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 recently been honoured by the UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
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:
Where does West Bengal stand
As per data from National CSR portal, in the financial year 2020-21, the total CSR expenditure in West Bengal has been Rs 427.44 crores, with a total of 998 companies investing in 22 districts of the state under 10 different sectors.
Top 3 districts
The top 3 districts to get CSR benefits in West Bengal are respectively Kolkata (amount spent towards CSR 139.09 cr), South 24 Parganas (23.38 cr) and Birbhum (10.19 cr). Nadia, Howrah, Paschim Medinipur, Purba Medinipur, Darjeeling, Paschim Bardhaman and North 24 Parganas feature among the rest of the top 10 districts enjoying CSR benefits in the state.
Top 3 sectors
The top 3 sectors in which most of the CSR activities have been performed in the state are
>>Education, differently abled, livelihood (CSR spent 181.66 cr)
>>Health, eradicating hunger, poverty and malnutrition, safe drinking water, sanitation (CSR spent 176.67 cr)
>>Environment, animal welfare, conservation of resources (CSR spent 20.64 cr)
Top 3 companies
The top three companies spending for CSR in West Bengal in FY 2020-21 are respectively Coal India Limited (33.62 cr), Steel Authority of India Limited (10.44 cr) and Bajaj Finance Limited (9.82 cr).
Coal India Limited
Coal India Limited (CIL) is a ‘Maharatna’ company under the Ministry of Coal, Government of India with headquarter at Kolkata, West Bengal. CIL is the single largest coal producing company in the world and one of the largest corporate employers with manpower of 259016 (as on 1st April, 2021). CIL operates through 85 mining areas spread over eight provincial states of India. Coal India Limited has 345 mines (as on 1st April, 2021) of which 151 are underground, 172 opencast and 22 mixed mines.
CIL has eight fully owned Indian subsidiary companies viz. Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), Western Coalfields Limited (WCL), South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL), Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL), Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) and Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL). In addition, CIL has a foreign subsidiary in Mozambique namely Coal India Africana Limitada (CIAL).
Highest spender for CSR activities in West Bengal in the FY 2020-21, Coal India has spent Rs 33.62 cr for the state.
Some of their major CSR activities in West Bengal are:
>>Financial assistance for purchasing equipment for diagnosis and treatment of neurology
>>Procurement of one critical care ambulance along with transport ventilator in Kolkata
>>Assistance for rehabilitation of girls and women in Kolkata’s red light areas
>>Contribution for relief work of Covid-19
>>Rural development projects in Purulia
>>Spending CSR Fund amounting to 2.25 cr. towards development of Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Kalyani in Nadia district
>>Financial assistance for Amphan cyclone relief work including repairing houses damaged due to cyclone Amphan in South 24 Parganas District
>>Spending towards vocational skills development in South 24 Parganas District
Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)
Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is one of the largest steel-making companies in India and one of the Maharatnas of the country’s Central Public Sector Enterprises. SAIL produces iron and steel at five integrated plants and three special steel plants, located principally in the eastern and central regions of India and situated close to domestic sources of raw materials. SAIL manufactures and sells a broad range of steel products.
SAIL’s integrated steel plants include Bhilai Steel Plant (Chhattisgarh), Durgapur Steel Plant and IISCO Steel Plant (West Bengal), Rourkela Steel Plant (Odisha) and Bokaro Steel Plant (Jharkhand). Their special steel plants include Salem Steel Plant (Tamil Nadu), Alloy Steels Plant (West Bengal) and Visvesvaraya Iron & Steel Plant (Karnataka). SAIL also has Chandrapur Ferro Alloy Plant located in Maharashtra.
The Government of India owns about 65% of SAIL’s equity and retains voting control of the Company. However, SAIL, by virtue of its ‘Maharatna’ status, enjoys significant operational and financial autonomy.
Second highest spender for CSR activities in West Bengal in the FY 2020-21, SAIL has spent Rs 10.44 cr for the state.
Some of their major CSR activities in West Bengal include:
>> During FY 2020-21, SAIL contributed an amount of Rs One crore to West Bengal Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for Covid- 19
>> Promotion of education including special education and employment enhancing vocation skills
>> SAIL has been supporting specially abled people and children through provision of equipment like- tricycle, motorized vehicles, callipers, hearing aids, artificial limbs, etc. Some of their contributions in West Bengal include “Durgpaur Handicapped Happy Home at Durgapur and Cheshire Home at Burnpur, Paschim Bardhaman district. Programs like ‘Handicapped Oriented Education Program’ at Durgapur are also being conducted by the company.
>> Providing support to old age homes like Acharya Dham at Durgapur, Paschim Bardhaman district
>>SAIL has adopted, developed and is maintaining a Lepers Colony at Kajora through Durgapur Steel Plant.
>> SAIL is supporting and coaching aspiring sportsmen and women through its residential sports academy at Durgapur (Athletics for girls).
Bajaj Finance Limited
Bajaj Finance Limited (BFL), a subsidiary of Bajaj Finserv Limited, is a deposit-taking Non-Banking Financial Company registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
It is classified as an NBFC-Investment and Credit Company (NBFC-ICC) with the RBI. It is a subsidiary of Bajaj Finserv Ltd. and is engaged in the business of lending, and acceptance of deposits. The Company has a diversified lending portfolio across retail, SMEs and commercial customers with significant presence in urban and rural India.
BFL has two 100% subsidiaries. These are: (i) Bajaj Housing Finance Ltd. (‘BHFL’ or ‘Bajaj Housing’) which is registered with National Housing Bank as a Housing Finance Company (HFC); and (ii) Bajaj Financial Securities Ltd. (‘BFinsec’), which is registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as a stock broker and depository participant.
According to Bajaj Finance Limited’s Annual Report on their CSR activities for the financial year 2020-21, the total amount spent by the company on CSR for the FY 2020-21, is Rs 107.07 cr. Out of this, 9.82 cr has been spent for West Bengal alone, mostly focusing on the Education sector.
Some of their major CSR projects in the state include:
>> Spending towards school for the children for holistic and optimistic learning at Aranghata (Nadia). Duttapukur (North 24 Parganas),
>> Support for non-formal centers at Malda, Coochbehar, South Dinajpur, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad and North Dinajpur districts
>> Night School Transformation Programme in Birbhum district
Other companies spending towards CSR in West Bengal
National Stock Exchange Of India Ltd., ICICI Bank Limited, Orissa Metaliks Private Limited, Emami Limited, Shyam Steel and Power Limited, Larsen and Toubro Limited and Haldia Energy Limited feature among the rest of the top 10 companies spending towards CSR in West Bengal.