Community Relations

We are clear that the communities in and around our operations should get a fair share of the benefit whether those are through employment, trade and enhanced infrastructure, or greater empowerment to voice opinions.

This resonates with our corporate values of trust, entrepreneurship, innovation, excellence, integrity, respect and care. So, in addition to extensive neighbourhood dialogue and our wider economic contribution, we see it as our responsibility to invest in communities in a meaningful way.

Our community investment strategy focuses on health, education, livelihoods and environment. In 2014–15, we invested US$42 million, benefit around 4 million people globally through building hospitals, schools and infrastructure, developing employability skills, and engaging in community programmes. Our priority over the year was supporting rural livelihoods.

Consistent with our Sustainable Development Model of drawing on global best practice, our community investment approach is evaluated against the UN Millennium Development Goals and tends to follow a Public–Private–People–Partnership (4P’s) structure, in line with our goal of co-creation and handing ownership to communities as early as possible. As the MDGs expire in 2015 we will also evaluate how our projects will contribute to the sustainable development goals highlighted in Rio+20.

Cattle breeding

Cattle breeding programme at KCM, Zambia.

“The Agro advisory services are helping me immensely in better planning of crop management and improved harvesting and yield.”

–Santi Naik, ‘Veggie Kart’ farmer


investing in community programes,
benefiting around 4 million* people

MDGs 1-8

*Some of the beneficiaries could be involved in more than one project

Our areas of focus

We have seven discrete focus areas in our community programmes: health, education, sustainable livelihoods, women’s empowerment, community asset creation, bio-investment and integrated village development. These areas have been chosen due to the relevance they have to the development agendas of our major host countries, and regional areas of operation.




The Vedanta Bal Chetna Anganwadi (VBCA) programme targets pre-school level education through the Integrated Child Development Scheme, run in partnership with the Indian government. We promote women’s education by sponsoring girls who opt for higher education. We support a midday meal programme through eight centralised kitchens, aimed at improving the health status of children from Class I to VIII in government-aided schools as well as encouraging regular attendance at school. We also assist adult literacy centres, distribute education kits and provide proactive support and encouragement for educational enrolment and achievement. Skills development training is offered in a wide range of marketable trades and we encourage development of small business enterprises and entrepreneurship.


  • 550 young scholars from economically disadvantaged backgrounds were provided with scholarships.
  • 813 adults were taught to read and write by KCM in collaboration with the Zambian Ministry of Education. Several of them have passed certificate exams organised by the Ministry.
  • More than 6,000 adolescent girls covered through one of its kind outreach programme for sexual health in Tamil Nadu by Copper division.
  • To inculcate scientific learning among students and improve pedagogical tools for teachers, Cairn India works in Rajasthan and Gujarat covering more than 150 schools.




Our activities include the delivery of medical infrastructure such as the 44 hospitals/health posts we run across the Group supported by medical outreach services. These include mobile health vans and medical outposts to provide isolated rural communities with education facilities. access to medical services. We have programmes to support access to clean water and increase awareness of the importance of sanitation, providing practical assistance in developing related infrastructure, such as toilets, garbage disposal facilities and waste recycling. We particularly focus on women, through targeted nutrition programmes and family planning, combined with child welfare initiatives.


  • Sterlite Copper’s mobile medical bus delivered primary healthcare services to 35,000 people in Tamil Nadu.
  • 400 community cataract operations funded by Black Mountain mine, South Africa.
  • More than 4,000 household toilets have been built over the last year by HZL and Cairn in Rajasthan.
  • 3,393 people benefi ed from free eye check-ups funded by Sterlite Energy Limited.
  • Over 50,000 people were reached by 36 water kiosks in Rajasthan, funded by Cairn India.
  • HZL’s occupational health centres have reached approximately 18,000 people and more than 40,000 have attended medical camps for neighbouring communities.
  • Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) operates two hospitals and eight clinics, providing free medical services to more than 63,200 people, including employees and their dependents.
  • HZL and Cairn signed an agreement with the government of Rajasthan to build more than 40,000 household and school toilets.




On farms, we distribute high-yield seeds, and provide education and training in fruit and vegetable cultivation and in animal rearing practices, breed selection and animal vaccination. We offer a range of technical assistance through partners, including adopting new scientifi technologies such as compost pits and drip irrigation systems. We also focus on non-farm interventions to create economic opportunity for rural youth.


  • Vedanta Ltd. launched ‘Veggie Kart’, a microfi e project that helps farmers through agro-advice, procurement and marketing. In 50 farmers generated a substantial surplus in 2014, Odisha.
  • 1,082 young people have graduated as electricians and plumbers from Vedanta Ltd.’s technical school in Goa in the past 10 years.
  • BALCO’s skills school has benefi ed more than 3,800 young people to date, in fi e communities in Chhattisgarh.
  • Cairn India completed construction of the Cairn Centre of Excellence in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, offering skills development and employment in partnership with TUV Rhineland.




Our main activity in working to empower women is our support for over 1,200 women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs). These SHGs bring women together to develop skills and create income-generating micro businesses. As economic opportunities are very limited in isolated rural villages, SHGs not only give women a chance to contribute towards the income of their families but also provide an opportunity to socialise and share concerns and experiences with other women outside the home, leading to overall empowerment of women. Specific opportunities include training in tailoring, stitching and local crafts to women, providing them with skills that can enable sustainable income generation. Market links are also provided. We partner to provide livelihood skills, including animal husbandry; support is also provided to establish links with financial institutions.


  • 1,056 Self Help Groups for women, reaching 15,251 women since 2004, Sterlite Copper (see following page). HZL and Cairn have installed sanitary vending machines for women along with incinerators to promote menstrual women’s health. The sanitary pads are made by women’s SHGs.
  • Skorpion Zinc sponsored the Confederation of African Football’s Women’s Football Championship, Namibia.
  • KCM has invested US$2.5 million in a community livestock programme focused on women, giving 596 cows and 2,000 goats since 2010.




Amongst other initiatives, this also includes the building of schools in rural and remote locations. Facilities are built on a needs basis in discussion with the community and have included community halls, roads, health and education facilities.


  • HZL has invested over $800,000 for a sewage treatment plant which provides clean and safe drinking water to the community as well as helping the local administration combat the challenges of urban waste.




This year, our focus has been on significant planting programmes around our operations. The aim of these mass plantings is to reduce dust emissions and preserve habitats and water tables. In addition, investment in energy where communities which are remote. The community owned model where we partner in capex and the community runs it on a fee model was piloted.


  • 100 households receive energy from Cairn India’s community-run solar PV plant.
  • KCM partnered with Village Water Zambia, the government Forestry Department and communities to plant 7,000 fruit and animal fodder trees as nutritional supplements for communities.

Direct Economic Impacts 2014-15
Youths provided vocational training 3,844
Youths linked to Job After training 2,213
Youths linked with job/ self-employment engaged under micro-enterprise development for self-employment 718

Direct Economic Impacts 2014-15
Number of Self Help Groups (SHGs) (old + new) 1,571
Women members in SHGs 33,375
SHGs engaged in income generation activities 326
Number of women establishing micro-enterprises 3,371
Average income of Women Entrepreneurs (monthly income in Rs.) 6,302
Total number of Special/Mega Camps e.g. eyecare, cardiac care, family planning, TB, HIV/AIDS etc. 2,944


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