The ciy of Agra in Uttar Pradesh is home to one of the modern wonders, the Taj Mahal. So overwhelming is the ethereal beauty of this marble mausoleum that Agra is known as the ‘City of the Taj’. Yet, it doesn’t take much for a curious traveller to discover that there’s more to this overpopulated city, which stands on the banks of the Yamuna river. You can visit Agra Fort, Akbari Mahal, Kanch Mahal, Anguri Bagh, Fatehpur Sikri, Jama Masjid and dozens of other majestic sites, each with its own slice of history.
Agra city is famous for its leather goods, handicraft, zari and zardozi embroidery, marble and stone carving inlay work. Foodies flock to this city for the famous sweet called Petha and trademark snacks Dalmoth and Gajak. Due to its proximity to the nation’s capital New Delhi and a destination for international visitors because of the Taj Mahal, the city has developed as a tourist centre, educational hub and footwear industry hotspot over a period of time. Meanwhile the district is divided into 6 Tehsils and 15 Blocks. There are 904 villages in Agra district.
The Agra district received a total of Rs. 9.08 Cr. in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds from 39 companies in FY2020-21. The top three sectors of focus for CSR initiatives in the district were Education, Health, and Gender Equality, which received Rs. 4.59 Cr., Rs. 3.23 Cr., and Rs. 0.29 Cr., respectively. The top three spenders in the district were Vacmet India Limited (Rs. 2.72 Cr.), ACPL Exports Private Limited (Rs. 0.65 Cr.), and Romsons Group Private Limited (Rs. 0.63 Cr.).
Top CSR Projects in Agra
The economy of Agra district is primarily agriculture-based while the economy base of the city relies on Small Scale Industries, commerce and trade. CSR in Agra is driven by footwear, tech and FMCG companies. There is more scope for corporate citizenship programmes revolving around tourism, art and craft in this region which has a rich cultural milieu. Here are the top performing CSR projects in Agra.
Community Kitchen – Dawar Group
Dawar Group was founded on a modest scale in Agra back in 1977. The company went on to become a respected maker of sustainable footwear. The Group works with the Saksham Dawar Memorial Trust to implement various CSR initiatives for the underprivileged and homeless. The Trust has a central kitchen facility to provide meals in Agra. Backed by a state-of-the-art kitchen that is fuelled by solar powered-panels, the Eco Kitchen leaves behind a low carbon footprint and delivers cheap and hygienic food for low-income families in the city. Dawar Group operates the central kitchen, where 20 of its staff are employed.
Yamaha Training School
Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha’s first YTS (Yamaha Training School) was started in Agra – at Dayalbagh Educational Institute in the year 2013. It is one of the most successful programmes for employability and CSR in Agra. At Yamaha Training School (YTS) economically weaker youth, school dropouts receive 2-wheeler technical training that will empower them with skill sets to become expert 2-wheeler technicians and thereafter, they could be employed at Yamaha Dealerships and live a life of dignity. The Yamaha Training School with ASDC Certification is recognized by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship.
Covid Hospital – AFMEC
The Agra Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Council (AFMEC) have started operating a 350-bedded Covid hospital during the second wave on the outskirts of Agra district. It took 15 days to make the hospital operational at the trade centre of AFMEC at Seengna on Agra Mathura road, about 20 kilometres from Agra city.
This hospital was built in public private partnership (PPP) with the local government. The district administration will provide 18 doctors to serve the patients admitted here. The Additional chief medical officer (ACMO) and deputy CMO are responsible for the Covid hospital and Dr Jitendra Lavania from the health department has been named as the nodal officer. Sixty beds of the hospital will have oxygen line connection, oxygen concentrator at 200 beds and 15 beds in the ICU.
Audio Odigos – ResBird Technologies
ResBird Technologies based in Haryana offers software solutions and products that facilitate operations of travel agencies. The company put its expertise to use for a corporate social responsibility initiative for tourism, in partnership with the government. ResBird built the app Audio Odigos for tourists of Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri in Agra under the ‘Adopt a Heritage, Apni Dharohar Apni Pehchan’ scheme of Ministry of Tourism. The app offers verified content, with visuals and voiceover support. With Audio Odigos, tourists can enjoy a more enriching experience and take back historical insights of the Indian culture and heritage.
The Audio Odigos app contains an inbuilt map of the site for smooth navigation during the tour. It is also made available for other iconic sites in India including Chandni Chowk, Red Fort, Purana Quila, Humayun’s tomb, Khajuraho and Mahabodhi Temple. Listeners are offered various versions of history through Synopsis, Detailed History and Podcasts. The audio can be chosen in their preferred language and version.
Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and State Governments / UT Administrations. It aims at involving public sector companies, private sector companies and individuals to take up the responsibility of making our heritage and tourism more sustainable through world-class tourist infrastructure and amenities at ASI and State heritage sites and other tourist sites.