Eye Camp (Divya Dristhi)
TCSRD Babarala, conducted an eye camp from 14th Nov - 21st November’10 with the technical support from Gandhi Eye Hospital Aligarh.

Out of the 714 people identified from Bulandshaher, Badaun and Moradabad, 188 were operated for cataract.

The support of the District Anti Blindness Committee, Gandhi Eye Hospital and the volunteers from TCL Babrala senior management team , human resource, administration, electrical, horticulture departments and DAV school students made this program a grand success.

Blood Donation Camp
Blood Donation camp was organized in October’10, with the help of medical expert from District Hospital, Badaun, UP. 35 people voluntarily donated their blood. The senior managers from TCL set up an example by not only donating the blood themselves but also by motivating others employees to do the same.

The flood situation was closely monitored from the begining with the help of district administration. The following activities were undertaken by TCSRD:

  • Medicines were distributed
  • Along with providing clean and chlorinated water through tankers, chlorine tablets were also provided
  • Health camps were organized. Doctors from Mithapur and Babrala along with the health team treated 3000 people from 47 villages.
  • Animal husbandry camps were organized with support of animal husbandry department along with the retired doctors as cattle’s were the worst affected. Around 3000 animals were treated. Follow up camp were also organized in second phase.

Jana Shree Bima
The Jana Shree Bima, a social security plan at a minimum service level, protects all the citizens and ensures them a better quality of life. Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development has been notified by LIC as the Nodal Agency. This scheme provides risk cover of Rs 30,000 on natural death of the member, Rs 75,000 on accidental death /total permanent disability due to accident and Rs 37,000 on partial permanent disability due to accident before attaining age 60 years.

Under this program, a national security camp was organized for two days in October at Babrala and Gunnaur. The objective of this camp was to create awareness about the project. The Branch Manager of LIC and the Chairman of Nagar Panchayat and Gunnaur provided information about the benefits of the scheme to the marginalized section

society. During this two days camp, 250 people were insured and three death claim of Rs 30,000 each were given to the relatives.

Affirmative action program
TCSRD Babrala in collaboration with L&T Construction Skill Training Institute, Delhi selected 11 trainees for three months course on mason, bar bender, shuttering and carpentry. Every month a new batch is selected for these training. Preference is given to SC/ ST candidates.

The participants underwent on the job training for one month at L & T construction sites and were provided minimum wages @ Rs 120/ day along with free boarding and lodging. TCSRD also provided a stipend of Rs. 100/- per day as a support for loss of earning.

After successful completion of the training program, the participants were provided with opportunity to work under sub contractors of L&T or at the construction work of Babrala II.

One of the candidates, who had successfully completed the course, has joined L & T subcontractor at Rs.8000 /- at Chandigarh. The L & T is also planning to start a new course on similar pattern in mechanical.

New Initiatives @ NRM
As part of the capacity building program for the farmers, TCSRD Haldia imparted training to the farmers on the new varieties of crop cultivation so that they could use their land to the optimum and increase their income as well. 25 farmers came forward for the cultivation of the sunflowers as sunflower is one of the fast growing crop which takes only three months to grow. A total of 2.5 to 3 acres was covered on the pilot basis for this intervention. The District and Block Agriculture Department also supported

by providing the technical support on sunflower cultivation.

Pond management
Under Pond Management program, TCSRD has taken up a new initiative of culture of ornamental fishes as they have huge market demand and also has short production cycle. On pilot basis, seeds of five varieties of ornamental fishes were released in one of the pond of Akubpur village. After the success of this project, they plan to replicate the same to other ponds.

Eco Club Activities
Durng this quarter, members of the eco club participated actively in developing eco-models and handicrafts out of waste material. With the objective of developing model eco clubs in high schools, TCSRD imparted training to the teachers and eco club members of four schools for the second time. During this program, the planning of developing model eco clubs was reviewed and training on handicrafts out of waste materials was imparted to the participants. Post this training programs, students initiated several interesting activities like measurement of rainfall and temperature, preserving insects in boxes for display and learning, preparing of charts of leaves and vegetables, insect book, fish book, bird book, stitching and embroidery, hand-made papers, preparing greetings cards out of banana and bamboo bark etc. Apart from these activities, in house activities of the eco club like preparing garden, vermin-compost pits, cleaning school, using self made dustbins, plantations etc. were also carried out.

An exhibition of the handicrafts produced by the eco club members by the four schools would soon be organized along with TCSRD, Haldia

Drinking water project at Mithapur
  • Drinking water infrastructure in Devpara village was created under the Atmarpan drinking water scheme sponsored by Tata Chemicals Ltd.
  • Taluka level Sanitation Workshop: WASMO, an autonomous organization set up by the Government of Gujarat, along with TCSRD has been working to institutionalize the process of decentralization and build the capacities of the PRIs to take on water supply works. To take forward the joint project of operationalizing the intra village water supply and sanitation systems, a taluka level sanitation workshop was organized in December at TCSRD training center. Resource person from CSPC Ahmedabad were called upon to undertake this training. The objective of the workshop was
  • To provide knowledge and information on low cost sanitation model,
  • To educate people on disease that spread in absence of sanitation facility,
  • Linkage of various sanitation schemes at Dwarka taluka
  • To motivate villagers to focus on following proper sanitation habits.

The workshop was attended by 78 community members from 8 villages, Taluka Development Officer of Dwarka, Health staff, Angadvadi workers, Asha workers, SHG group members, Sukhakari samiti members, Village sarpanch and Talati cum mantra and TCSRD team.

  • A MOU was signed with DRDA, Jamnagar for creating sanitation units in 6 villages, which were most affected by salinity ingress. By doing this, TCSRD plans to make these villages 100% ODF (Open defecation free).
  • Water Resource Management (WRM) site visit and survey under Hilton project. Three sites in 3 villages namely Shivrajpur, Vachhu, of Okhamandal taluka and Dangarvad of Kalyanpur taluka were selected under Hilton project. Deepening and strengthening of above mentioned sites will be done to increase their water storage capacity. Purpose of selecting these sites was that that these villages were located near coastal area due to which villagers faced acute scarcity of drinking water. All the three selected sites were close to the village local source of drinking water.
  • Drinking Water work scheme under Coastal Area Development Program (CADP) being implemented by TCSRD was completed in 5 villages(village Vachhu, Navi-Dhrevad of Okhamandal taluka and Dangarvad, Suryavadar, Kanparsherdi of Kalyanpur Taluka). Infrastructures created in these villages includes sump for water storage, underground pipeline for water distribution, Pumproom for installation of water motor, Cattle trough for animals etc.
Okhamandal Samridh Gram Pariyojna (OSGP)
  • Farmers’ training:The purpose of the farmers’ training was to create awareness on new varieties of traditional crops, crop income calculation and the importance of crop data collection. 38 farmers from 7 villages attended the training.
  • Agri-intervention: High yield varieties of wheat, chilies, tomatoes, and spinach and brinjal seeds were given to farmers in 8 villages for demonstration purpose. These beneficiaries were also given the required fertilizers. Crop demonstration plots for salinity tolerant varieties of wheat, spinach, dil and beans have also been established at Hamusar and Gadechi villages in partnership with CSSRI, a Bharuch based research center.
  • Organic Farming: 8 farmers were motivated for adopt organic farming practices. These farmers were provided information, training, seeds and manure for organic farming. Training on organic farming was also organized in 3 villages which were attended by a total of 11 farmers.
  • DRDA watershed project: Under DRDA funded Watershed project an exposure visit to NGOs and Government organizations working on agriculture in Bhavnagar district was organized for village leaders, committee members and user groups from 5 villages. The exposure visit provided a good platform to farmers from Okhamandal, as through this they were able to interact with fellow villagers from Rajsamadhiyada and Koyada and were also able to learn and appreciate their experience and the way they implemented various schemes in Rajsamadhiyada and Koyada village. The group also visited Agri mall business by Jagtaat organization at Talala village in Junagadh district. Visiting this mall was of prime importance as TCSRD is also working on the similar plan with Khedut Sangh in Okhamandal Taluka. This Agri - mall is operated by group of farmers and provides the original Agri products to farmers at very reasonable price.

Biodiversity Reserve Plantation Project: Mortality replacement work of the ‘Gugal’ (Commiphora wightii) plants and restoration of the flood ravaged Biodiversity Reserve Plantation site was completed. Work for rehabilitation of the erstwhile Casurina grove was also taken-up. Monthly surveys for fauna and avi-fauna diversity were carried out. Migratory raptors (birds of prey) like the Harriers (Circus earuginosus) and the Kestrel (Falco tinnunclus) have also been recorded at the Biodiversity site during the reporting period. These birds are indicator species and signify the growing richness of the biodiversity at site.

Mangroves Restoration Project:Mangroves are a vital component of the marine coastal ecosystems and they play a significant role in the coastal ecology. Work on the mangrove restoration project at the Rukshmani creek site at Dwarka, continues to progress steadily. Work on making of 1,600 raised beds was completed and sowing of mangrove seeds (Avicennia marina) done. Work on planting of 500 propagules of Rhizophora and Brugeria mangroves too was completed.

ECO Club program:
A multitude of activities were carried out under the ECO Club program.

  • The “Aaushadhalaya” project for creation of awareness on indigenous medicinal herbs and plants was launched.
  • Work on distribution of pots and organic manure for plantation of medicinal plants in 25 ECO Cub schools was completed.
  • Awareness programs on the indigenous medicinal plants were also organized.
  • Grafts of Gugal (Commiphora wightii) plant, a highly endangered species, were also issued to all 25 ECO Club schools.
  • The Annual ECO Club School Teachers’ meeting was organized on 23rd October 2010. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the schools to the ECO Fair project which we propose to start from this year onwards with the support of the Mithapur plant employees. The project aims at establishing a village level biodiversity database with the participation of the ECO Club school students and teachers. The event also marked the release of the Bird Identification poster sets by Mr. M. Ravindranath, Vice President-Manufacturing. These posters have been specially designed for the Mithapur region and were distributed to the ECO Club schools to help the students identify their local birds.
  • Visit to the Mithapur coral reef was organized for ECO Club volunteers and nature lovers to familiarize them with the marine life and help them learn identification of different marine creatures.
  • Awareness programs on mangroves of Okhamandal were also organized at the Arambda schools.
  • ECO Club activities have also been initiated at the TATAKEM DAV School at Mithapur. Slide shows on the natural heritage of Okhamandal were organized for the students and teachers. More than 800 students and 20 teachers attended this program.

Save the Whale Shark Project:
Work on Whale Shark habitat study including monitoring of biological parameters continues and is expected to be completed in May 2011. Rescue operations of Whale Sharks also continued by the Forest Dept. A total of 225 Whale Sharks have been rescued since the inception of the program. 5 whale shark tissue samples have been collected for genetic studies. The first visual marker tag was also deployed during a rescue operation this quarter.

Satellite tags have been received and programmed and are ready for pre-deployment tests. These tags are to be deployed for tracking the migratory routes of the Whale Sharks.

Coral Reef Restoration Project
12 coral species have been identified in the first phase of bio diversity mapping of the Mithapur reef apart from other life forms.

Affirmative action program
Training Programs:
Two month duration training on Paper Bag Production was organized as a part of the Rural Entrepreneur Development program. A total of 25 trainees from BPL (below poverty line) families attended this program. These trainees were issued required kits by the Gram Technology Dept. to enable them start production. One month duration technical training on soft toys and leather goods manufacture was also organized in partnership with the Gram Technology Dept. which was attended by 56 and 30 women respectively. 20 girls completed two month training in Computer Literacy, Tailoring and Beauty Parlor at the Dalit Shakti Kendra, Ahmedabad. The second batch of 14 youth also completed their training in Motor rewinding, Welding, Video shooting and Electrics here. A total of 60 youth including 39 boys and 21 girls have been trained in various trades at the Dalit Shakti Kendra, Ahmedabad.

Rural Entrepreneurship Development Program:
Achievement Motivation and Tailoring trainings were organized, which were attended by 95 and 71 trainees respectively. REDP awareness programs and trainings were also organized at Mojap, Bhimrana, Arambda, Surajkaradi and Charakla villages covering a total of 235 aspirants. Two members of the “SAPAT RANGI” Bandhani Cluster were sponsored by TCSRD for participation in the Leather Goods Fair organized by INDEX-C at Jamnagar.

TCSRD partners

Water and Sanitation Management Organization (WASMO)
Water and Sanitation Management Organization (WASMO) is a register society of Government of Gujarat. It is an autonomous organization to promote, facilitate and empower village panchayats and rural community to manage local water resources and have their own water supply systems and environmental sanitation facilities.

During the time when an earthquake had hit Gujarat in 2000, the Govt of Gujarat had undertaken various rehabilitation programs on a large scale. Jamnagar was one of the districts where the Earth Quake Rehabilitation and reconstruction (ERR) program (2004-08) was initiated. WASMO, a state water mission helped the Government in implementing the ERR program.

WASMO, by identifying the NGO in the region took on this challenging task. It identified Tata Chemical Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) as an implementing support agency to initiate the work in 8 villages of Okha Mandal taluka. It started with infrastructure development and provided the distribution of potable water to the individual houses. TCSRD, by following the principal of community management and engagement completed each and every activity in all the 8 villages. Main activities implemented by TCSRD in partnership with WASMO were:

  • Capacity building programs;
  • Technical training and technical support;
  • Social training and social support to villages
  • Women empowerment programs;

All the 8 villages are enjoying the benefits of the facilities created. By doing this, it has provided a sustainable solution towards their fundamental need.

Water resource management being the most important requirement of Okha Mandal area as it is one of the drought prone areas of Gujarat. WASMO in partnership with TCSRD completed recharging and water harvesting work by deepening and development of Mayasar Lake. By doing so it has been able to solve the problem of drinking water for the whole of Dwarka town.

In 2009, Costal Area Development Program (CADP) was launched by Gujarat government. WASMO in partnership with TCSRD has been implementing this program in 15 villages of Okha Mandal as well as Kalyanpur taluka. Apart from providing the infrastructural development support for the distribution of potable water at the individual house, it will also provide support towards the construction of individual rain water harvesting structures. So far, more than 700 structures have been provided in the villages. Beside this, TCSRD is also creating awareness on the importance of good quality water in order to reduce the water borne diseases caused by contaminated water.

I wish a great success to the TCSRD for its work and extend my heartiest congratulation for this interactive interface by the means of TCSRD e newsletter.

Enhancing livelihoods of India’s poor - A role for Indian business

There are many who believe that all India needs to do to defeat poverty is to maintain its market-led economic growth trajectory. At the same time, the skewed nature of this growth has led to a growing consensus that it can only work if it is “inclusive” which, shorn of the jargon, simply means a growth that increases opportunities for everyone especially those at the base of the pyramid.

This piece focuses on the role businesses in enhancing employability and entrepreneurship for faster, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Growing informalisation
Data provided by the National Commission for Employment in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) India’s labour force is increasingly informalised i.e. they are denied security of tenure, proper working conditions, social security and dignity. Some interesting findings:

  • The level of informalisation (percentage of informal workers as a percentage of total workers) has been growing from about 91% in the 1990s and stands at about 93%.
  • The bulk of these workers are engaged in occupations like agriculture labour.
  • Employment in the organised sector grew more than the overall employment growth in the first 5 years of this century, though only marginally. Some estimates suggest that formal private sector in India employs under 3% of India’s labour force.
  • 77% of the population lived on under Rs. 20 per day and 79% of the informal sector workers are in this category.

Employment growing but rate of growth decreasing
Though the employment continues to grow in both the public and private sectors but the rate of growth is decreasing because of the use of modern technologies (that tend to be less labour-intensive) and the outsourcing of many goods and services to small enterprises and the informal sector. There are two interesting consequences of this trend. Supply chains of companies - including those in the services sector - will become longer and hence their sustainability performances become harder to ascertain, putting the reputation of principal companies at risk along the lines of what happened when global apparel brands like Nike and Levi Strauss outsourced to Asian countries. But this also provides opportunities for enterprises of the poor, who can become suppliers to major brands rather than look for their own consumers.

Growing gap between education and employability
While much of the reform in India’s education system has focused on improving its quality and access at the elementary school level, attempts to gear it towards employable skills are relatively recent and underdeveloped. Also, processes necessary to nurture the entrepreneurial instincts of young people have just not been emphasised. As a result, India’s burgeoning population of young people seem ill-equipped to fulfil their productive potential as they reach an employable age.

Social exclusion
Anecdotal evidence continues to suggest that issues like caste, gender and religious affiliation deny

people belonging to certain groups from pursuing any livelihood they wish. The Sachar Committee that looked at issues facing Indian Muslims confirmed this. Not coincidentally, the lowest paying and undignified livelihoods are those available to women and the so-called low castes without hindrance. The ability to choose a livelihood continues to be restricted to a privileged few.

Rural distress,br />The growing number of farmer suicides, forced migration of rural people to urban India and to better endowed rural parts and a crumbling rural infrastructure - both physical and social - all point to rural distress. India’s 9% GDP growth is essentially an urban story and one that is significantly skewed towards the service sector, largely by-passing the rural poor who are heavily reliant on agriculture while their children experience a dysfunctional government schooling system.

Livelihood oriented education
The Indian education system, particularly post grade 10 when children are about 16 years of age, needs to be re-oriented so that students are better equipped to enter the world of jobs and entrepreneurship. The formal education system has been extremely slow to respond with little achieved beyond the introduction of computer literacy and English language teaching in high school. Indian businesses continue to invest significantly in training their recruits, including graduates.

Social entrepreneurs have been far more active in setting up initiatives to bridge this gap. CAP Foundation
(www.capfoundation.in) has been a pioneer in developing 3-6 month training courses - referred to as employability training - aimed at school drop-outs and has been successful in finding jobs for

for more than 80% of its graduates in various companies. Many others in the civil society and for-profit sectors have established similar initiatives with success. The Government of India has partnered with Indian business to set up the National Skills Development Corporation (www.nsdcindia.org) to pursue the same agenda.

What characterises many of these initiatives, however, is that they are urban-centric and focus on making young people ready for jobs. This is of course invaluable. However, in a scenario where it is clear that formal jobs will constitute a small proportion of the options for the poor - less than 10% in the short-to-medium term - entrepreneurship development and self-employment is perhaps more critical. The public and private sector systems have yet to respond to this missing piece of what is a very complex puzzle.

Affirmative action in jobs
While technology and outsourcing will reduce the growth of jobs, particularly in large businesses, they are still likely to grow with the expanding economy. However, the question is how many of these jobs will be available to those currently excluded, who come with lower educational qualifications and skills. Affirmative action programmes that encourage diversity and proactively engage the excluded in the workplace (and in education) will be crucial to meet the goals of an inclusive growth strategy. Experiences in developed economies demonstrate that there is a business case to do this, but will Indian employers be able to recognise and enjoy the benefits?

Nurturing enterprises of the poor
If small producers - be they street vendors, farmers or manufacturers - are to be successful in a highly competitive market environment, they need to operate like the big boys, i.e. at scales that enable them to reduce costs and be taken seriously in the marketplace and more directly engaged with the formal economy. Thus they need to incorporate various practices of social enterprises that operate on business principles but with the objective of social good.

Collective enterprises - businesses of and owned by the workers or self-employed producers themselves and managed professionally - are a type of social enterprise that works well when it comes to bundling individual producers together. This is evidenced by the success of Amul in the case of milk producers (www.amul.com) and Lijjat in the case of the more humble papad (www.lijjat.com), arguably the best known brands in this space. Collective enterprises enable individual producers to take advantages of scale while protecting their individual interests, build the necessary social capital to deal with vested interests when the members pursue livelihoods not “sanctioned” to the caste or gender and dignify their work and themselves.

Role for business
Business has the potential to play a very constructive role in making this inclusive growth story a reality, while also realising the associated benefits. Some ideas are outlined below:

Contribute to initiatives working on livelihood oriented education
Many businesses (TCS, Moser Baer and Pepsico and Microsoft are partners of employability training service providers like CAP Foundation and Saath) already support ongoing

employability training initiatives in a number of ways like by providing technical inputs to develop course content, by providing volunteers to deliver some of the training modules, by recruiting graduates of such programmes and by giving grants to such initiatives to expand their programmes to new geographies Businesses could also set up similar initiatives. In addition, they could play a pioneering role in helping set up initiatives that promote entrepreneurship. Not only will this fill a huge and as yet unaddressed gap in making India’s growth inclusive, it can also create alternatives in its value chain – much like how Hindustan Unilever’s Shakti programme converted the old and tired idea of a self-help group into a new breed of social enterprise.

Expanding the value chain and including the excluded
Consider the following: Titan Industries is working with goldsmiths in eastern India to set up businesses owned by these goldsmiths that will craft and supply jewellery items that Titan designs and markets Hindustan Unilever’s Project Shakti, looks at women’s groups in villages as an additional distribution channel for its products Bharti Walmart has a team that works with its suppliers, particularly the smaller ones, to upgrade and expand their facilities – as the company grows and expands into other cities, so will the size and range of its supply chain What is common about these initiatives is that they not only enhance livelihoods that potentially include those currently excluded in formal structures, they also make business sense. And this makes them highly replicable.

Deepening sustainability in the supply chain
Globally, businesses are becoming aware that their social and environmental performance depends to a great extent on how their supply chains perform. And this cannot just be left to regulation and regulators, especially in regions where governance is lax. Voluntary codes like SA 8000, ETI, FLA, AA etc. are increasingly being used by businesses to ensure increasing compliance with basic standards. This automatically benefits workers in these organisations through better working conditions, greater investments in training and skill building etc.

Businesses in India are still to fully appreciate the business benefits of ensuring high environmental and social standards in its value chain, but this is rapidly changing. Responding to this opportunity represents a very effective way of improving the health of supply chains - especially for SMEs - and in turn positively impacts the lives and livelihoods of the excluded.

Ideas to shape curriculum
Infosys’s Campus Connect programme has tremendous potential to be replicated by other businesses, not just at the college level but across all levels of the education spectrum. Without changing the foundational purposes of education to promote critical thinking and citizenship, businesses could:

Work with high schools and colleges in the vicinity of their workplace and help:

  • Design and deliver programmes that can enhance content
  • Expose students to a greater range of career options
  • Provide opportunities for young people to better understand the world of business through visits, internships etc.

Advise curriculum developers on content and new courses that exposes students to business situations and promotes entrepreneurship

Design and support initiatives that focus on promoting entrepreneurship

Affirmative action in jobs
Business associations like CII and ASSOCHAM have been leading the way in devising means by which their members can embed affirmative action in jobs. This remains a direct and significant contribution that business can make to the inclusive growth agenda, though what companies are actually doing is currently unclear. Proactive identification of skill sets required for each job and linkages with initiatives working on livelihood oriented education are critical to convert this intent into effective delivery.

The opportunities for business to play a significant role in enhancing livelihoods of those currently excluded are many and varied. And many of these opportunities also make business sense - some in the short term and others in the long term. It is for each company to explore and realise those with the greatest win-win potential.