Public sector companies are in a better position to make large-scale impact through CSR than private firms because of their sheer size. Reports by KPMG and CAG show that PSU firms spend the majority of their social funds on health and education. We surveyed the top PSUs investing in CSR for health this year.
The CSR of NTPC (formerly National Thermal Power Corporation Limited) has been aligned with the Swachh Bharat mission of the government. In a bid to promote cleanliness and hygiene from the villages to the cities, the PSU has been involved in multiple projects.
In Rajasthan, NTPC has constructed toilets in four villages, including 176 units in Ratariya and 117 toilets in Tamkheda. Ratariya village has been ODC-free (open defecation-free), mainly due to NTPC’s CSR for health. In addition to the construction of toilets, the people were also provided awareness regarding the importance of using toilets through street plays and other mediums. These toilets were constructed for each household of the village. Considering the cultural background of the villages which have held the belief that one should not cook food or excrete inside the premises of their home; making the villages open-defecation free has been a major achievement.
Mobile health vans: At Vindhyachal station in Singrauli (MP), the mobile health van operated by NTPC does regular visits in the rehabilitated and resettled villages in the area. The van is equipped with a generator and basic health checkup facilities. Doctors and technicians are always present. The van visits 24 villages in a month according to a pre-fixed schedule; distributing medicines free of cost, conducting check-ups and referring to other hospitals if need be.
COVID-19 relief: The power giant has stepped up its efforts against the pandemic. It has turned its hospitals into dedicated COVID-19 units. NTPC has dispatched 1,160 PPEs, 30,000 masks and 30,000 gloves to all the projects and stations. It has already used 45 hospitals and health units for isolation facilities.
In 2019, ONGC implemented projects worth INR 108.7 crores to address health care issues in areas ranging from supporting to existing medical infrastructure by strengthening it to building a multispecialty hospital for the underprivileged segment of the society and a doorstep service for the elderly.
300 bed Multi-Speciality Hospital: ONGC has taken up a mega CSR initiative towards addressing the healthcare concerns of people in Northeast India by setting up a Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sivasagar, Assam. The services of the first Phase of the 300 bed hospital has been opened for public in the first week of March 2019. The hospital is expected to benefit more than one lakh patients in a year. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Vaidakiya Pratisthan is the Construction Management Operating Partner of the hospital.
Cancer Institute at Nagpur: ONGC supported for setting up of National Cancer Institute, a 455 bedded quaternary care oncology centre. The institute will provide world-class oncology treatment facility at affordable rates to the general public of Central India. Radio diagnostic equipment and construction of the first floor and ground floor of the institute has been funded by ONGC. More than 10,000 people have benefited through this project up to April 2019.
Doorstep treatment for senior citizens: ONGC is taking up medical treatment to the doorstep for the elderly in the remotest villages of India. 31 Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) have been engaged in 9 states catering to the needs of 371 villages.
ONGC – MRPL Lady Goschen Hospital: The 167-year-old hospital building was in a dilapidated condition and due to the increased inflow of patients. Therefore, there was an urgent need for additional facilities. District Administration of Mangalore approached ONGC for financial support to start a new wing in the hospital campus. ONGC extended financial support of INR 12.78 Cr towards the construction of new ‘ONGC-MRPL Wing’ for Government Lady Goschen Hospital, Mangalore. The new hospital building was inaugurated in February 2019.
For the visually impaired: 17,522 patients were treated in 62 eye screening camps organized across India, where 2,579 cataract operations were performed by expert doctors and 11313 spectacles were distributed in 20 districts across the country through a specialized agency in FY 2018-19. Further more than 1,000 visually disabled adult were provided with smart sensor-based navigation sticks in Ahmedabad.
Upgrading medical infrastructure: ONGC funded a project for upgradation and renovation of Sree Sudheendra Medical Mission hospital in Ernakulam, Kerala. The ICU and CCU at the ground floor, four OTs and six rooms in first floor and renovation of fourth floor (with 43 rooms) had been completed through support from ONGC.
3. Indian Oil
IndianOil Arogyam: This is the flagship CSR scheme of IndianOil, launched in 2018-19. Twelve Mobile Medical Units (MMU) each with a 4-member team consisting of 1 doctor 1 nurse, 1 nursing attendant and 1 driver-cum-community mobilizer have been operating in the catchment areas of three refinery units; Mathura, Bongaigaon and Paradip. The MMUs cover more than 140 villages.
Sarve Santu Niramaya: Another all-encompassing CSR initiative is ‘Sarve Santu Niramaya’ (Sanskrit for Good Health to All) that was started way back in 2012. The project gives free health consultation and medicines to people as well as livestock in the villages near Digboi Refinery. It was felt that good health of livestock is as important as that of the human beings, as livestock was a key livelihood generator for the villagers. Last year, the CSR team organised 21 Sarve Santu Niramaya camps in which 2,507 human beings and 6,510 livestock were treated and vaccinated.
For PwDs: Assistive devices like tricycles, wheelchairs, crutches, walking Sticks “Braille kits for visually impaired, hearing aids, artificial limbs were provided to more than 20,000 PwDs (persons with disabilities) across 21 states in association with ALIMCO (Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation).
Nursing school in Northeast India: Assam Oil School of Nursing (AOSN), established in 1986, offers a 3-year Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) course to young girls with intake capacity of 30 students per year. There was a dearth of qualified nurses in the Northeast before this nursing school was set up. It has a 100% placement record till date!
A ‘healthy India’ is a thrust area for CSR activities at BHEL. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited or BHEL is a New Delhi-based engineering and manufacturing company owned by the government of India. BHEL has contributed to nation building by addressing healthcare availability and accessibility, providing specialized treatments and mobile health services. For exmaple, BHEL has extended the services of Mobile Medical Units being run in Raigad district, Maharashtra for one more year and has started a similar service for rural areas of Ratnagiri districts, Maharashtra for a period of one year.
A CSR project for retraining and capacity building of ASHA workers of Kalyan Block, Thane District, Maharashtra was taken up through ‘Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini’. Free medical camps and yoga classes were organised in villages in vicinity of BHEL’s establishments at Bhopal, Haridwar, Nagpur and Surat. BHEL extended financial support of 1 crore rupees to NGO Sane and Enthusiast Volunteers Association of Calcutta for the construction of a 50-bed mental hospital and rehabilitation centre, a daycare centre and an education facility at Thakurpukur benefiting 500 patients.
PSU firms have been coming under fire for underspending on corporate social responsibility, year on year. However, the efforts of these PSUs investing in CSR for health is exemplary.