A milestone in our journey, 2016 was a year of many firsts. While initiatives like the Health ATM broke new ground in using technology for rural healthcare, the expansion of Essar Lok Vikas Kendras has proven the confidence that communities have in us. In addition, a new Mobile Medical Unit in Dantewada, proliferation of services at the Hemophilia Care Centre, a large scale eye-care exercise – the Bal Jyoti Campaign, and our contribution towards the improvement of health infrastructure have enabled us to make significant advancement in our efforts to improve public health.
Each year, our flagship education initiative, Indradhanush sees even greater numbers of attendees and more learning. The year 2016 was exceptional in that sense! The first time that we tweeted the event live from the location, with revolutionary new themes like Astronomy and Biodiversity introduced, and handpicked organizations bringing in specially curated activities, the programme took a significant leap forward from previous ones. Children revelled in games and activities curated around the themes and experienced novelties like a mobile planetarium, a rocket launch and using a telescope for the first time. Technology and need-based initiatives like iLabss (Interactive Lab for Soft Skill development) and Advanced Spoken English Labs are a sure step ahead in the direction of confidence-building, employability and digital empowerment of youth and children.
Each location has demonstrated its ability to bring in newness and thwart limitations in their own way. In Jamnagar, Awadhesh and team have taken up large scale programmes in livelihood and education with a long term goal for sustained impact. In Hazira, the team has taken up the promotion of sports and differently abled sportspersons. In Mahan, despite a limitation of resources and environmental challenges, we have executed small scale projects leveraging on individual resources and relationships. In Dantewada and Sukma, being some of our most challenging areas, the teams have managed some ground-breaking work for the tribal communities. Odisha programmes, despite the odds, have been enriched with stronger ties with community based organizations.
Last year also was landmark in terms of producing our signature film, “Hopes, Thoughts and Actions”. Similarly, the zeal of our collaborators for the ‘Knowledge Series’ helped us shape the CSR and sustainability discourse further. Topics such as Drug Abuse and CSR policies have been received very well across platforms. Knowledge Series might be the only such endeavour that is attempting to build neutral platforms for discussions and knowledge sharing on CSR in the country.
Major recognition for these efforts included the awards we won at the CII – ITC Sustainability conference, CSR Leadership conference, ACEF Award, Indywoods CSR Excellence Awards, Bureaucracy Today Awards, and India CSR Awards, all of which we have been able to achieve collectively.
Strengthened ties with the government, especially that in Gujarat and Odisha, have helped expand the scope of our programmes greatly and 2017 already looks like a promising year with major strides expected in the arena of technology in healthcare, innovations in education and skills for livelihoods. We are a team of nation builders on a mission! Over the last year we have greatly intensified our work on national campaigns like Swachh Bharat, Skill India, and Digital India and the next year looks even more opportune with new leaps and strides being taken every passing day. Initiated towards the end of 2016, Durgapur is on the verge of setting a benchmark in CSR for CBM business in the country through an integrated water purification and management programme being designed with environmentally sensitive innovative techniques. Similarly, Hazira is all set to host yet another Freedom Cup tournament making it a much-coveted trophy for differently abled cricketers. Jamnagar is bracing itself for the next Indradhanush that is about to set greater benchmarks in child-friendly learning. A State-level collaboration with Gujarat Council for Education, Research and Training (GCERT) is in the offing to develop a repository of about 10,000 educational innovations by teachers on pedagogical tools, learning and management processes meant to benefit schools globally. This, as an endeavour, will be the first of its kind. Introduction of modern agriculture techniques like System of Rice Intensification (SRI), System of Wheat Intensification (SWI) and Multi-Cropping Systems (MCS) are planned in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh. Intensive work with women’s Self Help Groups in providing skill trainings and financial management techniques is also expected as a collaboration with National Rural Livelihood Mission in MP. Chhattisgarh is looking at promotion of the Health ATM as a great leap forward in use of telemedicine for quality health diagnostics in remote areas as well as new skill trainings in rural livelihoods.
If we reflect on approaches, through partnerships with government, collective resource building and sustained engagement with community participants, long term impact is achievable. Sustainable outcomes can be catalysed through engagement with diverse stakeholders who have larger stake in nation building. A lot has been achieved and a lot of ground covered in the year gone by. There is and always will be a lot more to do. Our programmes continue to be thought and planned through a long term vision; our partnerships continue to be nurtured mutually; and our impact ought to be measurable and deep-rooted. Expecting 2017 to be a year of greater strides, stronger ties, new opportunities and path-breaking interventions, as it presents before us a panorama of possibilities!