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Indian Army’s Social Commitment: A Closer Look at CSR Initiatives

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Indian-Army
 
In the grand narrative of duty and sacrifice, the Indian Army emerges not only as defenders of our sovereignty but as architects of positive change. On this Army Day, we pay homage to the gallantry and resilience of our armed forces and also shine a light on the lesser-known yet profoundly impactful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives undertaken by the Indian Army. These endeavours, rooted in a commitment to serve beyond the call of duty, showcase a side of our forces that goes beyond borders and battles.

Kargil Ignited Minds

In a collaborative effort between Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and the Indian Army, a significant CSR initiative, the ‘Kargil Ignited Minds’ project, was initiated. This transformative endeavour aims to provide a learning platform for underprivileged girl students in the Kargil Region of UT Ladakh, showcasing the Indian Army’s commitment to societal upliftment.
With a mission to prepare 50 deserving female students for various National-level Engineering and Medical entrance examinations, this initiative addresses the unique challenges faced by those residing in the extreme weather conditions of the Kargil region. The selection process involves thorough screening, preliminary tests, and interviews, ensuring that the initiative reaches those who need it most.
At the core of this CSR initiative is a residential coaching program hosted within the Indian Army premises at Kargil. Under the guidance of the ‘Fire and Fury Corps,’ the aspirants will receive comprehensive preparation for exams such as NEET and JEE. Beyond academic excellence, the initiative aims to foster holistic development, encompassing knowledge enhancement, skill-building, and personality development.
The ‘Kargil Ignited Minds’ project serves as a beacon of the Indian Army’s CSR initiatives, emphasizing their dedication to making a positive impact on the communities they serve. Beyond academic endeavours, this initiative is a testament to the Indian Army’s role in nurturing the future generation and fostering comprehensive societal development.

Chinar 9 Jawan Club

In a concerted effort to shape the lives of young individuals and provide a platform for their talents, the Chinar 9 Jawan Club, has been actively empowering the youth of Baramulla.
Established in 2016 through a collaboration between the Indian Army, ONGC CSR, and Research and Extension Association for Conservation Horticulture and Agroforestry (RECHA), an NGO, the Chinar Club aims to empower and support youth in livelihood development. REACHA, registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, partners with the Indian Army to engage youth in skill development, sports, cultural activities, and other programs through the Chinar 9 Jawan Club in Baramulla.
The Chinar Club provides training in diverse domains such as computers, retail, music, and more, enabling students to become self-reliant and financially independent.
Since its inception in 2016 at Dagger Division near District Police Line (DPL) Baramulla, the Chinar Club has transformed the lives of numerous individuals, facilitating job placements and showcasing the talents of young boys and girls across various sectors.
Over the years, the Chinar Club in Baramulla has trained dozens of youth in hospitality and retail, while also nurturing the talents of aspiring singers and performers through various competitions. Recognizing its exceptional corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, the club received its first award in 2019. The second award in 2022 further highlighted the club’s commitment to impactful CSR initiatives.
Notable success stories include Mohsin Khan, a young talent from Dangiwacha, Baramulla, who refined his singing skills at the Chinar Club and went on to win the “Kashmir Got Talent” reality show during the 2021-2022 season, securing a cash prize of Rs 50,000. Similarly, Zeeshan, a graduate of Government Degree College (GDC) Baramulla, underwent training in the retail sector at the club, leading to a job placement at Trends Mall in Srinagar.
Beyond job placements, many youth trained at the Chinar Club have initiated their small units, ensuring a sustainable livelihood. The club has also created employment opportunities for educated youth, with over half a dozen individuals employed at the centre to train and mentor young boys and girls across different sectors.
While the initial response from students was lukewarm, the Chinar Club has witnessed growing enthusiasm as successive batches completed their training and achieved success. Students themselves have played a pivotal role in raising awareness and encouraging their peers to enrol in the club, showcasing the enduring impact of this empowering initiative.

Saksham – Empowerment of People with Disabilities

In a powerful collaboration, the Indian Army joined hands with Spark Minda Foundation, the CSR arm of the renowned automotive component manufacturer Spark Minda, to organize the ‘Empowerment of People with Disabilities Camp’ in Zangli Garrison Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir, from August 21 to 26, 2023. This impactful initiative, a testament to the Indian Army’s commitment to societal welfare, reached over 1000 individuals affected by disabilities, marking a significant milestone in their journey towards empowerment.
With a vision centered on fostering equal growth and development, the camp, organized by the Indian Army in collaboration with Spark Minda Foundation, provided multifaceted support to over 1000+ PwDs. This included the distribution of assistive devices such as Artificial Limbs, Calipers, Crutches, and Hearing Aids. Additionally, the camp facilitated UDID registration, echoing empowerment and inclusivity.
This marked the second successive camp organized by the Foundation in Kupwara and the third overall in Jammu and Kashmir, reflecting the sustained commitment of the Indian Army to this cause.
Since its inception in 2015, Spark Minda Foundation’s “Saksham – Empowerment of People with Disabilities,” a flagship program, has been dedicated to transforming the lives of over 16,000 PwDs. The initiative, supported by the Indian Army, provided UDID support to 1,700+ people and facilitated employment for 1,000+ PwDs across the Spark Minda Group. In Kupwara, a team of 20 members from Spark Minda Foundation, along with Indian Army volunteers, executed the camp.

Project Treedom

Standard Chartered Bank, Indian Army, National Security Guard (NSG) and Bhumi, a non-governmental organisation, have planted 1 million native trees in three locations under Project Treedom to create a greener future. Under this ground-breaking initiative, mass saplings were planted in the wastelands of Ahmednagar in Maharashtra (0.5 mn), Aravalli ranges (one of the oldest geological features on the earth) at Manesar near Delhi (0.3 mn), and dry parched sandy terrain of Jodhpur in Rajasthan (0.2 mn).
Trees of native species planted will help create habitat, promote biodiversity, improve soil health and quality, reverse land degradation, halt land desertification and provide clean water through an intensified water cycle. The high levels of natural cracks and fissures in the Aravalli hills make this mountain range a superior zone for recharging groundwater, which is extremely in the red zone as extraction is three times more than recharging of groundwater. The multipurpose and highly resistant trees planted in humid tropic will also increase production of oil for biofuel, large amounts of oil cake are available for livestock feeding and demanding lesser care in harsh conditions thereby leading to a significant reduction in carbon emission while progressing towards a net zero environment.
In addition to the tree plantation, this project aims to restore seven water bodies and create water sources from wastewater to combat the negative effects of climate change. Desilting of lakebed and gradient slopes; digging and levelling of lakebed; creation and securing of rainwater catchment and lake slopes / bunds; run off slope formation in the catchment areas, creating perching islands, nesting and breeding areas for birds too will be undertaken.