A week ago, a fully equipped ambulance came on Delhi roads
with the purpose of ferrying needy patients and carrying out other social
welfare activities. The ambulance is funded by Steel Authority of India Limited
(SAIL) as part of its CSR programme.
Earlier, the company had provided similar mobile medical
units or ambulances to NGOs such as Deepalaya, Anygraha, Drishtidaan and
HelpAge India. It is one of the many social initiatives that SAIL engages in
with the sole purpose of ‘making a meaningful difference in people’s lives’,
which apparently is the company’s tagline.
‘SAIL’s spending on corporate social responsibility (CSR)
activities goes beyond the minimum requirement of two per cent of profits
stipulated by the government,’ CS Verma, chairman of Sail, had said in a
statement last month, after receiving Shining Star CSR Award for exemplary
contributions towards corporate social responsibility (CSR).
The health focus
Since inception, SAIL has pioneered the cause of providing
health facilities to all sections of society. For people residing in remote
villages of the country, SAIL has been organizing strategically-planned health
camps in and around its plants and units. Villagers are sensitized on health
issues, and people detected with major ailments are referred to the
multi-speciality SAIL hospitals. The company bears the entire cost of the
patients’ and attendants’ travel, stay and treatment.
According to the company’s claim on its website, in 2009-10,
more than 3,850 camps were organized, benefitting over 2.32 lakh people by
providing free health check-up, path-lab treatment, medicines and immunization.
There are about 20 hospitals situated throughout the country
having a total strength of around 4,500 beds for the benefit of employees,
their dependants, and the peripheral or the underprivileged. These hospitals
employ around 6,000 doctors, medical and paramedical staff.
In partnership with National AIDS Control Organization
(NACO) and ministry of health and family welfare, SAIL launched an AIDS awareness
and control programme. Till date, about Rs 32 million have been spent for
implementing the policies of National AIDS Control Programme-II (NACPII) in all
On the agriculture
In August 2009, at a village near Namkum in Jharkhand, SAIL
in association with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and The Art
of Living (AOL) Foundation distributed about 330,000 tomato seedlings among 115
farmers. The seedlings, of the Swarna Sampada variety developed at ICAR, have
the potential of producing 500 tonnes of yield in the month of October. The
revenue thus generated can help in extricating these poor farming households
from the BPL mark.
SAIL also distributed 2,400 mango saplings among 350
households of Hahap village and asked villagers to pledge to nurture them as
their own children.
In March 2010, a massive irrigation project for 65 acres of
land was undertaken by SAIL’s CSR wing at Hesapiri village, Namkum. About 100
farmers benefitted from the project.
The above initiatives are instances from the many programmes
that SAIL CSR engages in on a regular basis in all the regions where it has its
Several socio-economic surveys reveal considerable benefits
emanating from SAIL’s efforts that reach the interiors up to a radius of 8-15
kilometres of its area of operations.
Programmes are undertaken by each plant
in close co-ordination with the respective state government, district
administration as well as panchayats, social organizations and people’s representatives
of the area. In the last five years, the major plants have spent nearly Rs 10
million each from their allocated budget to carry out various peripheral
development programmes every year.
Over the years, SAIL has opened about 200 schools that
employ more than 6,000 teachers in the steel townships. Over 100,000 children
across the country go to these schools every day.
These schools provide free education, boarding and lodging
facilities to underprivileged children.
Last year, Bhilai Steel Plant adopted
36 tribal children of Chhattisgarh region and admitted them to one of its
Sports and cultural
SAIL has established academies for handball, hockey and
football at Bhilai, Rourkela and Bokaro, respectively. The handball and hockey
academies are joint ventures with Sports Authority of India (SAI).
academies have produced Commonwealth, SAF and National Games champions. SAIL
also provides sports scholarships to encourage employees and children of
employees to participate and win in sports.
SAIL under its CSR programmes has the provision of providing
relief to people affected by natural calamities. Its employees, too, support
such causes through financial or relief material assistance, or through
providing medical supplies as also construction of houses, schools and
SAIL was a major contributor of relief material to the
earthquake-affected in Jabalpur on May 21, 1997, and Bhuj on January 26, 2001.
During cyclone floods in the eastern coast of Orissa in October 1999 and
October 2001, relief material worth over one crore rupees was channelized
Among numerous awards that the company has won for its CSR
initiatives, the recent ones include Wockhardt Shining Star CSR Award, FICCI
Award for Rural and Community Development Initiatives, and Businessworld-FICCI-SEDF