The land where milk and honey flow freely, Chandigarh is the capital of the states of Punjab and Haryana. It has the distinction of being a Union Territory at the same time. Chandigarh was the dream city of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru. The expansive city was planned by the famous French architect Le Corbusier, and remains one of the best experiments in urban planning and modern architecture of the 20th century. However, for such a thriving region, female literacy here is low, and so is women’s economic progress. This, along with other challenges that accompany the rapid development of a region, qualifies Chandigarh to be deserving of CSR spending by companies.
In FY2020-21, the Union Territory of Chandigarh received Rs. 13.19 Cr. in CSR funds from 75 companies. The top three spenders in the UT include Scott Edil Pharmacia Limited (Rs. 1.18 Cr.), Coforge Limited and Khandelia Oils (Rs. 1.07 Cr.), and General Mills Private Limited (Rs. 96 Lakhs), according to the National CSR Portal. The top three areas of focus for the CSR initiatives were Health, Education and Environment.
Top CSR Initiatives in Chandigarh
Chandigarh is emerging as a regional hub in the areas of service industry, education, health, information technology, food and vegetable processing etc. Chandigarh’s plan priorities clearly focus on the targets and objectives contained in the National Common Minimum Programme. With a number of hospitals and healthcare companies based here, healthcare gets major funding from CSR in Chandigarh. Here are the top CSR initiatives in the city that have proven to be the most impactful.
Max India – Free Immunization Programme
The Max group of companies’ Pan-India Free Immunization Programme has been a major project since July 2008. Good health starts with correct and complete immunization. Surveys undertaken for children between 0-12 years of age by grassroot level NGOs all over India made it evident that although many government projects are in place, immunization is reaching less than 50% of children.
The purpose of the Immunization programme is to protect children from life-threatening diseases by providing them with vaccines of BCG, DPT, Measles, MMR, Hepatitis B and Typhoid. The camp also forms the basis for a general examination of each child. A number of children who miss out on Government immunization programmes benefit from Max India’s camps.
Ranbaxy – Maatra Shishu Swasthya Sewa
As a part of their CSR in Chandigarh, pharma giant Ranbaxy introduced the mother and child welfare initiative Maatra Shishu Swasthya Sewa in the year 2011. The objectives are reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS and malaria. Mobile healthcare vans with a dedicated group of trained doctors and paramedics are part of the project.
CSR of Ranbaxy trained Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) for providing home-based neonatal care, which is an effective intervention for reducing neonatal mortality. A pool of trained ASHAs from over 100 villages are dedicated to this activity. The ASHAs are not leaving any newborn in these villages deprived of essential neonatal care.
As per repeat population-based sample surveys, there is a significant improvement in the general health profile of the community in respect of their knowledge, attitude and practices for antenatal care, institutional deliveries, breastfeeding, immunisation, prevention of malnutrition and family planning etc. No maternal death has been reported from the project area since the start of the initiative in 2011, making it one of the top initiatives for CSR in Chandigarh.
IDS Infotech – ITI for Girls
In the year 2007, IDS Infotech adopted an ITI (industrial training institute) at sector 11, Chandigarh as a project Centre of Exellence under a government scheme in public-private partnership mode. The goal was to empower young girls in our society. IDS has contributed significantly in introducing job-oriented courses to ensure job placement to the maximum number of candidates. This CSR project trained more than 800 young girls out of which 650 are employed with reputed companies within the Tri-city. Almost 150 have opted for higher education in their respective fields.
CII and Graycell Technologies – Yi Vividha
Team Graycell Technologies is closely involved in the Yi Vividha Learning Centre in Kaimbwala, a village near Chandigarh. The learning centre, situated next to a school has been set up under the Yi Vividha project of the local Tricity chapter of the Young Indians (Yi) Group which is a part of the CII.
The CSR project is aimed at promoting education and child development among underprivileged children through a combination of workshops, books, games and other learning aids. The children have access to the Centre facilities and library which are free. GrayCell has been an active promoter and has been providing monetary and non-monetary support to the various centre activities.
Nectar Polytechnic for Women
The CSR wing of Nectar Lifesciences opened an institute under the name of Nectar Polytechnic for Women (NPW) in 2009 in Dera Bassi, a satellite city of Chandigarh that is surrounding by 90 villages. NPW provides vocational education to underprivileged girls from these villages who want to study but can’t do due to insufficient earnings. It focuses on enrolling girls belonging to poor families, backward classes, migrant labourers and those living below the poverty line.
The young women enrol in courses for Fashion Design & Technology, Textile Design, Beauty & Skin Care, Jewellery Design, Nursery Teachers Training, Stitching & Sewing. NPW is taking trade learning to the women who cannot go to the institute. The faculty is going to the nearby villages of Dera Bassi and providing 6 to 8 month-long certificate courses like Dress Designing and Embroidery Art, Computer Applications and Skin Care as per the interest of the villagers.
CSR in Chandigarh closes the gap between education and economic empowerment in this prosperous city.