Blessed with natural beauty and organic resources, Meghalaya has the largest variety of orchids among all the States. It is famous for rare medicinal plants, spices and fruit varieties. It has a predominantly agrarian economy with a significant commercial forestry industry. The State is also geographically rich in minerals and has the potential for industrial setups based on these mineral resources.
The Meghalaya Industrial Policy is framed for the ease of doing business and increase trade and commerce. The added advantage being the climate there is good for the development of electronics chips. A number of power, mining and cement companies have their operations in this State. Yet, CSR in Meghalaya gets the cold shoulder when it comes to funding and implementation.
A handful of public and private sector companies are actively engaged in corporate social responsibility. Here are their top projects in the State.
Power Grid Corporation’s Telemedicine Centre
Power Grid Corporation of India Limited is India’s largest electric power transmission utility. This Maharatna PSU operates under the Ministry of Power. Under its CSR scheme for healthcare, Power Grid opened a telemedicine centre in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, during the first wave of the pandemic. The Shillong and Sohra centres of Ramakrishna Mission (RKM), in collaboration with NEIGRIHMS, are managing the medical facility.
This is the first telemedicine clinic managed by an NGO in Meghalaya. The cost of the CSR project is Rs. 49.47 lakhs that went into a Mobile Medical Van and equipment for setting up two Teleconsultation Centres. This initiative provides the facilities for medical consultation initially in collaboration with North East Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Shillong (NEIGRIHMS). Medical facilities in specialised domains like neurology, oncology, dermatology, ophthalmology, gynaecology, cardiology, dental, pediatrics, ENT, urology and psychiatry will be provided.
NEEPCO Cold Chain Equipment
North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) is an electrical utility company that is active for CSR in Meghalaya. In the COVID vaccination drive, NEEPCO is entrusted with the responsibility to provide Cold Chain Equipment to the State of Meghalaya. Under its CSR scheme, NEEPCO is providing CCE equipment to Ribhoi, East Khasi Hills, East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills District, and to State capital Shillong.
HDFC Bank Parivartan HRDP
Meghalaya’s rural population is heavily dependent on natural resources for their livelihood. However, unplanned and unsustainable usage has led to an imbalance in the distribution of these resources. With this in mind, Parivartan under HRDP (Holistic Rural Development Programme) has mainly worked on livelihood promotion through various skill training programmes.
420 socio-economically marginalised youth were chosen for skill development and entrepreneurship training in various vocational trades to help reduce unemployment and poverty in the region. These include broom making, beekeeping and pig rearing. As a part of its Sustainable Livelihood Initiative (SLI), Parivartan has also imparted skill training to thousands of women across Meghalaya.
In order to provide an additional source of income to the marginalised families in its project villages, CSR of HDFC Bank introduced capacity building sessions and established certain enterprises. The team set up 2 weaving centres benefitting 150 households, rice and turmeric processing units in 6 villages, pineapple and banana clusters for 157 households.
Since several villagers had to either walk miles to fetch water or didn’t have any source of clean water, it directly impacted their health. Under HRDP, Parivartan focused on providing safe & adequate water to rural communities in a convenient and effective manner for diverse activities including cooking, washing and sanitation. Over 25 villages have been given water connections and 18 have been provided with household water connections. Additionally, the existing and non-functional water supply connections have also been refurbished.
With these CSR interventions, HRDP has been successfully able to create sustainable communities in over 72 villages across 2 districts in Meghalaya, reaching over 5,497 households.
Covid Relief Measures by LUMPL
Lafarge Umiam Mining Private Limited (LUMPL) donated Rs. 10 lakh towards the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund in Meghalaya, during the first wave of the pandemic. The employees of LUMPL also donated a day’s salary for the distribution of essential commodities to the households of Shella and Nongtrai villages. LUMPL also contributed a substantial amount as donation towards COVID relief for families in the two villages that were left economically vulnerable by the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
LUMPL provided personal protective equipment to ASHA workers and ensured the availability of medicine at the Shella PHC and the dispensary at Nongtrai. Handwashing units were installed at Shella with the support of the SWWO and disinfection of both the villages were undertaken. Moreover, LUMPL partnered with Nangkiewshaphrang SHG, a women’s weaver group of Nongtrai village, to help produce and distribute more than 1000 face masks for the residents in Nongtrai.