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 some of their latest CSR projects in the State.
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, has kickstarted implementation of 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.
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.