The sun, sand and beaches of Goa present a rosy picture that is far from the truth in the hinterland. The State of Goa is rich in natural resources and forest land. It has a good forest cover of 34% against the national requirement of 33% and nearly 62% tree cover, but unemployment is so rampant, it has reached a crisis level.
CSR in Goa is helping improve employment and livelihood. Vedanta Sesa Goa Iron Ore and the House of Dempo are giving students a better shot at sports glory and quality education, for example. Despite the thriving tourism industry, the hospitality sector is largely absent from corporate social responsibility in this friendly state. Here are some of the top CSR projects in the state.
Sesa Football Academy by Vedanta Sesa Goa
Vedanta Sesa Goa Iron Ore is committed to foster skill development through sports and the Sesa Football Academy (SFA) has been doing this since its inception in 1999. SFA was developed on reclaimed Sanquelim Mine with a vision to become a premier academy in India for developing quality footballers.
The academy identifies talented youngsters who are passionate about football, inducts them into the residential programme at the academy and over a period of four years, nurtures and develops them as professional footballers and well-disciplined citizens.
SFA has two campuses: Sanquelim campus, which was established in June 1999; and Sirsaim Campus which was established in June 2008. Exhaustive training comprising physical, psychological, technical and tactical aspects are imparted along with taking care of their nutritional needs.
SFA has groomed around 200 footballers and has made a tremendous impact on the football fraternity across the country. Most of its alumni have gone on to represent the National team, I-League clubs of India and prestigious football clubs across the nation. SFA has expanded its reach through Vedanta Football schools. In order to provide the platform to women footballers. Vedanta Women’s League was launched in collaboration with Goa Football Association. The league is gaining popularity with the successful completion of 3 editions reaching out to over 300 aspiring footballers.
ZACL Livelihood Centre
ZACL (Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd) was founded by eminent industrialist Late Dr. KK Birla in 1967. The products of Zuari are sold by the brand Jai Kisaan. Community development is central to the CSR of ZACL. Zuarinagar in Goa has a floating population of migrant families from the neighbouring states of Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, primarily dependent on daily wage occupations in the nearby industrial area. The skills gap study conducted by ZACL captured youth aspirations for training and registered high demand for tailoring, electrician, commuters skills, beautician training, and spoken English.
The company then established the ZACL Livelihood Centre (Jeevanaadhar Kendra) in Zuarinagar. It provides skills training to local youth in four marketable trades viz. Retail Sales, Domestic Electrician; Data Entry Operator; and Tailoring. The initiative is being implemented by Sambhav Foundation (a Labournet Initiative) following a 120-hour curriculum approved by National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC). The facility aims to skill youth living around the plant, and provides post training support for placement/employment.
Agri Cooperative Project by Goa Shipyard Limited
In the hinterland of Goa, almost 80% of the population is engaged in agriculture, but due to inadequate irrigation facilities, agricultural activities are undertaken principally during monsoons and farmers are able to harvest only one crop a year; this limits employment opportunities of agricultural labour. Villagers are not engaged in extensive cattle farming, dairy or poultry and most of these products are imported from neighbouring states. Inadequate irrigation facility, small land holding, and absence of agriculture extension services as major gaps in the system.
To change this scenario Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) undertook a long term CSR project in Khotigao and Gaondongri villages in Canacona Taluka in December 2012. TISS Mumbai (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) was the implementing agency for the project. They set up farmer group within hamlets and enabled the creation of a village-level federation that will be run by the members with the support of GSL. The team helped the local farmers adopt several allied activities through a series of training programmes, infrastructure support activities and field support. Collective Marketing of the produce generated by the farmers in order to secure the best possible price was another intervention.
Since the inception of the project, both the cooperative societies were able to produce 60 tonnes of vegetables and 45 tonnes of vermicompost. The Directorate of Tribal Welfare Department awarded Pradnyawant Puraskar to the Chairman of the Sanjivani Self Help Group of Gaondongri Collective Farming Co-operative Society for outstanding service in the field of Agriculture.
Higher education support by Dempo
The Dempo Business House is a leading corporate house of Goa. They have supported individuals and institutions associated with the arts and culture, sports, with a special focus on education. The Dempo Charities Trust manages four educational institutions in Goa: Dhempe College of Arts and Science – established in 1962 at Miramar, Srinivassa Sinai Dempo College of Commerce & Economics established in 1966 at Altinho, Vasantrao Dempo Higher Secondary School of Arts & Science established in 1975 at Miramar, Voicuntrao Sinai Dempo Higher Secondary School of Commerce established in 1975 at Miramar.
The institutions of Dempo Charities Trust are affiliated to Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Examinations and Goa University. Former trustee, late Vasudeva V. Dempo’s contribution to education and research in Goa is tremendous. Apart from managing these educational institutions, CSR of Dempo also provides annual scholarships and total financial assistance amounting to Rs. 5 lakhs to deserving students at the institutions and also students from across Goa.