With a population of over 10.2 crore, India has the largest tribal population in the world, but has relatively few government initiatives and companies working for its improvement. Here are the corporate social responsibility interventions that do justice to India’s huge but long ignored adivasis.
Main CSR projects for tribal well-being
1. Community development – NMDC
Around Bailadila – the center of the main activity of the NMDC – in the state of Chhattisgarh, there are 20 predominantly tribal villages. National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) tries to share the fruits progress with them. A full-fledged peripheral development plan has been drawn up in each project department which finalizes the annual development plans for the area. In Bailadila region, NMDC spends around Rs. 3 crore annually on peripheral development, while in Donimalai in Karnataka around Rs. 40 lakh per year is spent on CSR activities for tribal welfare.
Some of the peripheral / community development programs launched by the NMDC include free educational facilities for local adivasis children in project schools, construction of new school buildings and additional classrooms in addition to undertaking repair and maintenance. renovation of a number of state government school buildings. in Bailadila and Donimalai, providing school uniforms, textbooks and other stationery to advasi children in addition to appropriate cash rewards for adivasi children passing the standard board exam V in some tribal schools identified for instill a positive attitude towards education.
A special skills development program that includes an in-house training program aimed at equipping standard level VIII tribal youth to acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary in mining to help them seek employment. During the program period, they are paid out of pocket expenses of Rs. 750 per month in addition to subsidized breakfast, lunch, uniforms.
Free medical care in project hospitals and frequent camps is provided for eye, dental, cancer, orthopedic, family planning and other camps where free counseling as well as outdoor and indoor medical treatment is provided. NMDC Corporate Social Responsibility facilitates frequent visits by project doctors to tribal villages to provide medical assistance to the needy and helps the district administration to expand medical assistance through the provision of ambulances, donation of equipment medical device to be used to provide health care in the villages of the interior.
2. Shikshit Sunderhattu – Nuvoco
“Shikshit Sunderhattu” is an award-winning CSR project by Nuvoco Vistas Corp, a leading manufacturer and retailer of building materials. It won the FICCI CSR Award 2018-19 in the Education category. Shikshit Sunderhattu was launched in 2014 as part of the CSR initiative of the company “Sakshar Bharat” to provide formal education, raise education awareness and contribute to the development of tribal people in Sunderhattu villages. and Sarenbera near the Nuvoco Jojobera cement plant in Jharkhand.
As part of this initiative, Nuvoco launched Birsa Prathmik Vidyalaya to empower the tribal people by giving them access to education and enrolling them in mainstream education. This intervention is a success because Nuvoco has not observed any dropouts since the creation of the Birsa Prathmik Vidyalaya school. Nuvoco plans to replicate the project by developing model government schools in various locations. The success of Shikshit Sunderhattu motivated the organization to expand the school up to class V. The company contributes to education in various factories, developing smart classrooms, providing better infrastructure, learning the basics , by creating libraries and computer laboratories.
3. Tribal Leadership Program (TLP) – Tata Steel
The Tribal Leadership Program, which is part of Tata Steel’s Samvaad ecosystem, is an effort to foster a spirit of ‘servant leadership’ among young women and men from tribal communities who have instilled the best of tribal value systems, feel strongly for the tribal discourse in India and has demonstrated a willingness to work for positive societal change.
TLP is a one-year engagement that is initiated by a one-week module in April of each year. It provides continuous access to experts and peer perspectives to leverage Tata Steel’s Samvaad platform. The TLP agenda is designed to focus on:
a) self-reliance, to help resolve conflicts in 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 performance from the lived experiences of the best, understand that there can be more than one perspective on an issue, and walk through the glut information that characterizes the present day; and
(c) cross-learning, through shared stories, debates and experiences within this pan-Indian TLP cohort.
4. Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL)
Mahanadi Coalfields Limited is one of the leading coal producing companies in India. It is one of the eight subsidiaries of Coal India Limited. MCL’s operational units are mostly in remote locations where communities are mostly tribal with their own respective sets of culture and tradition. Thus, the relationship of the CSR department with the communities is pre-established, considering them as part of the composite operational ecosystem of the company.
MCL, in its command zone, implements projects such as the development of Anganwadis, Aahar Mandal (promotion of low-cost, sustainable and nutrition-based agriculture in tribal areas) benefiting 200 marginalized farmers, the Utthan project for 6,000 tribal households encompassing livestock development, Improved agriculture in the wadi, rural running water supply projects worth Rs. 126 crore with 3.5 Lakh potential beneficiaries, water supply by tanker truck covering 100 peripheral establishments and a poultry project benefiting tribal women.
5. Rubber plantations – TFDPC Ltd.
In local jargon, a Jhumia is a tribal who practices shifting cultivation or “jhuming”. This ancient technique of slash-and-burn agriculture is how the Jhumias subsist. Rather than building villages, they move around the forest and live in tree houses. Modern society, with all its notions of “possession” of land and property, has hijacked the Jhumias and left them homeless. Tripura Forest Development and Plantation Corporation Limited (TFDPC Ltd.) is a PSU of the Tripura government which constantly strives to rehabilitate the Jhumias by raising rubber plantations. The plantations not only provide a resting place for this inland tribe, but they also generate employment and help people increase their income. In some areas, income levels have increased to Rs. 15,000 per month for a family.