Sikkim is a border state in the North East of India. The state was recently in news for the conflict between India and China in the area. The state is also known for its scenic beauty and biodiversity, making it popular for tourism. The eco-sensitive nature of the state often comes in the way of its development in terms of industries. This makes the state highly deserving of CSR initiatives to ensure inclusive development of the country.
In FY2020-21, the state received Rs. Cr. in CSR funds from 25 companies. The top three spenders in the state include Nhpc Limited, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited and Alkem Laboratories Limited, which spent Rs. 7.24 Cr., Rs. 1.73 Cr., and Rs. 1.41 Cr. respectively, for CSR programs in Sikkim. The top three areas of focus for these initiatives include education (Rs. 7.87 Cr.), health (Rs. 6.67 Cr.), and rural development (Rs. 0.59 Cr.).
Top CSR initiatives in Sikkim
Dettol BSI’s Life Skills program
RB, under its flagship Dettol ‘Banega Swasth India’ in partnership with Primus Partners launched a life skills program for kids, The Birds and Bees Talk. The curriculum was launched for children between the ages of 10-19. The comprehensive growing life skills curriculum will provide accurate, fact-based and age-appropriate information that will help adolescents make informed choices. The Birds and Bees Talk program is to be executed and implemented across Sikkim in Government and Recognized Private Schools to ensure the maximum reach and beneficiaries. The Sikkim government is making sure that apart from its various healthcare and public benefiting programs education should also reach all sections of the society.
As adolescents’ transition from childhood to adulthood, they go through a number of physical, emotional and social changes. Studies demonstrate that they are often unprepared for these changes. There is strong evidence for the positive effects of such a curriculum on increasing adolescents’ knowledge and improving their attitudes for better health outcomes.
Addressing the issue, a group of organizations led by Primus Partners have designed a comprehensive curriculum aimed at improving knowledge, awareness and behaviour among children. Interestingly, the curriculum is in alignment with the National Curriculum Framework and the recently announced New Education Policy 2020, as it follows the guiding principles of the Adolescence Education Program framework.
Under this curriculum, teachers from the enrolled schools will be appointed & equipped with full program essentials including teaching methods & lessons. The training of these teachers will begin shortly to help them better train kids. The unique design of the program comprises 27-hour lessons allowing the schools to teach in a staggered format, spread over the year. The program will help in developing key skills like critical thinking, decision-making and analytics, amongst children.
The 27 lesson plans and student workbooks comprise of animated characters, storytelling, poems, real-life scenario studies, group discussions, simulations, brainstorming and reflective learning. They especially focus on imparting knowledge in an engaging and interactive way to help students understand the physical and emotional changes taking place in their adolescent years.
CSR Initiatives by Cipla
Cipla Foundation in association with Agastya International Foundation has launched Mobile Science Labs (MSL) in Sikkim. This innovative project revolutionizes rural education and makes hands-on learning increasingly accessible. It is a fun, engaging and interactive channel that aims to raise awareness on science among children and teachers from government & government-aided schools, through classroom sessions, science fairs and community visits.
Additionally, the company partnered with Ambuja Cement Foundation in Baddi and the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Sikkim to grow skill enhancement opportunities for financially disadvantaged youth. This includes providing technical and functional skilling opportunities through trained professionals in areas such as plumbing, electrical, sewing, beautician courses, etc.
REC’s CSR Commitment in Sikkim
The REC Ltd. (Formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited), a Govt. of India Navratna Enterprise extended CSR support to West Sikkim for transforming Education and Health Sectors of West District as per the project proposals submitted by DM West Sikkim in 2019. Under the project, the company provided CSR funds of Rs. 16.85 crore to West Sikkim for the project, Transforming school education in West Sikkim by strengthening school library, science laboratory, organizing science & technology fair, recruitment of mathematics teachers, providing smart class, renovation of the hostel, providing furniture, training of teachers & exposure visit of teachers, students etc. in Government schools of West Sikkim. Additionally, the company contributed Rs. 1.63 crore for providing medical equipment and instruments in District Hospital, Gyalshing and 07 nos. of Public health Centre in West Sikkim. Through the above two CSR projects, REC and District Administration aimed to bring rapid transformation to the Health and Education sectors of West Sikkim.