Corporate Social Responsibilities
Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd. – Social Initiatives
Michael Porter and Mark R Kramer state that “It is true that economic and Social Objectives have long been seen as distinct and often competing. But this is a false dichotomy; it represents an increasingly, obsolete perspective in a world of open, knowledge-based competition. Companies do not function in isolation from the society around them. In fact, their ability to compete depends heavily on the circumstances of the location where they operate".
- This quote has been a source of great inspiration to us and has helped us form our company philosophy and policy.
Our Company Philosophy
• To live in the society, you have to give and take.
• Our Neighbors must be proud to have us as their neighbors.
• Select issues which are of National Interest, and which is on long term basis.
• Work on their felt needs and are areas of their concern.
• Select initiatives that meet their priority needs.
• Ensure participation of the people for whom the initiative is being taken.
• Train a woman and the whole family is trained.
• Partner with reputed NGOs who are like-minded.
There are so many issues to take up to support and take initiatives on, but to see that it is impactful is more important. Therefore we have selected three broad spectrums to encompass the work.
Shri Mahadeo Shahra Sukrat Trust is a Public Charitable Trust duly registered by Registrar of Public Charitable Trust, Indore, and was formed in 1976 specially to initiate the Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Trust initially undertook the relief work for the underprivileged in the areas of Medical needs Education and other charity work at Village Manglia, A.B. Road, Indore, where the companies largest and first production plant is situated. The Trust runs a hospital throughout the year for the underprivileged and needy and provides free medical treatment, and free medicines. The hospital is upgraded every year with new and improved medical treatment and the facilities are extended by a team of Doctors specialized in various fields of medicine.
The Trust also organizes a one day Medical Camp on the 25th of November which is the Punya Tithi of Late Smt Kausalya Devi Shahra .The one day camp is conducted by a team of specialists and the medicines are distributed free of cost.
When Ruchi Soya Industries Limited, the flagship company of the group, decided to put up its Edible Oil refinery plant at Patalganga in 2003, it also decided to take on the Corporate Social Responsibility since the day the construction began at site, as the Plant is situated in the remote and rural area of the Raigad District and has a large tribal population. The other main reason was that there were no NGOs or other Corporate doing any Village development work.
The social initiatives were necessary at Esambe, Esambewadi, Lohap and Dandwadi which are adjacent and to the left and right of the factory. In this project, we decided to move to purely developmental activities rather than just provide for them. We really wanted to help people help themselves and be able to really make a difference in people’s lives to the extent that they could be able to survive even in our absence.
Over the years, the trust has partnered with a number of NGOs and institutions.
The main ones are:
Aararmbh, an NGO specializing in providing rehabilitation to street children. The trust provides the basics to them such as pulses, grains and oil for consumption.
Astha, an old age home; the trust contributes in the form of providing books and reading materials, food and has helped built recreational facilities for the home.
The social initiative programs will be carried out in a sustainable manner through village participation. In the coming years we will hold gram sabhas to identify the problems and work out the developmental activities. It is our policy to work with reputed NGOs and who are like minded and we will invite them to partner with us.
We are interacting with three women groups through the Self Help process. Basically saving money and putting that to sensible use have found recognition that the women need. They are seen as individuals who help the family in difficult times. They learn to make decisions, voice their concern and come together to solve their own problems.
It is encouraging to see how the Ekta Mahila Group approached the Trust to help solve their Drinking water problem. They made a proper representation, put facts in proper perspective, were ready to help themselves and also worked out the distribution of water and paid their contribution as a token towards solving the water problem. They are now prepared to work on sorting out the water problem on a long term basis and are willing to look at Water shed programs.
They came forward and asked us to start tailoring classes. They searched a well known teacher and gave us two machines until we could purchase four more machines. They pay a nominal fee and show great enthusiasm to learn. We have seen great progress in their skills and are very encouraged by it.
The Rural children need to come into the mainstream of education. We have started a centre called the SELF LEARNING CENTRE and have equipped it with a good library, educational CDs, indoor and out door games, three computers, toys, and a large variety of learning material. The center provides a teacher who helps them in their studies and a computer teacher who supervises and teaches basic computer skills. The Youth who have left school, young girls and even a married lady have enrolled themselves for the computer classes and once again we are very encouraged to see this response.
The children are exposed to various character building training programs of educational interest such as yoga, vedic mathematic, astronomy etc. We have also taken a lot of initiative in a nearby school the children attend, known as the Dr Parnekar`s High school. We have played an active role in improving the variety of activities in the school so as to improve the quality of education and help children take interest in their studies as the overall atmosphere of the school is improved and children are positive. We have also built two Sanitation blocks called the Pour Flush. The School has contributed 10% of the cost of the construction.
We have been running a mobile library for the primary school children. Trained young girls from the village regularly go to distribute the books at the school and conduct related activity. Senior students are being exposed to Vocational courses available to them after SSC.
Last year, The Scholarship for Academic excellence at the SSC Level by Shri Mahadeo Shahra Sukrat Trust was started. Any student who scores more than 75% at the SSC Level living in our Project area is awarded a Scholarship Prize.
Whilst we would very much like to go into Health awareness programs in a systematic manner, we have started programs which can give immediate relief. We have partnered with The K.K. EYE Hospital which is run by the Sadhu Waswani Mission and has a super specialty hospital for eye care. We conduct Cataract Detection camps; those detected are then taken to the K.K. Eye Hospital for their surgeries. So far 68 financially challenged patients from these villages have got back their sight. These include the adivasis also.
The national program of Pulse Polio is another activity that we have decided to support and is in line with the nation’s goal to eradicate pulse polio. The Primary Health Centre staff is given the vehicle to move around in the villages that their centre is supposed to cover. Even the Cataract camp is held in this centre which gives them an edge also as the patients that come to them are then referred to the camp.
Most diseases are water borne and are a perennial problem to the people of the village of Esambe as there is a scarcity of clean and safe drinking water in this village. We consider it our duty to help provide clean drinking water to attack this phenomenon and as the women of the village of Esambe are ready to take this on a priority, we will address this issue along with them.