Haryana had made notable strides in food production during the Green Revolution era. However, this led to problems in the state such as declining resource base, soil degradation, hydrological imbalances and poorer biodiversity. Corporate social responsibility has tackled these issues through strategic programmes. The most successful programmes on CSR in Haryana have improved rural agriculture, empowered women to be educated and self-sufficient, educated the children and improved rural infrastructure. Here are some of the top CSR projects in Haryana.
Maruti Suzuki’s community initiatives
India’s largest passenger car company Maruti Suzuki is closing its factories in Haryana to make oxygen available for medical needs during the second wave of the pandemic. Rather than the earlier plan of June, it has advanced its bi-annual maintenance shutdown to May 1-9. As part of the car manufacturing process, Maruti Suzuki uses a small amount of oxygen in its factories while relatively much larger quantities are used by the manufacturers of components. In the current situation, they believe that all available oxygen should be used to save lives.
In wake of COVID-19, the company has been undertaking various initiatives for CSR in Haryana to support communities around its manufacturing facilities. During the lockdown, it had distributed 120,000 food packets to the needy. The company was supporting the local administration by providing dry ration kits every day. The kits included daily use items and were being distributed in the nearby villages. Besides, fresh and clean drinking water is available from Maruti Suzuki’s 17 Water ATMs installed across 16 villages. Water ATMs have a capacity to generate over 1,000 litres of potable water per hour.
HDFC Bank – HRDP
HDFC Bank, under its Holistic Rural Development Programme (HRDP) promotes sustainable agricultural & multi-cropping practices, fish rearing, beekeeping and renewable energy sources in the villages of Haryana. Additionally, expanding the work in the space of water conservation, over 4 ponds have been rejuvenated in Mahendragarh, thus facilitating water retention and groundwater recharge. Through HRDP, HDFC Parivartan is working to create sustainable communities in over 84 villages across 8 districts in Haryana, reaching 23,489 households.
The villagers of Shahzadwala and Khilanwala were distressed due to the degradation of the Pathrala river bank, which has caused soil erosion that rendered the adjacent land non-cultivable. To resolve the issue, Parivartan has carried out stone bunding in Shahzadwala and stone pitching in Khilanwala to secure the bank and prevent any further landslides. The watershed activities have ensured that the local farmers can now cultivate their land for many more years to come.
Agriculture in the climatically arid region of Mahendragarh is largely rainfed, thus limiting the scope for financial growth for its farmers. HDFC Bank, in partnership with the SM Sehgal Foundation, hence introduced the cultivation of lemongrass to the area. Endemic to tropical regions, the aromatic herb is much sought-after for its culinary and medicinal uses.
Besides providing assistance with packaging the products, Parivartan also helped the farmers in establishing linkages with nearby markets. Overall, the seasonal initiative yields over Rs. 90,000 in profits for beneficiaries involved.
Due to the lack of availability of water in many parts of Haryana, most of its marginal farmers depend on fertilizers and pesticides to compensate. Recognising the impact of their costs on their livelihoods, solar-powered water pumps are being introduced to many of these farmers in several project villages. These pumps carry the potential to increase agricultural productivity in the long run. Moreover, the decreasing costs of solar panels will soon make this renewable energy system economically feasible.
Social distancing is one of the most effective ways to contain the spread of the coronavirus – however, this simple concept is paradoxically difficult to implement in many rural areas. In partnership with the Centre for Advanced Research & Development (CARD), CSR of HDFC Bank took to painting marks at major public spaces in 13 project villages in Haryana’s Yamuna Nagar district to successfully promote social distancing.
Jindal Kishori Express
Kishori Express is an anaemia control programme for adolescent girls, implemented across 87 villages of Punhana block of Nuh district in Haryana. CSR of Jindal Steel and Power Limited wants to reach out to all the adolescent girls living in these blocks. Kishori Express does so through customized vehicles equipped with an LCD screen, trained staff, sanitary napkins, haemometer, hand-washing kits, IFA tablets, IEC materials.
The project is an innovative intervention as it takes adolescent healthcare, hygiene and awareness to the doorstep by trained service providers in a customised vehicle, which is not only equipped to run the online quiz on life skills, but also with facilities of counselling on nutrition, menstrual hygiene and anaemia control measures. Jindal Foundation helms Kishori Express through regular haemoglobin check-up, awareness creation, as well as nutrition supplementation. At Patratu, the project has been initiated on a pilot basis in 12 villages. The programme was flagged off by Union Minister of Steel, Choudhary Birender Singh at Indri GP, Nuh under the Aspirational District Programme by the government.
Kishori Express is among the top for CSR in Haryana because of its thorough execution. Under the programme, a monthly micro plan is prepared in consultation with ICDS, Health, NHM and District Education Officer to schedule the van to visit the school, AWCs (Aanganwadi Centres) in a structured manner. Haemometer is used to test haemoglobin level as it’s more accurate. The reports are shared with the Government for follow-up of severe anaemic cases, so that the anaemia incidence could go down. Joint visits by JSPL Foundation with Government departments like Health & Family Welfare Department & ICDS, Women & Child Development is taken up for more effective implementation and coverage of the issues. The micro plan and the achievements are discussed at the block level meetings and steps are taken for addressing severe anaemic cases on immediate basis.
Handwashing in schools and AWCs are co-run by our trained staff so that students stay away from infections. Joint visits by the Kishori Express staff are being undertaken to the AWCs/ target sites on the scheduled Village Health Nutrition Days. Such convergence has helped in greater and effective outreach.
Health initiative Panasonic Aarogya involves mobile health care facilities in Jhajjar and Gharaunda villages of Haryana. The mobile health van runs 5 days a week thrice in a month in Jhajjar and 5 days of one week in Gharaunda. The beneficiaries of the project are pregnant women, lactating women and children. Aarogya follows best practices for CSR in Haryana by providing inputs and opportunities for accessible and affordable healthcare services through a Mobile Dispensary. The medical personnel prescribe and dispense medicines on the spot for common ailments, and further diagnose and refer patients in deplorable health conditions to hospitals. Panasonic’s CSR project provides free episodic care at relevant time and location to best serve the target population. Overall, it integrates patients into existing social service and health care systems via referrals.