Nagaland is a border state of India with a majority of its population consisting of tribals. The state is considered to be an eco-sensitive zone for its role in supporting unique biodiversity. Because of this, as well as some other political factors, the state of Nagaland has not benefitted from development making it highly deserving of CSR investments. However, according to the National Corporate Social Responsibility Data Portal, Nagaland is not a preferred ground for undertaking CSR activities by the corporates in India.
In FY 2020-21, the state received a cumulative of Rs. 3.57 crore of CSR funds. A total of 11 companies carried out their CSR projects in the state. The CSR initiatives were carried out in a total of four sectors – Environment, Health, Rural Development and Education. The largest CSR spender in the state was HCL Technologies which spent Rs. 2.42 crores, which is more than half of the total CSR funds spent in the region.
With an aim to attract more CSR funds, the State of Nagaland hosted a three-day CSR conclave starting on Monday, 22nd August 2022. The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the conclave and inaugurated 52 projects to be sponsored by various companies in Nagaland as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. Most of the projects are related to health, education and skill and entrepreneurship development. Lamenting that Nagaland has not been getting enough CSR investment, she said the North-eastern state should be the natural choice of companies and investors.
Finance Minister at Nagaland CSR Conclave
There are problems in people’s expectations about CSR, because of which states like Nagaland have to wait for CSR to come, the Union minister said. However, she expressed confidence that the coming of companies for the conclave will be the stepping stone and many more will come and start investing in the state.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), according to Sitharaman, has said that it will open a training facility for Naga youngsters to improve their talent. She also recommended that the state government utilise the Atal Innovation Mission Projects of NITI Aayog to establish scientific labs in schools and innovation hubs in the upper classes to advance the study of science and technology.
The minister urged the government to emphasise organic goods. Sitharaman asked that the state government create a Task Group of Naga Youths to help establish the brand of Nagaland throughout the nation and that Nagas should have suitable branding for their products.
In order to draw CSR investments, she also opened exposition booths set up by various districts, departments, civil society organisations, and NGOs. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio thanked the Indian government for emphasising the development of the region’s north.
Top CSR Projects in Nagaland
SBI Gram Seva
SBI Gram Seva, a flagship program of SBI Foundation was launched in August 2017. It is an integrated rural development program bringing socio-economic change in the villages through the adoption of villages. The program has broad objectives of achieving digitalisation of villages, promotion of quality education, improving primary health services, providing safe drinking water & sanitation, livelihood generation, the convergence of government schemes, empowerment of rural women & youth, improvement of rural infrastructure, and environment protection.
The foundation launched the program in Nagaland with ANMA Integrated Development Association (AIDA), the development wing of Salesians of Don Bosco, Dimapur Province, as its implementing partner. Under the program, five villages of Nagaland have been adopted namely: Ura, Bade, Diezephe, Khrizephe and Tsithrongse, for 3 years from 2020 to 2023.
Electrification of a Village by Global Himalayan Expedition
The Shinnyu village under the Mon district administration which is considered to be in the remotest part of the district has been electrified with solar power as part of a CSR initiative of the Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE). According to DIPR report, a total of 60 households, Churches and community hall was electrified using solar power. The entire cost for the project stood at Rs. 23 Lacs. The Shinnyu village is also considered to be the last village along the Indian Border.
Antaran by Tata Trusts
Antaran is an initiative by Tata Trusts to bring seminal changes in craft development, beginning with the Handloom sector, designed to transform traditional crafts through a multidimensional approach for technical, design, enterprise and market development interventions to strengthen craft based livelihoods. Antaran creates awareness about the rich heritage of Indian handloom and handicrafts, bring due recognition as well as returns to traditional artisans for their unique skills. The initiative consists a five-year program including Incubation & Design Centres for handloom development in select clusters of Assam, Nagaland, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Through this platform, Antaran promotes exquisite textiles of lesser-known handloom regions in India. Visitors to the site are able to directly access a wide variety of high quality, local, environmentally and socially conscious products from skilled artisans; while trade buyers and designers are able to establish long-term business relationships with them with facilitation support from a team of professionals as part of the initiative.
These Centres works as education and business development hubs for artisans, enabling them to be designer-weavers and build a community of micro-entrepreneurs across the handloom value chain in each region.
Giftmilk Program by NHIDCL
National Highway and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) has committed to providing milk to over 3,800 school students in the State as part of the “Giftmilk” programme under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative. The “Giftmilk” pilot project has been initiated by NDDP (National Dairy Development Board) Foundation for Nutrition (NFN).
The pilot project envisages providing milk to over 3,800 students from Kohima and Dimapur districts till 29th May 2021. Four government schools each from both the districts have been selected for the purpose.