Nestled on the western coastline of India, Gujarat boasts a unique blend of tradition and progress, where ancient traditions coexist harmoniously with cutting-edge industries. The state’s strategic geographical location has fostered a conducive environment for business growth, propelling it to the forefront of India’s economic landscape. Beyond its economic prowess, Gujarat has drawn widespread attention for its commitment to social responsibility, attracting a diverse range of corporations eager to contribute to the state’s development journey.
Gujarat, renowned for its rich cultural heritage and thriving industrial landscape, has emerged as a beacon of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) endeavours in India. With its dynamic economic growth and proactive governance, the state has captured the attention of corporations looking to make a meaningful impact through its CSR initiatives. In the financial year 2021-22, Gujarat secured its position as the second largest recipient of CSR funds in the country, a testament to its growing reputation as a favoured destination for corporate social responsibility undertakings.
In FY2021-22, Gujarat CSR funds amounting to Rs. 1554.16 Cr. from 2292 companies. The top three areas of focus for the CSR programs were: health, education and environment, with an expenditure of Rs. 624.32 Cr., Rs. 515.2 Cr., and Rs. 249.13 Cr. respectively in them. The top three spenders in the state included ITC Limited (Rs. 93.22 Cr.), Maruti Suzuki India Limited (Rs. 36.06 Cr.), and Nirma Limited (Rs. 27.87 Cr.). The top three beneficiary districts in FY 21 were Ahmedabad, Vadodara, and Surat, which received CSR funds worth Rs. 506.05 Cr., Rs. 132.99 Cr., and Rs. 98.67 Cr. respectively.
Top CSR Projects in Gujarat
MG Sewa by MG Motors
MG Motor has today announced that it had signed two MoUs with the Government of Gujarat as part of its community-focused initiatives for students and the general public. The first MoU was entered into with ‘Kaushalya, The Skill University’, a state government institution which aims at making youth ‘Skill Smart’, under the company’s MG Nurture program. The other MoU was inked with Gujarat Labour Welfare Board as part of the MG SEWA initiative. An Ambulance was provided to the Board to help in its outreach of welfare services.
MG Nurture program is a student empowerment initiative that aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry. The program collaborates with 25 colleges and targets upskilling 20,000 students. It focuses on imparting future-ready skills through hands-on training on Electric Vehicles (EV) and Connected Vehicles in engineering colleges and ITIs across India. The initiative aims to not only enhance technical skills but also emphasize soft skills and mentorship, making students ready for future challenges. The program includes internships and real-world experiences, allowing students to gain practical knowledge in a professional environment.
MG Sewa, a community engagement initiative, has been a driving force for societal transformation, promoting diversity, inclusion, and overall development for equitable and collaborative growth. The program has now completed four years and continues to contribute to the holistic and constructive development of the community it operates in. MG Sewa’s initiatives encompass the education of children, skill development, and sustainable employment generation of economically marginalized women, and medical care for the underserved. Its social initiatives also include sanitization of elderly people’s cars during a global pandemic, employment generation for women for enabling sustainable livelihood, support to local healthcare institutions, and so forth. The initiative has supported the education of more than 60,000 girl students so far.
Project Sampoorna by Pepsico
Project ‘Sampoorna ’was introduced in 2018 as a CSR initiative of PepsiCo, in collaboration with Smile Foundation, to make a difference to the status of women’s health. The project was formulated after a baseline study, conducted by Smile Foundation to assess the nutritional status of adolescent girls (14 to 19 years) in the region, revealed that 78% of adolescent girls were anaemic (varying from mild to severe), with 50% girls being moderately anaemic and about 13% being severely anaemic. The survey also revealed that only 17.6% were attending school, with most respondents (49%) dropping out of school after Class 6 or 8. The study further revealed that around 84% of the respondents have never consumed any multi-vitamin or iron-folic acid supplements, and most of them having no awareness of anaemia or ever having checked their anaemic status.
India carries the highest burden of the disease despite having an anaemia control program for over 70 years. Covering 1,000 women from 10 villages in the Banaskantha district, the project has been designed as a pilot program for addressing the prevalence of anaemia among girls. The project tries to introduce behavioural changes regarding proper dietary practices, and help improve nutrition quotient, while also empowering the girls with livelihood capabilities.
The project has so far increased consumption of IFA from 14.3 per cent to 47.9 per cent, consumption of multi-vitamins from 15.10 per cent to 44.4 per cent and consumption of de-worming tablets from 6.35 per cent to 7.24 per cent.
Additionally, there has been a remarkable improvement in the BMIs of the adolescent girls as well. The percentage of underweight girls decreased from 70.2 per cent to 13.8 per cent and those with normal weight increased from 29.5 to 86.1 per cent.
Essar Steel Hemophilia Day Care Centre
Like diabetes, there is no cure for hemophilia but it can be subdued, and major complications can be avoided through regular care. Early detection and treatment is important for people suffering from this condition. The city of Surat is estimated to have at least 600 hemophiliacs, but only around 400 of them are registered. Essar Foundation and Essar Steel Hazira supported the New Civil Hospital in Surat in setting up Gujarat’s first Hemophilia Day Care Centre back in 2015.
The Hemophilia Day Care Centre in Surat addresses the needs of over 600 patients a day. These patients are treated free of cost at the integrated treatment facility, which includes investigation or diagnosis laboratories, counselling for patients and family, physiotherapy and a five-bed day care ward.
Project by KHS Group for Deaf-Blind and MSIs
Deaf-blindness is identified as a different disability with varying degrees of hearing and visual impairment. Individuals with deaf-blindness and MSIs (multi-sensory impairments) also suffer from additional physical and medical conditions and hence experience extreme challenges in performing day-to-day activities. KHS Group worked with Sense India for the CSR programme being implemented in Ahmedabad. It aims to enable people with deaf-blindness and MSIs to reach and maintain their optimal (physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological and social) functional levels. Through the plan, KHS provides educational and rehabilitation services for the PwDs and engages in capacity building of parents, family members and special educators through training. The project also sensitises the government scheme Samagra Shiksha’s teachers and NGO members working in the field of disability in Gujarat. KHS collaborates with Deaf-blind Regional Centres (DbRC), to strengthen, expand and develop opportunities to ensure that a higher number of people with deaf-blindness can lead a good quality life.
The CSR project promotes community-based rehabilitation and inclusion of children and adults with deaf-blindness. The rehabilitation team comprises a special educator, vocational trainer, physiotherapist, and occupational and speech therapist.
Through various awareness sessions, the programme has led to enhanced sensitisation and advocacy for the rights and needs of people with deafblindness and MSIs. Over 180 special educators, 59 para-medical professionals, 28 Anganwadi workers and 30 NGO professions have undergone capacity building training in 2019. Approx. 241 teachers associated with the Samagara Shiksha mission have been trained for the identification and inclusion of children with deaf-blindness in mainstream schools.
Cadila Pharma’s Kaka-Ba Hospital
Kaka-Ba Hospital is the CSR initiative by Cadila Pharmaceuticals. The hospital was set up in 1985 with a vision for it to play a pivotal role in multi-fold, holistic rural development, impart the latest and quality medical services, create health and hygiene awareness, education and welfare of women and children. In the last three decades of its existence, Kaka-Ba Hospital has been imparting quality healthcare services. To date, the hospital has treated more than 6 lacs patients and has saved hundreds of valuable lives.
Cadila pharma has always been active in terms of its CSR initiatives. At the time of COVID-19, the company was engaged in various initiatives to aid the government in its fight against the pandemic. In the early phase of the pandemic, it collaborated with Gujarat Police and distributed masks and sanitiser bottles to the police team. Later as the food crisis started because of the lockdown, it distributed essential kits to about 400 families. Last year, it collaborated with Akshay Patra Foundation to reach midday meals to about 3000 students at their homes.