Recently renamed Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar, Aurangabad in Maharashtra has the distinction of housing two world heritage monuments. Apart from the world-famous Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Daulatabad and Bibi-Ka-Maqbara, the district is rich in monuments of historical and religious significance. This is why Aurangabad is called the Tourist District of India.
Over the centuries, it became a melting pot of cultures since the district is centrally located on the map. It has witnessed the rise and fall of many dynasties such as the Setavachanas, the Vaustokas, the Chalukyas, the Rastrakutas, the Yadavs spanning 15 centuries till the advent of Muslim rule at the end of the 13th century.
Top CSR and Sustainability Initiatives in Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar
Corporate social responsibility programmes in Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar city and district revolve around quality education, healthcare, skill development and rural infrastructure, while sustainability initiatives largely focus on water conservation, the district being known for scarcity of water. Here are some of the most successful CSR and sustainability initiatives in Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar.
Bajaj Water Conservation project
Bajaj Water Conservation project is a flagship programme of Jankidevi Bajaj Gram Vikas Sanstha (JBGVS) in Marathwada region of Maharashtra. The Gangapur taluka of Aurangabad district has been frequently affected by droughts, it received least average rainfall among all talukas between 2001-2011, identified as priority area for water conservation. To address this issue of water crises, Bajaj launched water conservation project in the villages of Gangapur taluka of Aurangabad district. The project is being implemented by the JBGVS and with the help of some partner organizations.
The first phase of Bajaj Water Conservation Project (January 2015 -December 2017) was launched in 51 villages of Paithan, Gangapur Taluka of Aurangabad District.The second phase of the project (December 2017 – March 2022) was launched in 110 villages of Gangapur and Aurangabad Talukas of Aurangabad District. The key activities undertaken during second phase were water resource development, capacity building, livelihood enhancement through alternate livelihoods, soil conservation and plantation, water use efficiency and productivity enhancement.
Sterlite Technologies Ltd’s digital healthcare programme
Optical and digital solutions company STL has implemented a Mobile Telehealth and social behaviour change programme in more than 1200 villages across Aurangabad, Nandurbar, Gadchiroli and other districts in Maharashtra. STL runs its flagship glass, optical fibre and cable facilities in Aurangabad. The company makes extensive efforts towards ensuring the welfare of the communities it operates in, especially rural ones. STL runs various social programmes for education, women empowerment, and healthcare for the underserved in the region.
People living in these rural communities do not get access to quality healthcare services owing to high medical expenses. Through a hybrid healthcare program, STL ensures that they get accessible healthcare services entirely free of cost.
The programme integrates a 24×7 teleconsultation, video consultation and diagnosis and supplements it with physical onsite check-ups, on-call doctors, social behaviour change and awareness efforts and regular specialist health camps for primary ailments. It also maintains digital health records of all the patients so that health-related information is available instantly and securely for future consultation. This delivers scalable last-mile health outcomes for underserved communities. STL has also tied up with nearby hospitals where patients can avail of advanced treatments.
The company recently announced that in the span of over 2 years, the programme has made quality healthcare accessible for over 2 million rural citizens in the region.
STL replenishes 1.4 billion litres of water in 12 villages
On the occasion of World Water Day (22nd March), Optical and digital solutions company STL announced that it has replenished 1.4 billion litres (1.4 million m3) of water in 12 villages of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar (formerly Aurangabad), in Maharashtra, India. The company has designed a water resilience program in partnership with the Village Social Transformation Foundation (VSTF) to improve water and sanitation management in the region.
Aurangabad is a water-stressed region. Women have to walk long distances to fetch water. In summer, reserves dry up quickly reducing water availability. This leads to the need for buying water to meet daily requirements. Village residents spend Rs 50-100 per barrel that can store only upto 200 litres of water. This burdens them with added expenses for agriculture and daily activities.
STL, which runs its flagship glass and optical fibre and cable facilities from Aurangabad, makes extensive efforts around water conservation and replenishment, both in its manufacturing facilities and in rural communities. In Aurangabad, the company declared that they have harvested over 9 million litres of rainwater last year and installed sensor-based sewage treatment, automated dosing systems, and dashboards to recycle wastewater for horticulture. 6 out of 11 STL’s global plants are Zero Liquid discharge certified. Its water management programmes are promoting collective action for addressing water scarcity in the region. This involves forming women-led Self-help groups (SHGs), Farmer Producer Groups, and Water User Groups to augment their representation in local governance plans for village water, sanitation, health, and nutrition committees.
CSR and sustainable initiatives by Škoda Auto Volkswagen India
Leading automobile brand Škoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited has several water Conservation and Environmental initiatives including Building Bhandaras, developing watershed management projects in perennial dry zones in Pune; tree plantation programs in Pune and Aurangabad; Oxygen Park and Water conservation park in Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar, Maharashtra.
For Women Empowerment, Education and Skill Development, the company offers scholarships to engineering students. Its Mechatronic programme caters to in-class and on-the-shop training and vocational training. The company also funds mini science centres in municipal schools in Aurangabad.
The company has installed a new 980 KW Advanced Solar Power Generation Project at the production facility in Aurangabad, solar panels with higher efficiency to generate 1,475 MWh of power per annum, covering 30 percent of the plant’s annual energy consumption – thereby, contributing to 922 tons per annum reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from the production process.
Canpack – Design for Change
Canpack India Pvt Ltd manufactures metal packaging solutions for food, beverage, and chemical industries. Children are exposed to rote-based learning and old school teaching methodologies in their school classrooms. These practices do not equip them in essential life skills necessary for wholesome education. Canpack’s CSR project Design for Change aims to address the lack of holistic development among school-going children. The objective of the programme is to shift a student’s attitude from ‘can I?’ to ‘I can.’
It encourages students to take charge of their environment and act accordingly to instil leadership skills in them. Their classroom sessions are built on four pillars – feel, imagine, do and share. This approach helps the student develop an evolved thought process that prepares them for the future. Several training programmes are conducted for teachers to enable them with the skills to lead classroom sessions effectively and be prepared to handle the unique problems that the students may face. Kids learn innovative thinking, communication, and teamwork through the programme. The sensitisation of students to be able and responsible citizens of the future is a key takeaway from the project.
Canpack-Agastya Mobile Science Lab
Schools in India lack the proper infrastructure for students to get a hands-on learning experience. Most schools require science laboratories, computers, and internet facilities. Lack of resources coupled with old methods of teaching has led to an absence of analytical or pragmatic skills among students. As part of Canpack’s CSR initiative, they partnered with NGO Agastya International Foundation to address these issues for rural students from 5th-10th grades.
The programme is implemented in selected under-resourced schools. A mobile science van reaches these schools once in 15 days, accompanied by two enthusiastic Agastya teachers, to explain scientific and mathematic concepts using the 110 science models and low-cost experiments. This model helps reach students in remote areas. Teachers are equipped in delivering these classes through planned teacher-training sessions. By catalysing local schools and educators, the objective is to improve the classroom’s learning environment to spark curiosity, nurture creativity and instil confidence in the students. Through the efforts of Agastya with the support of Canpack, gaps in the regular school curriculum are filled and teachers undergo a process of professional development.
CARPE Campus Club
Headquartered in Aurangabad, CARPE (Centre for Applied Research and People’s Engagement) designs and implements solutions to civic and environmental challenges in collaboration with government, NGO and funding partners. CARPE Campus Club aims to provide graduate students with job-relevant soft skills necessary for them to procure jobs.
Students are expected to be skilled in diverse domains before they start working, but there is no avenue to prepare them. Hence, Campus Club is a product of extensive research done to underline the requirement to provide exposure and experience to ease the transition of graduates into the job space. College graduates are provided skills essential for professionals, by creating a dynamic environment that enhances their communication, employability and professional skills. This is done through a structured experiential training and mentoring programme that is imparted in a course of eight months. The focus is on soft skills development, and the graduate should feel empowered and ready to join the professional workforce after course completion.
Campus Club is a mutually beneficial project for both employers and students. Students get to work in teams and gain hands-on experience during their stints with live projects, and employers get students with suitable and desired skillsets at the time of recruitment. Students have witnessed a remarkable change in themselves; they are more aware of their surroundings and feel more ready to perform appropriately.
The CSR initiative by CARPE laid down a robust framework on community upliftment to address the problem of migration among farmer families. The issue of income insecurity in the region led to a movement in the area. With Sanjeevani Institute for Empowerment and Development (SIED) as an implementation partner, alternative livelihood, environment, and health were the critical areas addressed through facilitation camps and provision of amenities.
The Thakarwadi initiative empowered farmers through the means of large-scale agronomic interventions, water conservation programmes, animal husbandry, primary education, women’s empowerment, as well as health and sanitation programmes. It involved the community in interactive and instructive ways by spreading awareness about critical issues using audio-visual aids, promoting dialogue among people, and trained important individuals to take up responsibility and leadership. Interventions in farmers’ training, crop demonstrations, soil and water conservation treatments, and tree plantation considerably contributed to the community’s measured approach towards self-reliance and prosperity.
A transformation was seen in their daily lives while instilling in them a sense of pride and independence. As a result, 10,000 community members reaped the sustainable benefits, and multifaceted development across themes brought forth a tremendous change.
Endress+Hauser web-based engg training
Endress+Hauser is a Swiss-based globally operating process and laboratory instrumentation and automation supplier. The company has a plant in Aurangabad that manufactures and supplies electromagnetic flowmeters, Coriolis mass flowmeters, vortex and ultrasonic flowmeters. Initiated back in 2012, the company runs a successful CSR project in Aurangabad that aims to provide web-based training to engineering students. The training familiarises them with the latest technologies and principles used for measuring physical parameters such as level flow pressure temperature, water quality analytics etc., for enhanced understanding and implementation of technical training.
General classes include classroom teaching of technologies, but there is an imbalance observed in the application of such programmes. The programme is based on a self-learning process, where various web-based training modules on different technologies, principles, and their applications in major industries such as chemical, life sciences, food and beverages, oil and gas are made available to the students. They can self-learn through the programme according to their convenience and sit for an online test after completing the module.
After completing all the modules, the students receive a certificate from Endress+Hauser. This training method helps them to enhance their knowledge about the latest technology, and use it in future. The programme has helped students understand how new developments can be practically implemented. They are also provided with the opportunity to visit the factory to witness manufacturing processes and get to know the application of various technologies. The certifications have helped students avail a larger pool of job opportunities.
Endress+Hauser Vocational education
Conventional classroom training does not give the students an opportunity to enhance their practical knowledge, leading to a gap in employability even after certified coaching. Industries need to further invest in training the employees to make them work-ready. Another successful CSR initiative by Endress+Hauser started in 2018 aims to bridge the gap between the available workforce and the need for specific skill sets by providing hands-on training to students with necessary industrial qualifications.
A set of trainers and experienced professionals certified by IHK, a German agency certifying dual education trainers, trained eight students in the first batch towards the creation of skilled manpower who can directly contribute to the shop floor. Innovative methods like web-based training and modern hi-tech workbenches were used to impart education to help towards improving the quality of products and productivity of the industry. This CSR initiative had led to improved employability of students and contributed to the skilled workforce of the country.
Liebherr MIDC Shendra
Liebherr is a German-Swiss multinational equipment manufacturer based in Bulle, Switzerland. The company improved access to water, development and landscaping of the Shendra Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) area in Aurangabad.
Shendra is an industrial area that has many visitors and passengers that use the highway. The area along the road was not maintained and was an unpleasant sight for visitors and passersby alike. It lacked a provision for safe drinking water for a stretch of five-six kilometre. People had to either buy packaged water or consume unhygienic water at local hotels. Under the initiative, the east and west side of the highway junction was landscaped with a 260 sq.m. lawn at the entrance of the Shendra area. The lighting of the area was also improved under the CSR initiative, catering to the safety norms during dark hours.
Access to drinking water was enhanced through the installation of an RO system at the highway junction providing visitors and passersby with free, clean drinking water 24 hours. The maintenance of the highway junction and the landscaped area is regularly undertaken by Liebherr.