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Top CSR Projects in Meghalaya

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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.
The Northeast region of India received the least amount of CSR funding, with Assam receiving the most at Rs 319 crore in FY 22. The other states received between Rs 100-130 crore each, which is significantly less than the top five states that received over 35% of the total CSR spending of Rs 14,558 crore. A major reason behind this discrepancy is that most companies are located in commercial centres of India, and hence the negligence towards Northeast when it comes to allocation of CSR funds.
A handful of public and private sector companies are actively engaged in corporate social responsibility. Here are some of their latest CSR projects in the State.

CSR for Digital and Financial Literacy – Dalmia Bharat Foundation

Dalmia Bharat Foundation (DBF), the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Dalmia Cement Ltd, is empowering marginalised communities through digital and financial literacy initiatives in Meghalaya. The projects entail a variety of training programmes tailored for men, women and youth to enhance their digital skills and improve their income prospects.
One of their notable digital literacy endeavours is the ‘World on Wheels’ (WoW) programme, which involves equipped buses with digital literacy labs to provide e-education and digital resources in rural areas. Additionally, the Common Service Lab (CSL) in Lumshnong hosts special sessions focused on digital and financial literacy modules. These initiatives have made a significant impact, positively transforming the lives of over 250 individuals and paving the way for sustainable livelihoods, as per an announcement.

Infosys Foundation – Girls STEM Education Programme

With the backing of Infosys Foundation, Avanti Fellows launched the Girls STEM Education Programme, aiming to offer free engineering and medical test preparation assistance to female students. In Fiscal Year 2023, the organization placed its focus on educating girls in Meghalaya and several other states of India and North-East India including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Sikkim, and Nagaland.
To equip the students with the necessary skills, the programme provided them with 6-12 hours of intensive test preparation classes on a weekly basis, conducted outside regular school hours. Weekly assessments, spanning 1-3 hours are also conducted.
Alongside the test preparation classes, the students were provided with JEE/NEET online learning resources, class recordings, mock tests, and orientation sessions. These resources aimed to maximize the utilization of Avanti’s technology platform, enabling students to access online sessions and weekly assessment tests effectively. Through these sessions and tests, students were equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to manifest their academic aspirations and pursue their desired careers.

CSR of Universal Sompo for healthcare

Universal Sompo General Insurance Company Ltd, as part of its societal commitment towards healthcare development, has extended critical medical infrastructure in Shillong. The company announced that they have provided three Haemodialysis Machines, two Cardiac Monitor Machines, one Ultrasound Machine, and two Dialysis Couches to the Civil Hospital in Shillong.
Shillong Civil Hospital is the largest hospital in the state of Meghalaya in both the State Government sector as well as in Private Sector. This has multi-faculty facilities for the patients such as medicines, surgery, orthopaedic, E.N.T., ophthalmology, cardiology, Dentistry, Psychiatrist, Radiology etc. With its various facilities, the hospital serves as a lifeline to the people of Shillong and beyond.

Kia India’s tree plantation programme

Kia India, one of the fastest-growing carmakers in India, is implementing its national community initiative Uphaar to create impact at grassroot levels. The initiative is aligned with Kia’s global CSR vision of a ‘clean environment’ and a ‘free and safe movement’ for building a sustainable world. Uphaar is a tree plantation programme initiated to extend support to the marginalised agrarian community and combat climate change. The project is active in Meghalaya and 14 other states of India.
Uphaar is a tree plantation programme initiated in association with Sankalptaru Foundation. The project envisions combating climate change to prevent the negative consequences on nature and humankind. By rendering support to marginalised agrarian communities, the focus is on rejuvenating the farmlands into green areas at various locations.
The plantation will not only act as a carbon sink and aid in curtailing greenhouse gases and carbon emissions but also extend support to the underprivileged farmers by bolstering their livelihood opportunities and well-being. Under this project, Kia India aims to plant 150,000 fruit tree saplings (Apple, Peach, Guava, Orange, Lime-orange, and Coconut) in the 15 states.

Bharti Foundation’s Satya Bharti Quality Support Progamme

Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises is working on its Satya Bharti Quality Support Progamme, to help improve the schooling experience in 30 government-aided schools in Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya, for a period of three to five years.
The Satya Bharti Quality Support Progamme is the foundation’s flagship program initiated in 2006; with the aim to improve the over-all schooling experience in Government-aided schools in partnership with the State Governments, with a special focus on the girl child. The programme supports children, teachers, parents and administrators to transform schools into vibrant and integrated institutions of learning and ensuring holistic development by bringing in co- scholastic interventions.
The core-philosophy of the programme is that if schools become an engaging and happy space, it would result in holistic development of students as they acquire leadership, communication, collaboration, and other 21st Century skills along with learning. Broad intervention areas are students’ empowerment, parents & community involvement, school leadership & teachers’ engagement, and school environment.

Himalaya Wellness Company’s plantation drive

Himalaya Wellness Company, one of India’s leading wellness brands, has partnered with the Society for Environment and Biodiversity Conservation (SEBC), to plant saplings of indigenous trees in Meghalaya, across the Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats and Karnataka. Through this initiative, the company aims to preserve and maintain the biodiversity-rich forests of these regions.
They have recently planted 100,000 saplings in addition to the 800,000 planted since 2012, with over 89 tree species, including rare-endangered-threatened species. Along with bringing back the lost flora and fauna and setting up ecological balance, this afforestation program is expected to help improve soil moisture locally over a period. Himalaya’s continued collaboration with SEBC reinforces its commitment to preserve the ecosystem and lead the mission towards a greener planet.
This program also creates awareness among the local community about the landscape and provides them with employment. Some of the native saplings include Ashoka, Neem, Bamboo, Fig, Guggulu, Meshwak, Peepal, and Moringa.

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.

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.