and operational support to 30 other FPOs around them.
During FY 2021-22, these FPOs transacted with over 55,700 farmers for a value of Rs. 114+ crore. The FPOs helped farmers sell their farm produce at better prices, helped them save costs on agri-inputs (seeds, fertilisers etc.) and offered farm mechanisation services at costs lower than the market. In the process, farmers earned incremental gains to the tune of Rs. 14+ crore from engaging with these FPOs. During the year, Reliance Foundation also helped these FPOs raise funds from key government schemes such as the SMART project of the government of Maharashtra, RIDF fund from NABARD and the Equity Grants Scheme of Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC).
Education is one of the key pillars of Reliance’s vision for India and is critical to the country’s social and economic progress. Reliance supports an array of educational initiatives, spanning primary, secondary and tertiary education through CSR.
5.1 Jio Institute
Jio Institute is a multi-disciplinary higher education institute set up as a philanthropic initiative by Reliance Industries Ltd. and Reliance Foundation. The Institute is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence by bringing together global scholars and thought leaders and providing an enriching student experience through world-class education, relevant research platforms, and a culture of innovation.
In July 2022, Jio Institute will begin two inaugural Post Graduate Programmes in Artificial Intelligence & Data Science (AI & DS) and Digital Media & Marketing Communications (DM & MC). In the long run, the Institute will introduce programmes in the areas of Computing & Engineering, Architecture & Urban Planning, Media, Communications & Journalism, Arts, Humanities & Science, Management & Entrepreneurship, Law, Governance & Policy and Medicine.
5.2 Dhirubhai Ambani Scholarship Programme (DAS)
Dhirubhai Ambani International School (DAIS) provides worldclass education to over 1,080 children every year, with about 170 teachers experienced in national and international curricula. DAIS prepares students for ICSE, IGCSE, and IB Diploma examinations and is a member of the Cambridge International Primary Programme, with excellent results in the Board examinations and outstanding university placements.
5.3 Reliance Foundation Schools
Reliance Foundation Schools are committed to providing an enjoyable and enriching educational experience to children. There are 13 Reliance Foundation Schools, which are located in Jamnagar, Surat, Vadodara, Dahej, Lodhivali, Nagothane, Nagpur and Navi Mumbai, educating over 14,500 children annually. The schools offer education from kindergarten to Class 12 and are affiliated to CBSE, Gujarat State Board and Maharashtra State Board.
The School is known for their above-par academic performance and excel in extracurricular activities as well which is evident from the awards and recognitions in various events at the district, state, national and international levels.
5.4 Reliance Foundation Scholarships
In 2020-21, the Reliance Foundation Scholarships (RFS) were launched with the aim of enabling and propelling India’s brightest youth, who are uniquely positioned to lead India’s technologically driven growth to become the future leaders of tomorrow. In August 2021, Reliance Foundation welcomed its first cohort of 76 scholars, studying Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science at the undergraduate and postgraduate level in select institutes across India. Scholars were selected through a rigorous selection process, including interviews with a panel of leading Indian and global experts in the field.
For the second cycle, Reliance Foundation expanded the scope of the scholarships. In 2022, 100 of India’s brightest undergraduate and postgraduate students will be supported with a grant award of Rs. 4 lakh for undergraduate and Rs. 6 lakh for postgraduate students for the duration of the degree. Along with this, a strong development programme will help nurture their skills to innovate for social good. The second cycle of RFS encompasses a broader range of subject areas in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Computer Sciences, Mathematics & Computing, and Electrical and/or Electronics Engineering.
Reliance Foundation is looking to nurture and support the selected scholars with a holistic development programme, including expert interactions, industry exposure and volunteering opportunities, creating a cohort of excellence every year
Ensuring access to quality healthcare services at the community level, is the base of Reliance Foundation’s ‘Health for All’ approach. The health outreach programme, taking healthcare to communities’ doorsteps, is one of the pillars of this approach.
Reliance CSR healthcare programs have positively impacted over 25.8 lakh people.
6.1 Community Health
From building awareness to setting up healthcare infrastructure, Reliance has been contributing to public healthcare through numerous activities. These activities focus on preventative healthcare and well-being, emergency medical support and supplementary support in areas like nutrition. Reliance’s health outreach programme provides primary health services to underprivileged communities across plant locations in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh through 12 MMUs, Community Health Centres (CHCs) and several health camps.
6.2 Reliance CSR Drishti
Initiated in 2003, the mission of the Drishti programme is improving and restoring the vision of people in most-at-need communities. In partnership with the National Association for the Blind (NAB), Aravind Eye Care and Sankara Eye Foundation, Reliance Foundation Drishti has been supporting free corneal transplants since 2003. Reliance Foundation is the only Indian corporate foundation that has supported 20,400+ corneal transplants since inception, a milestone achieved in FY 2021-22. To increase awareness of the importance of eye donation, the programme has been conducting Drishti Art Competitions from 2004 and Drishti Essay Competitions from 2008 annually for children and grandchildren of employees across all Reliance offices and locations.
Reliance Foundation Drishti publishes India’s only fortnightly international Braille newspaper in Hindi in association with the NAB. Prior to the pandemic, the newspaper had a circulation of over 4,200 copies and a readership of around 24,000 visually impaired readers across India and 15 other countries. The physical printing of the newspaper, which was stopped due to the pandemic, was resumed last year and by March 2022 the circulation and readership crossed pre-pandemic levels. Along with this newspaper, on World Braille Day on January 4 every year, a Braille table calendar is also distributed to readers.
In 2022, Drishti’s fortnightly international Braille newspaper completed 10 years of publication. The newspaper covers news and updates from the world of sports, business, education, current affairs and entertainment. The newspaper also features recipes and reader contributions like poems and articles. From 2015, Reliance Foundation has been conducting an essay competition for its readers of the newspaper.
6.3 Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre
Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre (RFH) is a 345-bed Quaternary Care multi-specialty hospital in Mumbai. A world-class institution that caters to the healthcare requirements of all in the society RFH sets for itself the most stringent global clinical benchmarks that it has always exceeded. The hospital maintained 92% patient satisfaction level and a Net Promoter Score of 73 this year, which is higher than many other renowned healthcare institutions across the world.
In FY 2021-22, RFH recorded a rise in the number of admissions, OPD consultations and surgeries over the previous year, attesting to the growing preference for the hospital as both primary and advanced care facility. While the number of high end procedures continues to rise, an increasing number of short-stay procedures (370 during FY 2021-22) like Total Knee Replacement, Urology, General Surgery, etc., are being performed to provide advanced care in less time with faster recovery
6.4 Care and Support for HIV and Tuberculosis
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought the focus on how communicable diseases impact human lives. Tuberculosis kills an average of 1200 people per day in India alone. Reliance has set up hospitals at Lodhivali (Maharashtra), Jamnagar, and Hazira (Gujarat), which provide free and subsidized healthcare services to underprivileged and marginalized segments. The services range from general healthcare, communicable and non-communicable diseases including HIV and tuberculosis. Additionally, trauma victims of highway accidents are provided with free treatment. This year over 0.1 million consultations have been provided with over 3.1 million consultations provided since inception.
Care and support treatment are provided to people living and affected with HIV (PLHIV), including children and orphans. The hospitals registered 7,718 PLHIV since inception, of which 242 were registered this year. So far, over 0.33 million specialized health consultations and counselling were provided to PLHIV. Several awareness generation activities were conducted with migrant workers, truck drivers, sex workers, and the general population to sensitize and reduce stigma and discrimination associated with it. Nutritional support has been provided to 1,457 children affected by HIV, besides providing emotional support. This year, 353 individuals were screened for tuberculosis, taking the total screenings to 16,024 since inception. With continuous follow-up and treatment, over 93% of smear-positive cases were cured of the disease.
For the last four years, Reliance has been organizing regional level marriage bureau function at HIV DOTS Centre in collaboration with the Gujarat State Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GSNP+). These functions saw the participation of 2,737 PLHIV from states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, of which 63 couples were engaged.
7. Sports for Development
Reliance Foundation Sports for Development is a platform that nurtures sporting talent from across India into high performers through multi-pronged programmes, and in the process helps India set the bar high in sports.
FY 2021-22 saw Reliance Foundation-supported athletes shine at international and national events, which resumed after being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A carefully guided return to on-ground training and scouting was achieved successfully in some cases even as virtual training and instruction continued.
7.1 Reliance Foundation Youth Sports
Started in 2016, Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) aims to lay a strong foundation for India’s sporting future through the development of sports in schools and colleges. This is being done through inter-institutional competitions at all levels, scholarships for athletes, grants to institutions for sporting infrastructure as well as provisions for equipment and training of coaches. Today, RFYS is a prominent scouting platform for sporting talent in the country and has so far reached out to 90 lakh youth and children across 26 states and Union Territories.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, RFYS continued conducting sessions virtually during FY 2021-22. Thirty virtual sessions on topics specific to football and athletics as well as on general topics such as fitness, nutrition, well-being of athletes, alongside identifying opportunities for growth in sports, were held with the participation of 8,500+ attendees. These included Elite Series Workshops for athletics coaches conducted with experts from the Reliance Foundation Odisha Athletics High Performance Centre (HPC). Additionally, in collaboration with the Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC), 440+ coaches involved in the grassroots efforts of RFYS were trained and certified through 20 digital workshops in multiple languages.
7.2 Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC)
Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) is a football academy that runs a full-scholarship based residency programme to help nurture young talent in India. It was started in 2015 and is now recognised as the best residential football academy in India by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
By setting up a worldclassplatform for training, and with strong emphasis on education, RFYC seeks to establish a robust pipeline of talented players for Indian football. Every year talent is scouted and new players are inducted into the academy. Graduates of the academy have been selected to play for professional clubs. 8,500+ attendees across the 30 virtual sessions on variety of sport training and related topics.
7.3 Reliance Foundation Jr NBA
The RF Jr. NBA initiative aims to tap India’s basketball talent by identifying and supporting development of players during the school years. Since its inception in 2013, the programme has engaged with over 1.1 crore youth from 13,500 schools nationwide and trained over 13,000 physical education instructors.
During FY 2021-22, a 12-week viewing series was organised which saw aspiring athletes interact with NBA and NBA G League players, legends and coaches. With 2,700 registrations, the series had a total digital reach of 3.3 million. Further, a Junior NBA Global Championships virtual clinic was conducted for 20 MVPs identified from the series.
7.4 Reliance Foundation Olympic Initiative
The Reliance Foundation Olympics initiative began in 2019 with an aim to improve the country’s performance at Olympics and other prestigious international events, and to eventually elevate India’s sporting profile and enhance its engagement with the Olympic movement. Reliance Foundation is currently supporting 13 elite athletes under its Athlete Scholarship programme and works closely with coaches, the government and sports federations. Recognising the vital role sports science and medicine play in improving sporting performance, Reliance has dedicated assistance in these areas to the scholarship athletes and to the Athletics National Camps through the Athletics Federation of India.
In FY 2021-22, Reliance Foundation scholarship athletes bagged 12 international and 16 national medals in archery, badminton and weightlifting. Six athletes marked their spots in the India squad for Senior World Championships.
8. Disaster Response
With its topography and unique geographical location, India is highly susceptible to natural disasters. Floods, cyclones and earthquakes have a devastating impact on people, community infrastructure and the local economy. Reliance has a response-ready and experienced team that proactively works to mitigate disaster, minimise damage and enhance community resilience. This is done in collaboration with the government machinery and partners on the ground for early warning advisories and relief to affected communities. When required, rescue and rehabilitation support are also provided.
During FY 2021-22, Reliance Foundation responded to eight natural disasters supporting communities affected by floods and cyclones across 260 districts of 18 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and two Union Territories, namely Puducherry, Daman & Diu.
8.1 Cyclone Tauktae
Cyclone Tauktae, which developed in the Arabian Sea in the second week of May 2021, hit the western coastal areas of Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and the hinterland states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh between May 17-19, 2021. Other states like Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Uttarakhand also experienced heavy rainfall. Tauktae affected the livelihoods of many by damaging property and infrastructure. Reliance Foundation Information Services, through its mobile audio services reached more than 4,35,000 people across these states with information on heavy rainfall, high wind, high wave, thunderstorm and lightening, pre- and post-cyclone cautionary measures on the management of agriculture, livestock, fisheries, harvested grains and provided emergency contact numbers. Over 2,79,000 people across seven states (Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan) received precyclone advisories. These included cyclone forecasting, pre-warning on heavy rainfall, thunderstorm and lightening and other safety precautions in partnership with IMD, Agriculture Universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, line departments, Fisheries Department, INCOIS and the district administration.
8.2 Cyclone YAAS
Category 1 Cyclone Yaas intensified around the same time as Tauktae Cyclone in 2021. Hitting the states of West Bengal and Odisha, this cyclonic storm lashed the eastern coast of India with ferocious wind and rain as it made landfall in Odisha, damaging homes and affecting the livelihoods of many. Reliance Foundation’s Information Services reached over 6,90,000 individuals across five states. Over 5,90,000 people received pre-cyclone alerts across five states to prepare and safeguard their livelihoods, while over 3,30,000 people received post-cyclone crop and fish pond management advisories across three states.
8.3 Maharashtra Floods
A series of floods took place across Maharashtra in 2021. Heavy rainfall beginning July 22, 2021, hit the western districts of Maharashtra causing widespread damage to farms and infrastructure, disruption in communication and displacing families and livelihoods. The entire population of two villages, 100 families. in Ambavali, Ratnagiri district and 261 families in Kurle, Raigad district were evacuated and shifted to safe shelters in their villages due to landslide risk. Reliance Foundation distributed food kits and other essentials to all the families sheltered in safe places.
The Reliance Foundation Disaster Management Team initiated its flood response between July 28- August 18 for people affected by the floods in Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Raigad and Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra. Ready-to-eat food packets such as biscuits, namkeen (savoury snack), water bottles (1 lakh each) and essentials such as sanitisers (more than 34,000), masks (over 22,000) and blankets (more than 15,000) were distributed to farmers, daily wage labourers, street vendors and industrial workers. The relief work supported 35,000 households and was undertaken in association with the District Disaster Management Agencies, partner NGOs and volunteers in coordination with Reliance Retail and Jio.
9. COVID-19 Response
The COVID-19 pandemic, which brought unprecedented health and humanitarian challenges for India and the entire world in 2020, intensified during the second wave in 2021, hitting people’s health and lives hard. Responding to this, the entire Reliance family stepped forward to support the nation in its hour of need. Right from the very start of the pandemic, Reliance came together to meet immediate needs and new challenges, scaling up as the pandemic intensified, especially during the second wave.
Even as the nation and the world faced the health and humanitarian crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Reliance took various CSR initiatives to support the nation ranging from testing facilities, PPE manufacturing facilities and COVID-19 special wards for healthcare, all of which were urgent needs. Reliance also arranged for meals to meet emergency food requirements of the most vulnerable.
9.1 Mission Oxygen
Providing crucial support to the nation to meet a sudden shortage of medical oxygen for COVID-19 patients, especially during the second wave, Reliance repurposed its factory in Jamnagar in record time to produce liquid medical oxygen. This was ramped up to meet the life-saving needs of 1,00,000 patients on a daily basis, delivered free of cost to various states. The facility contributed to 11% of India’s total production of medical grade liquid oxygen.
Though Reliance was not a manufacturer of medical-grade liquid oxygen, it became India’s largest producer of this life-saving resource from a single location in order to stand with the country in its hour of need. Under the personal supervision of Mr. Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, the manufacturing facility at Jamnagar in Gujarat was repurposed to produce over 1,000 MT medical grade liquid oxygen and increase transportation capacities. This twopronged approach helped ensure swift and safe supply to various states and Union Territories across India.
Another crucial need was transportation capacity. Reliance airlifted 32 ISO containers and additionally augmented transportation capacity for the country. This was done in partnership with the Indian Air Force, Aramco and bp for sourcing and transportation. This helped fulfil a critical need in assured availability of medical grade liquid oxygen for the treatment of severely ill patients across the country. As part of Mission Oxygen, Reliance came together to help save lives, pulling all its facilities together for the nation.
9.2 Mission Anna Seva
Reliance Foundation launched its key initiative, Mission Anna Seva – a pledge to serve Indians with the mission of providing meals. Mission Anna Seva became the largest meal distribution programme by a corporate foundation anywhere in the world, supplying vulnerable communities with cooked meals, ready-to-eat food packets, food coupons, dry ration kits across 19 states and 4 Union Territories under this mission. This was facilitated by the expansive support of the Reliance Retail team across the country along with volunteers and partner organisations. A network of 200+ partners engaged in similar hunger alleviation programmes helped deliver relief kits and bulk rations for distribution among vulnerable people.
Mission Anna Seva was also a lifeline for people returning to their native places from cities. Volunteers from across Reliance work sites in Mumbai, Silvassa, Vadodara, Patalganga, Hazira, Jhajjar, Shahdol, Jamnagar, Dahej, Barabanki, Nagothane, Gadimoga and Hoshiarpur distributed meals in their respective locations as well.
Overall, 8.5+ crore meals were delivered to support marginalised communities, daily-wage earners and frontline workers across the country. A large network of NGOs, comprising 200+ partnering organisations, helped reach those most in need. The programme reached frontline workers carrying out essential COVID-19 services besides daily wage earners and migrant labourers, slum-dwellers, factory workers, and old-age home and orphanage residents.
Meals were also distributed among truck drivers transporting essential items, who found it difficult to access food as restaurants were shut due to the lockdown. Reliance petrol stations in West Bengal, Kerala and Odisha also reached out to distribute meals to truck drivers
9.3 Mission COVID Infra
To help meet the sudden demand for specialised healthcare facilities during COVID-19, Reliance Foundation set up medical, quarantine and intensive care facilities, providing for over 2,000 COVID-19 hospital beds across different locations in India. These included a dedicated COVID-19 care facility at the National Sports Club of India, Worli, Mumbai, managed by the Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital, and Gujarat’s first paediatric COVID-19 hospital at Jamnagar.
To ensure uninterrupted emergency services, Reliance provided free fuel to government notified vehicles and ambulances to ease the transportation of COVID-19 patients. Reliance Foundation provided over 27 lakh litres of free fuel, supporting 70,000+ ambulances across 332 districts in 21 states and 3 UTs. The mission to distribute free fuel for ambulances across 21 states was taken up between May and September 2021 during the second COVID wave, providing a muchneeded boost to emergency response services.
9.4 Mission COVID Suraksha
To raise awareness on prevention and safety, Mission COVID Suraksha focused on the distribution of 1.4 crore masks across India to frontline warriors and communities across 26 states and Union Territories, along with raising awareness on the importance of COVID-safe behaviour. Reliance Foundation in co-ordination with Reliance Retail distributed masks to police personnel and municipal workers in several parts of the country.
While continuing to spread awareness on COVID prevention through personal protection, distancing and hand hygiene, Reliance provided protective equipment, from masks to PPE kits, to frontline workers and others with high risk of exposure. In addition, over 9.5 lakh sanitisers, 5+ lakh ORS packets and 2+ lakh gloves were distributed across 20 states and Union Territories. In Jamnagar alone 50,000 numbers each of PPE kits, N95 rubber gloves for medical examination were handed over to the Guru Gobind Singh Hospital.
9.5 Mission Vaccine Suraksha
To boost the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination drive, RIL also launched Mission Vaccine Suraksha in April 2021, as a mark of commitment to protect the larger community. Mission Vaccine Suraksha enabled free COVID-19 vaccination across the country, covering communities, employees and families across the country. Vaccine doses were also provided through outreach efforts to vulnerable communities in different locations
Reliance collaborated with local authorities and governments through its Mission Vaccine Suraksha initiative under the overall ‘We Care’ umbrella. This included free vaccination doses provided to the governments of Kerala, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra besides various other national and regional organisations to speed up the vaccination drive.
Mission Vaccine Suraksha aimed to reach every last mile resident, including people with disabilities, the elderly, homeless and those in far-flung locations, with free COVID-19 vaccination. This initiative continues as vaccination is still the only available protection from coronavirus, thus contributing towards the country’s vaccination mission. Reliance Foundation also conducted vaccination drives across India such as in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala, among other states. These drives supported several vulnerable groups in accessing COVID-19 vaccination.
The CSR activities have brought Reliance closer to their goal of bringing about transformative change. The social projects have touched almost every part of India, and Reliance aims to further intensify its efforts, especially through digital technology and touch more lives across India.