projects are carried out under the aegis of the 'Aditya Birla Centre for Community
Initiatives and Rural Development', led by Mrs. Rajashree Birla. The centre provides
the strategic direction and the thrust areas for our work, while also ensuring performance
management. Our focus is on the all-round development of the communities based around
our plants, most of which are located in distant rural areas and tribal belts.
Project identification mechanism:
All projects are planned in a participatory manner, in consultation with the community.
The process involves interacting with them and gauging their basic needs. We take
recourse to 'participatory rural appraisal', which is a mapping process.
Furthermore, based on a consensus and in discussion with the village panchayats,
we prioritise requirements. Thus, a project is created. Implementation is the responsibility
of the community and our team. And so is the monitoring of milestones and other
aspects. Monitoring entails physical verification of the progress and the actual
output of the project.
Village meetings are held periodically to receive feedback on the benefits of our
community programmes and on the areas where these need to be revised. We try to
ensure, that even though in the short term we have to put in enormous efforts, eventually,
the projects will be made sustainable by the efforts of the beneficiaries themselves.
Once the project becomes self-sustaining, complete control is handed over to the
villagers. This transfer of responsibility ensures a culture of independence and
One of our unique initiatives is to develop model villages. Hence, each of our major
companies is working towards the total transformation of a number of villages in
proximity of their plants. A model village entails ensuring self-reliance in all
aspects viz. education, health care, family welfare, infrastructure, agriculture,
watershed management and sustainable livelihood options. The fundamental aim is
to ensure that their development reaches a stage where the village committees take
over complete responsibility and our teams become dispensable.
Of the 3,000 villages that we are associated with, we have selected 300 villages
that we hope to turn into model villages. Over a period of time, we expect to see
a major transformation of these villages. More than 80 villages in the hinterlands
have already become model villages. The social situation in many villages has gone
from dependence to freedom and from backwardness to progress.