With a population of more than 10.2 crores, India has the single largest tribal population in the world yet has rather few government and corporate initiatives working for its betterment. Here are the Corporate Social Responsibility interventions doing justice to the humongous but long-ignored adivasis of India.
Top CSR Projects for Tribal Welfare
1. Community Development – NMDC
Around Bailadila – the centre of NMDC’s major activity – in the State of Chhattisgarh, there are 20 predominantly tribal villages. NMDC (National Mineral Development Corporation) attempts to share the fruits of progress with them. A full-fledged peripheral development plan has been drawn up in each project management which finalises annual development schemes in the area. In Bailadila area, NMDC is spending about Rs. 3 crores every year on peripheral development, while at Donimalai in Karnataka about Rs. 40 lakhs in a year is being spent on CSR activities for tribal welfare.
Some of the peripheral/community development programmes initiated by NMDC include free educational facilities for the children of the local adivasis in the project schools, construction of new school buildings and additional classrooms besides undertaking repair and renovation of a number of school buildings of the State Government in Bailadila and Donimalai, supply of school uniforms, text books and other stationery items to the advasi children besides suitable cash awards to the adivasi children passing out the V standard Board Examination in certain identified tribal schools to inculcate the positive attitude towards education.
A special Skill Development Programme which includes in-house training programme aimed at equipping VIII standard pass tribal youth to acquire the necessary knowledge, skill and proficiency in the operation of mines to help them in seeking employment. During the period of programme, they are paid out of pocket expenses of Rs. 750 per month besides subsidised breakfast, lunch, uniforms.
Free medical treatment in project hospitals and frequent camps are conducted for eye, dental, cancer, orthopaedic, family planning and other health camps where free counselling as well as outdoor and indoor medical treatment is provided. NMDC corporate social responsibililty facilitates frequent visits of project doctors to the tribal villages for providing medical assistance to the needy and help the District Administration in extending medical assistance by supply of ambulances, donation of medical equipment for use in providing medicare in interior villages.
2. Shikshit Sunderhattu – Nuvoco
‘Shikshit Sunderhattu’ is an award-winning CSR project by Nuvoco Vistas Corp, a top manufacturer and retailer of building materials. It bagged the FICCI CSR Award 2018-19 in the Education category. Shikshit Sunderhattu was initiated in 2014 under the company’s CSR initiative ‘Sakshar Bharat’ in order to provide formal education, create education awareness and contribute to the tribal population’s development in Sunderhattu and Sarenbera villages near Nuvoco’s Jojobera cement plant in Jharkhand.
Under this initiative, Nuvoco started Birsa Prathmik Vidyalaya to empower the tribal population by giving them access to education and enrolling them into mainstream education. This intervention is a success as Nuvoco has observed zero dropouts since the inception of the school Birsa Prathmik Vidyalaya. Nuvoco is planing to replicate the project by developing model government schools at various locations. The success of Shikshit Sunderhattu has motivated the organisation to expand the school till class V. The company is contributing towards education across various plants, through the development of smart classes, providing better infrastructure, learning essentials, setting libraries and computer labs.
3. Tribal Leadership Programme (TLP) – Tata Steel
The Tribal leadership Programme, part of the Samvaad ecosystem of Tata Steel, is an effort to foster a spirit of ‘servant leadership’ among young women and men from tribal communities who have inculcated the best of tribal value systems, feel strongly for the tribal discourse in India and demonstrated the will to work towards positive societal change.
TLP is a year-long engagement which is initiated through a week-long module in April each year. It gives continued access to experts and peer perspectives to leverage the Samvaad platform of Tata Steel. The TLP agenda is built to emphasize:
a) self-governance, to help address conflicts within oneself, build real relationships and create a strong inner compass which are key elements of community leadership;
(b) worldview, to help understand real world issues on development and representation from the lived experiences of the best, appreciate that there may be more than one perspective on an issue and wade through the glut of information that characterizes the current times; and
(c) cross-learning, through shared stories, debates and experiences within this pan India cohort of TLP.
4. Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL)
Mahanadi Coalfields Limited is one of the major coal producing company of India. It is one of the eight subsidiaries of Coal India Limited. The operational units of MCL are mostly in remote locations where communities are mostly tribal having their own respective sets of culture and tradition. Hence, the rapport of the CSR division with communities is pre-established, considering them as part of the composite operational ecosystem of the company.
MCL, in its command area, is implementing projects like development of Anganwadis, Aahar Mandal (promotion of low-cost, perennial, nutrition-based farming in tribal areas) benefitting 200 marginalized farmers, Utthan project for 6,000 tribal households encompassing development of livestock, Wadi-improved agriculture, rural piped water supply projects worth Rs. 126 Crore with 3.5 Lakh potential beneficiaries, tanker water supply covering 100 peripheral settlements and a poultry project benefitting tribal women.
5. Rubber Plantations – TFDPC Ltd.
In the local lingo, a Jhumia is a tribal who practices shifting cultivation or “jhuming”. This ancient slash-and-burn technique of agriculture is how the Jhumias subsist. Rather than building villages, they move within the forest and live in tree houses. Modern society, with all its notions of “owning” land and property, has shunted the Jhumias and left them homeless. Tripura Forest Development and Plantation Corporation Limited (TFDPC Ltd.) is a PSU of the Tripura government that has been making a constant endeavour to rehabilitate the Jhumias by raising Rubber plantations. Not only are the plantations providing a place of rest for this tribe in the interiors, but it is also generating employment and helping people raise their income levels. In certain areas, the income levels have gone up to Rs. 15,000 per month for a family.