At UltraTech, we undertake our social initiatives under the aegis of The Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development, under the able leadership of Mrs. Rajashree Birla. The key focus areas are education, healthcare, sustainable livelihood, infrastructure and social reform. Women empowerment, water and sanitation are cross-cutting issues.
The Centre provides the strategic direction and the thrust areas for our work, while also ensuring performance management. We work towards overall development of the way of life of the communities around our plants, most of which are in distant rural areas and tribal belts. Through the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development, we reach out to more than 1.6 million people across 500 villages spanning 16 states.
We follow bottom-up approach for all our social projects. All projects are planned in consultation with the community. The process involves interacting with them and understanding their challenges and issues. We often use 'Participatory Rural Appraisal' -- a mapping process to understand the specific needs of the community.
We interact with village panchayats and prepare a list of requirements based on in-depth focused discussions. Implementation and monitoring of a project is a mutual responsibility of the community and our team. Regular community stakeholder meetings are held to ensure appropriate implementation process is followed. Once the project achieves a status of self-sustenance, ownership is transferred to the villagers. This transfer of responsibility ensures a culture of independence and self-reliance.
We are working on a major social upliftment project that turns villages reeling under issues related to poverty, unemployment, water scarcity etc., into model villages. A model village is one where people have access to all aspects including education, health care, family welfare, infrastructure, agriculture, watershed management and sustainable livelihood options, thus ensuring a wholesome quality of life.
All the major UltraTech units are working towards the total transformation of several villages in proximity of their operations. The end objective of each unit's team is to ensure that the village committees become self-sustaining.
Of the over 500 villages that we are associated with, we have selected 100 villages that we hope to turn into model villages. In a few years, we expect to see a major transformation of these villages. More than 44 villages in the hinterlands have already been transformed into a model village. The Bibee Village in Chandrapur district is one such example. The village has been selected as one of the five Smart Villages in Maharashtra from 3000 villages, post a 30 major criteria evaluation.
The social situation in many villages has gone from dependence to self-reliant and from backwardness to progress.
- Reached out to a population of 1.6 million people in over 500 villages in 16 states of India through our CSR initiatives.
- Sanitation: In collaboration with the Government of India's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission), we helped build 442 individual toilets and sanitation facilities in 38 villages. As a result, all the 38 villages have become Open-Defecation Free.
- The 840 Self-Help Groups (SHG) setup by us empowers 8000 households economically and socially.
- Reached out to around 26000 farmers to help them in agricultural and horticultural activities to reap a rich harvest.
- Education: Over 35000 students benefitted from our special coaching classes and career counselling program.
- Health: More than four lakh villagers have availed our healthcare services across units.