Uttar Pradesh (UP) is the most populous state in India. Considering that the land is well drained by many rivers, the major contributor to the state’s economy is the agriculture sector. Uttar Pradesh is a state with a lot of political importance. Many of the Prime Ministers of India hail from the state of UP and many of the senior leaders of top national political parties prefer to contest election from different constituencies of UP. This often makes the state a power centre of India’s development. This has also made the state an attractive destination for various CSR initiatives by various companies.
In FY2020-21, the state was the recipient of Rs. 826.67 crores in CSR funds. Uttar Pradesh was the sixth largest beneficiary of CSR funds in the financial year. About 1310 companies contributed to this effort and conducted community development initiatives in 71 districts of the states. The top three sectors of focus for the CSR initiatives were Healthcare, Education and Rural development which received funds worth Rs. 399.02 crore, Rs. 287.12 crore and Rs. 54.97 crores respectively. The top three CSR spenders in the state include HCL Technologies (Rs. 132.28 crore), Reliance Industries Limited (Rs. 101 crore), and Northern Coalfields Limited (Rs. 31.17 crore).
Top CSR initiatives in Uttar Pradesh
Project Samarth by FMC India
In line with its vision to empower the farming community, FMC India, a leading innovation driven Agricultural Sciences company is supporting farmers towards a better and prosperous life through their community outreach program – Project Samarth. Aimed at providing farmers with pure water and good health, FMC India has undertaken a campaign to ensure that safe and potable drinking water is accessible to 200,000 farmer families within the next 3 years in India.
The company has already set up 21 large community water filtration plants, and a swipe-card enabled a dispensing system based on RO technology in various villages of Uttar Pradesh. It plans to install another 20 plants in villages of the state by April 2021.
Apart from these plants, FMC has also installed 52 water filtration and chilling plants at 52 Sugarcane co-operative societies in Uttar Pradesh. Sugarcane growing farmers regularly visit these societies and will now have safe and cold drinking water available at these centres throughout the year. These plants are expected to serve nearly 20,000 farmers every month.
HDFC Bank Parivartan
AROH Foundation and HDFC Bank, under the Holistic Rural Development Project “Parivartan”, have adopted 15 villages in the Pindra block of Varanasi.
The objective of the project is to develop the adopted villages into self-sustaining model villages. This includes raising the physical, socio-economical index for an estimated population of 22,610 and improving the village ecosystem. The prime focus is to enhance human capital by providing better opportunities in skills and livelihood, Education, Health and Sanitation, Water and Natural Resource Management, Financial Literacy and Inclusion and realignment and community-led institutions.
The project Parivartan inculcates an organic approach to recycle and rejuvenate existing resources, create FPOs, SHGs, JLGs, linkages & convergence to create synergy to develop villages into self-sustaining entries models. The project adopts a bottom-up approach with an adequate focus on micro-planning through a participatory approach ensuring the involvement of different stakeholders in the development process, which eventually also ensures the sustainability of the impact.
Besides bringing a positive transformation in people’s lives, the project is a step to support the Government in achieving the national goals of Doubling Farmer’s Income, Swachh Bharat Mission, Make in India, Beti Bachao- Beti Padhao, etc., while also contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
GAIL Utkarsh Super 100
GAIL Utkarsh Super 100 is a residential programme from India’s largest natural gas company GAIL India, formerly known as Gas Authority of India Ltd. The CSR programme spans over 11 months every year and aims at coaching meritorious students from unprivileged sections of society for IIT-JEE. GAIL runs many activities for CSR in Kanpur. was the first among all the PSUs to start the coaching centre in Kanpur for talented but underprivileged students back in 2009-10.
The selected students are provided with free food, accommodation and coaching throughout. The environment is such that the students are free of worry and anxiety. Apart from imparting knowledge of Physics, Chemistry and Math through highly qualified faculty, often from an IIT background, the students are introduced to the art of peer learning. This is what gives them an edge over the lakhs of aspirants preparing for IIT-JEE all over India. The students help each other in understanding what they are best at. This develops in them a wider perspective and an ability to think as nothing seems impossible or difficult. Together they aim for the same goal: of making it to IIT.
In a resounding success for GAIL Utkarsh, all 100 students at the Kanpur centre qualified for the JEE Mains 2019 examination. While the Kanpur chapter has been consistently successful in transforming the lives of talented students, 2019 was the first time it achieved a 100% success rate, where all the students including 14 girls, qualified for the JEE Mains.
Aviral – Reducing Plastic Waste in the Ganga project
Alliance to End Plastic Waste (the Alliance) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), launched the Aviral – Reducing Plastic Waste in the Ganga pilot project. This CSR initiative aims to reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the environment in the northern Indian cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Aviral seeks to pilot an approach to address waste management challenges. In particular, it will focus on strengthening an integrated plastic waste management system. Following the two-year pilot in the two cities, the partnership aims to scale this initiative across partnering cities in India.
Apart from these initiatives, it has been reported that the New Indian Express is undertaking the development of Shankaracharya Samadhi at Kedarnath in Uttarakhand, while the Hinduja Group is taking up ghat development work in Haridwar and Rishikesh. Bajaj electricals is undertaking plantations at Varanasi, Fatehpur, Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Pratapgarh, Ballia and Mau in Uttar Pradesh. Amer Maritime will take up ghat development in Kanpur, HCL has plans for the holistic development of ghats in Varanasi, bioremediation, tree plantation community development and Ganga Gram development. Reliance Industries has plans for ghat development at Varanasi, Allahabad, Delhi, Haridwar, Kedarpuri and Rishikesh. These projects are at various procedural stages.
River Ganga is the longest river in the country flowing over 2510 kilometres of mountains, valleys and plains. It is not only considered to be the most sacred river by the Hindus but is also a cause of livelihood for many Indians. It is therefore very important to rejuvenate the river that is synonymous with India and its culture.