Corporate social responsibility in India is largely devoted to rural areas. However, Delhi is the capital of the nation and the seat of power. Various government agencies and non governmental organisations have their headquarters in Delhi, as so many business corporations, making the capital a lucrative spot for CSR projects.
Top CSR projects in Delhi
Here are the top CSR projects in Delhi that have stood the test of time and had a visible impact.
The GMR Group led Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) is a consortium comprising of GMR Group, Airports Authority of India and Fraport. The consortium has a mandate to operate, maintain, finance, design, develop and manage the Delhi Airport for 30 years with an option to extend by another 30 years. It has truly proven to be a shining example of Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Make in India.
DIAL CSR was initiated in 2006, when the GMR Group won the bid for the Airport. Today, the CSR activities cover working communities neighbouring Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport (Mehramnagar East, Mehramnagar West and Shahbad Mohammadpur); and Savda Ghevra Resettlement Colony (where illegal encroachments from Airport land were rehabilitated). Implementation of various activities under education, health and livelihood training is being carried out directly by DIAL CSR with the technical support of GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF).
Vocational training has been taken up as a flagship programme of DIAL CSR based on the recognition that in order that our demographic dividend really works to our national advantage, youth needs skills so that they are able to participate equitably in the growth of the country. As part of CSR activity, the objective is to cater to the most marginalised sections of the community. Due to the existing limitation of low educational qualification and lack of specific skill set, the unemployed youth, in search of livelihood work as daily labourers in the unorganized sector, with low pay and no rights. Skill training ensures meaningful employment for the youth and thus they will be involved in sustainable livelihood generation with all advantages of the organized sector. Students include youth from SC, ST and economically backward communities.
The target population catered under this project is dropout youth in the age group of 18-30 years The training institute has created a niche for itself in excellent delivery of technical and soft skills. CEL-D is a residential vocational training centre in Delhi with a capacity to train approximately 750 youth per year. The centre has well-developed system for mobilization of youth, counselling, training on soft skills, placement and post placement support. A three-stage process is followed to design the entire programme.
Center for Empowerment and Livelihood Delhi, CEL-D was established in September 2009 to provide market-relevant entry-level employability skills training for drop-out youth contributing to Skill India mission of the govt. It provides skill training in 10 different trades in collaboration with credible industry partners. Courses include Basic Electrical and house wiring, Basic Cargo Management, Refrigeration & AC Maintenance etc. All the courses are running in partnership with leading industries like, Volvo, Voltas, ATDC, VDMA, CELEBI etc. There is an 85% average placement rate. The courses require educational qualification from Std. V to graduates.
ReNew Power – Tackling Air Pollution
Over a decade, there has been a rapid decline in air quality across various pockets of north India. In several urban centres across the region, such as Delhi NCR, where emissions from different anthropogenic sources such as construction waste, stubble burning, vehicular waste are high, air pollution becomes especially severe during winter. Burning of crop residues, practiced widely in the north-western states, contributes to the rise in pollution during this period. Burning of biomass in the farms also has a negative impact on the soil and farm ecology.
In 2018-19, ReNew Power joined hands with CII Foundation to work with around 1000 farmers in 7 villages, covering 7000 acres of farmland in Raikot block, Ludhiana district in Punjab, with the aim to make all these villages free from stubble burning. It became one of the top CSR projects in Delhi. Key components of the project included behaviour change interventions involving village-level community interactions and campaigning for farmer awareness; building, developing and implementing participatory village-level action plan.
Supporting adoption of tools and technologies and entrepreneurial ventures for in-situ and ex-situ processing of farm straw was another aspect. A total of 24 machines like happy seeder, rotavator with seed drill, cutter cum spreader were provided as part of the project. These machines were handed over to local farmer producer organization (FPO) for operation and maintenance. The FPO will collect a nominal hiring charge (as decided in consultation with farmers, and considering the market rate) that will be used for the repair and maintenance of these machines. Creation of farmers’ knowledge and capacity on sustainable cropping systems involved farm level demonstrations and training. Village Nigrani Committee is a team of volunteers established to monitor the cases of stubble burning, if any, and undertake immediate community level remedial measures to stop it.
During the initial stages of the project, farmers expressed multiple concerns in adopting new technology and farming practices. With support from scientists from the Punjab Agricultural University and Block Agriculture Office, a number of field level training events were organized to enhance farmers’ knowledge and capacity.
At the end of the rabi season, approximately 89% of the total land became ‘stubble burning free’ as compared to the previous year, when only 3.5% of the land was ‘stubble burning free’. At the onset of the project, farmers were of the view that the cost of adopting these new tools would mean additional cost. Cost of operation realized by farmers for the fields where they adopted mulching with happy seeder has been at par with the cost incurred by farmers in the traditional approach of burning the straw in the field (approx. Rs. 3000 per acre).
The approach also had a ripple effect. According to the Principal of the local high school in one of the target villages, in the year 2018-19 especially during the Rabi season, the incidents of children affected by coughing and other respiratory problems were far less compared to 2017-18 for the same time period.
Honeywell Safe Schools
Honeywell Safe Schools is a school safety programme that brings a tailor-made, child-first approach towards risk reduction, empowering children to become change agents for building resilience in the communities. Funded by Honeywell India and implemented by SEEDS, the CSR programme involves structural assessment of 51 East Delhi government schools by engineers and architects; evaluation of risk perception among children, teachers, and parents; and examination of preparedness in the face of any disaster.
For a community to be disaster-resilient, it also requires reducing underlying day-to-day risks. Therefore, what works is a holistic safety approach that includes innovative tools to encourage behavioural change.
The information, education, and communication (IEC) material employ a set of characters that are easily relatable. These include family members, neighbours, and first responders. This process adopts a Learn-Reflect-Empower approach to allow for maximum impact. Students deepen their awareness about hazards and risks. They analyse their own surroundings. They then take small but concrete action towards reducing the risks around them.
Non-structural mitigation measures are employed to make school buildings safer. Mock drills and creation of school disaster management plans are preparing the schools to respond appropriately if emergencies strike. At the same time, counselling sessions at home and in schools are being regularly organized. Art-based therapy, theatre, and music sessions are helping children overcome fear and speak up against abuse and violence. Finally, an element of advocacy is embedded in the programme.
The concept of ‘risk reduction’, particularly in schools, is still not mainstream in India. The attempt to bring about a culture of safety will be an incremental process that will go beyond the programme area.
Maruti Suzuki – Road Safety
CSR of Maruti Suzuki set up the Traffic Safety Management System (TSMS) in 13 high traffic locations in association with the Delhi police. TSMS uses 3D radars and high-resolution cameras to catch drivers flouting traffic rules. They capture speeding, red-light violation and even those driving on the wrong side of the road, something seen regularly on Indian streets. The digital system has made the work of the Delhi police more convenient since the control room gets the information on violations immediately and can SMS an electronic penalty slip without having to chase the violator down. Thanks to TSMS, Delhi police issued 2.4 million e-penalty slips in FY 2019-20.
As part of the brand’s effort to make roads safe and turn down the accident rate, Maruti Suzuki approached Indeed to strategically design a programme on Road Safety Awareness. Catch Them Young is a one of a kind programme which reaches out to 50,000 students across 52 schools in Delhi NCR. The entire methodology and approach of the programme has been designed after conducting in-depth research to dentify the major accident-prone areas in and around schools.
With an aim to achieve a long-term sustainable impact, the ‘Catch Them Young’ programme focuses on four key objectives namely raising awareness through innovative activities focused on Road Rules, Recognise children as ‘Drivers of Change’, building a safe environment in Schools, and driving linkages and synergies with other initiatives of Maruti Suzuki.
FICCI Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence
The Indian industry needed a ‘one-stop avenue’ that supports the knowledge, information and capacity building needs of CSR professionals/ practitioners, companies, civil society organizations and other stakeholders who could play a critical role in making businesses socially responsible. To address this need of the industry, the Aditya Birla Group came forward to support FICCI in setting up the ‘FICCI Aditya Birla Corporate Social Responsibility Centre for Excellence’ in Delhi. The Centre was formally launched in the year 2010 by then Minister of Corporate Affairs, Salman Khurshid.
The Centre is a joint endeavour of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), a rallying point for free enterprise in India since 1927 and the Aditya Birla Group. As a resource centre, it provides strategic direction to the development of inclusive and holistic CSR practices; creates synergy by providing platform to various stakeholders to share their experiences, learn, exchange ideas and support partnerships that add value to business and recognises and rewards business enterprises contributing towards sustainable and inclusive development.