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Top CSR projects in West Bengal

Dakshineswar Kali temple, established 1855
West Bengal has always been the centre of culture and modernization. The state is home to the age old festival of Durga Puja which has been honoured by the UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2021. The Visva-Bharati University, founded by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore has received the UNESCO World Heritage inscription to become the world’s first living heritage university in 2023. Other UNESCO World Heritage Sites in West Bengal include the Sundarban National Park and the iconic Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
Apart from picturesque tourist attractions ranging from the Himalayan foothills of Darjeeling, the jungles of Dooars, the terracotta temples of Bishnupur, the royal palaces of Murshidabad, the mangroves of Sunderbans and beach destinations in the southern part, the state is also known for its cotton and silk sarees, variety of delicious cuisine and mouthwatering sweets like mishit doi, shondesh and roshogolla among others.
However, geographical proximity to the turbulent waters of the Bay of Bengal often makes the state a victim of cyclones and other natural disasters. This not only hinders the progress of the state but also makes it a destination for various CSR initiatives. Here is a look into the top CSR projects in West Bengal:

Top CSR projects in West Bengal FY 2021-22

Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL)

India’s highest ranked Energy PSU in Fortune-500 list of 2023 (Rank 94), Indian Oil recorded Revenue from Operations of Rs 9,34,953 crore and a net profit of Rs 8,242 crore for the FY 2022-23. One of India’s most socially responsive brands, Indian Oil, has successfully combined its Corporate Social Responsibility agenda with its business offerings.
The Corporation has been partnering with communities in which it operates by supporting numerous initiatives connected with health, family welfare, education, environment protection, potable water, sanitation, empowerment of women and other marginalised groups. Indian Oil Spent nearly Rs 1,800 crore on CSR endeavours during the last four years across healthcare, education, sanitation, skill development, women empowerment and environmental sustainability.
Indian Oil has been focusing on Healthcare, Education and Environmental Sustainability while undertaking CSR initiatives in West Bengal. In the FY 2021-22, the PSU donated a whopping Rs 32 crore for the construction of Phase 2 of Tata Medical Centre Hospital.
When it comes to ensuring quality education, especially to the underprivileged, IOCL runs the Indian Oil Medha Chhatravriti Yojana and Indian Oil Gyanodaya Scheme. The Indian Oil Medha Chhatravriti Yojana aims to facilitate meritorious girl students who topped Class X board exams across 30 state and central education boards. Seventy-five girl scholars identified under this program from every State Board and Central Board of education an avail benefits.
Indian Oil Gyanodaya Scheme provides scholarships on merit-cum-means basis to students pursuing 2-year regular courses in Government ITIs and 3-year regular courses in Government Polytechnic, to incentivize them to perform well. The scheme covers 36 Government institutes (18 ITIs and 18 Polytechnics) near 9 Indian Oil Refinery locations. 50 students per batch are selected from each institute every year. Each student is provided scholarship of INR 1000 per month for the entire duration of the regular course.
Apart from this, the PSU has contributed CSR funds towards construction and expansion of school buildings, toilet blocks, drinking water facilities, provision of ambulance, hospital equipments, and has funded for animal welfare and sustainable farming in the state.

Coal India Ltd (CIL)

Headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal, Coal India Ltd, a Maharatra PSU is the world’s largest coal producer with 622.63 MT Coal Production in 2021-22 and plays a pivotal role in India’s socio-economic canvas.
Coal India’s major CSR initiatives in West Bengal in the FY 2021-22 have been focused on healthcare and education. These include providing Rs 10 crore CSR funds for Linear Accelerator Radio Therapy Unit to enhance affordable cancer treatment facility at Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute, Kolkata and spending Rs 2.50 crore for upgradation of medical equipments at the Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata.
To boost quality education, the coal PSU has donated Rs 55 lakh for the construction of a G+4 school building for underprivileged students at Mayapur, Nadia district of West Bengal.

CSR of PepsiCo Foundation

PepsiCo Foundation in partnership with WaterAid India initiated the ‘Access to Safe Water’ project with 45 Gram Panchayats in West Bengal in May, 2022. The project aims at providing clean water access to high-water-risk communities in the districts of Purba Bardhaman, Bankura, and Hooghly. The project endeavours to positively impact the health, security, and hygiene of local residents.
The prime objective of this project is to benefit close to 200,000 people directly and indirectly, by mid-2024. Initiatives include providing adequate access to safe drinking water in households; improved hygiene and sanitation practices; reduced groundwater depletion through water conservation and recharge and establishing suitable water quality monitoring systems. Besides this, the project also aims to ensure significant awareness of water, health, and sanitation (WASH) issues, scaling up and replication of models outside the project villages/ communities, etc.
Through this partnership, WaterAid India aims to provide communities with sustainable access to safe & clean drinking water and to facilitate the adoption of better hygiene practices.

CSR of Nestlé India

Project Hilldaari supported by Nestlé India, and implemented by PLAN Foundation and technical partner, Recity India has expanded its footprint to Darjeeling in West Bengal. Project Hilldaari has been conceptualized to develop inclusive, contextualised, and resilient models for solid and plastic waste management at select tourist cities of India. The project is currently operational in Mussoorie, Mahabaleshwar, Ponda, Dalhousie and Munnar.
Project Hilldaari in its 5 existing locations across India has diverted more than 27,000 MT of waste from landfill through source segregation. 80% of source segregation has been achieved across more than 20,000 residential and commercial waste collection points. Through Project Hilldaari, over 560 waste workers have trained to become a crucial part of behaviour change interventions. The project has also given them formal recognition with occupational ID, benefits such as health insurance, protective gear necessary for their work and other such benefits.
Project Hilldaari envisions establishing Darjeeling as one of the cleanest tourist cities in India. This can be achieved through positive behaviour change within the city on source segregation and engaging with waste workers to professionalize them with support from local administration.

CSR of L&T Finance Holdings

L&T Finance Holdings Ltd, a leading non-banking financial company, announced the launch of its ‘Digital Sakhi’ project in Baharampur town, located in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district in August this year. The project, part of the company’s CSR initiative, is designed to train and nurture rural women. These women, known as ‘Digital Sakhis,’ then promote women entrepreneurship and digital financial literacy within their local communities, as per an announcement by the company.
L&T Finance Holdings Ltd aims to create a dedicated cadre of 100 Digital Sakhis in Murshidabad. These Digital Sakhis are expected to impart module-based training to the community, focusing particularly on women.
Since its inception in 2017, ‘Digital Sakhi’ has fostered a community of 1,370 trained women, who have upskilled more than 11,000 women entrepreneurs. In the fiscal year 2022-23 alone, the Digital Sakhis trained and empowered over 11 lakh people through the program.
The project stands as a testament to the company’s commitment to social responsibility and the empowerment of women. By focusing on digital literacy and financial independence, ‘Digital Sakhi’ aligns with the broader national agenda of fostering a digitally-inclusive society. Its success in multiple states including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, and Kerala indicates a scalable model that could have a broader impact on women’s entrepreneurship and financial literacy across India.

CSR of Ambuja Cement Foundation

Established in 1993, Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) is the CSR arm of Ambuja Cements Limited. The Foundation has been working to ensure safe drinking water and develop irrigation infrastructure in West Bengal. ACF supports farmers through the provision of scientific inputs, technological advancements, promotion of sustainable farming practices and capacity building of farmers – with an objective to double farmer incomes, improve standards of living, and reduce risks and vulnerabilities. They have partnered with NABARD and the WB Horticulture Department for this programme.
ACF works with preventive and promotive healthcare to bring sustainable change – working on 1000 days intervention, adolescent healthcare, and WASH. In addition, TB, Anaemia, Menstrual Hygiene Management and Malnutrition are other areas of intervention.
By engaging women via SHGs and ensuring their participation, ACF helps rural women have a voice and achieve socio-economic empowerment. Self Help Groups and Village Organisations, along with grassroot women leaders, play a key role in implementing the Women Empowerment Program at West Bengal.
ACF has two Skill and Entrepreneurship Development Institute Centres at Farakka and Sankrail. The main objective of these SEDIs is to secure socio-economic empowerment and career progression of youth through skilling and placement. SEDIs in West Bengal are promoting job roles in trades like Automobile, Sewing Machine Operator, Smartphone Repairing, Beauty & Wellness, Retail, Customer Care Executive, RAC, Eletrical, and Welding.

CSR of RBL Bank

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2023, RBL Bank, under its CSR initiative, Umeed 1000, donated 100 bicycles to the underprivileged girl children in Kolkata. School girls studying at four districts, South and North 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly were given away cycles on Tuesday.
A major reason behind girl children dropping out of school is distance. This initiative aims to provide the much-needed means of transport to increase access to education. The Bank is distributing over 1,000 bicycles and school kits across India, including Kolkata, Hyderabad, Raipur, Chennai, Kolhapur, Guwahati, Siliguri and Goa.