The capital city of Bihar state, Patna used to go by many names – Pataliputra, Patalipattan, Pataligram, Kusumpur, and Azimabad. Patna district is the most populated in all the districts of Bihar. It is one of the oldest inhabited places in the world, its history and tradition dating back to the dawn of civilization. Ancient Patna was the seat of power and capital of many kingdoms like Haryanka, Nanda, Magadh, Mauryan, Sunga, Kanva, Gupta, Pala and Suri.
Patna has long been a major agricultural centre of trade and industry. The region is famous for the medium-grained Patna rice. It is an important business centre in eastern India. Major industries in the city include leather, handicraft and food processing. There are four industrial areas in Patna – Patliputra, Fatuha, MIP Bihta, Bihta. Food processing is the sector rising the fastest, because of the availability of surplus agro products in the district.
CSR in Patna is still far below satisfactory since Bihar scores the lowest on most parameters for corporate social responsibility. Yet some private companies and PSUs are active on the social welfare front. We present some of the top CSR projects in and around Patna.
Indian Bank donates stretchers and wheelchairs to IGIMS, Patna
Indian Bank announced in February this year that it has sponsored 190 stretchers and 50 wheelchairs to Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna, Bihar under its CSR initiative. From providing stretchers and wheelchairs to ambulances and health ATMs, the bank has earlier extended support across the nation in centres like Bengaluru, Gandhinagar, Lucknow and others.
Gnarly Troop adopts village
Gnarly Troop, a non-profit organization announced in March this year that it has adopted the Bakhari Village (Paigambarpur Panchayat) of Muzaffarpur in Bihar to facilitate major societal transformations among around 1500 villagers in the area.
Post adoption of the village, the non-profit has established a rural development centre, community hall for farmers, women, and children, library for students, and an open sky campus for Paigambarpur Panchayat meetings and for the higher authority members of the village. At the open sky campus, every Sunday, the Gnarly Troop organises a meeting where the members of the Panchayat and other higher authorities of the village discuss the development of the area and the prospects of future growth. During the meeting, the members of the Panchayat and representatives from the non-profit also addressed issues like banking services, government forms, etc., and provided solutions to the residents of the village.
The Bakhari Village of Muzaffarpur in Bihar has around 586 voters who are over 18 years of age and over 900 children; with the male-female ratio being 1:1.2. The major occupational income of the villagers is through wages, and the number of students enrolled in an educational institution is 134. Around 60 per cent of men and women depend on the hiring for work in and at agriculture land. With the help of the Gnarly Troop, employment in private jobs has been increased by 17 per cent, claimed an announcement from the non-profit.
CSR of Reckitt
Consumer health and hygiene company Reckitt, under its flagship campaign ‘Dettol Banega Swasth India’ celebrated Global Handwashing Day on October 15th, 2022 across schools in Bihar. In line with last year’s theme for Global Handwashing Day, ‘Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene’ BSI focused on sensitizing students and teachers on the importance of healthy handwashing habits that can unite communities in the fight against diseases through School Hygiene Education Program. The intervention also identified handwashing agents – children from each district who will champion the message on handwashing amongst their peers.
In an effort to encourage people to wash their hands with soap, multiple interactive and engaging activities were conducted with the students as well as the teachers. The celebration witnessed drawing and poster-making competition for school students which was followed by the Swachhata song, Nukkad Natak around the handwashing and hygiene theme ‘Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene.’ The campaign was also taken to the states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
LIXIL and UNICEF to accelerate sanitation and hygiene
LIXIL, maker of water and housing products, and UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organization, have announced last year the expansion of their ‘Make a Splash!’ partnership into India to build a viable sanitation and hygiene ecosystem serving 3.5 million people. SATO, part of LIXIL and a provider of toilets and handwashing solutions, will spearhead efforts to expand the availability, affordability, and quality of viable sanitation goods and services and will jointly work with UNICEF to mobilize communities and build sanitation markets in the states of Bihar and Odisha.
This expansion builds on the success of the partnership’s first three years, which resulted in improved sanitation and hygiene for 2.9 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. In its fourth year of “Make a Splash!” the scope has now been expanded to cover India along with Indonesia and Nigeria, three of the world’s most populous countries.
Indian Oil Corporation’s robotic scavenger
In a bid to end the practice of manual scavenging in Patna, IOCL (Indian Oil Corporation Limited) has funded a mechanised sewage cleansing bot. ‘Bandicoot’ is a robotic manhole-cleaning system that costs Rs. 40 lakh. Municipal commissioner Himanshu Sharma formally launched the scavenging machine in the city jointly with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) – Bihar.
The management panel stays outside the manhole and the spider-like construction with an arm and 4 legs enters the manhole and clears the silt and blockages. The management panel helps in internal inspection with the assistance of infrared cameras. UNFPA – Bihar hired an expert agency to operate the cleaning bot as part of the MoU that the Patna Municipal Corporation has signed. Bandicoot has two interconnected buildings.
Allana Group’s healthcare initiatives
The Allana group was established in 1865 and is an exporter of branded processed food products and agro commodities. The group has founded four different trusts with a view to take up CSR and social welfare activities: Allana Foundation, Allana Charitable Trust, World Memon Foundation and Joosabbhoy A. Allana Charities. Lt. Abdul Razak Allana and Lt. Hussain Allana from the company initiated activities in the field of medicine and education.
The CSR activities of Allana include treatment for heart diseases including Bypass surgery, Valve replacement, Angiography, Angioplasty, and dialysis units for renal kidney failure patients in Patna. The company also organises medical health check up camps in partnership with the NGO Imarat E Shariah in the villages surrounding Patna.
ISM Patna’s education programmes
International School of Management, Patna conducts various CSR activities to help children and youth who cannot afford quality education. Students of ISM Patna conduct computer literacy classes for the students of the primary schools of nearby villages. A batch of 15 students is selected and they are brought to the Institute’s lab every Saturday for close to 3 months. The Institute conducts English and communication training through the use of Language Lab facility at the campus. Training modules are specifically customised to cater for the needs of students from nearby villages.
The institute has installed an Internet Kiosk at the campus to help people from nearby villages who are seeking information regarding crop varieties, current market rates of their produce, weather forecasts, information regarding doctors, etc.
Investing on CSR in Patna will not only ensure sustainable development of the city but also improve its industrial scope.