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.
“The Agro advisory services are helping me immensely in better planning of crop management and improved harvesting and yield.”
investing in community programes,
benefiting around 4 million* people
*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.
COMMUNITY ASSET CREATION
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.
BIO INVESTMENT AND ENERGY
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|
PREPARING YOUNGSTERS FOR WORK, INDIA
In the state of Chhattisgarh, central India, young people lack manufacturing and service skills. The Chhattisgarh State Skills Development Corporation (SDC) has set a target of training 2 million youngsters by 2020.
As a key employer in the region, Vedanta’s aluminium business, BALCO, is offering vocational training and work placements. Its skills school provides the facilities, resources, transportation, uniforms and work placements, while training is delivered by experts from the SDC. All 30–45-day courses are free and subjects include hospitality, welding, sewing and electrical fitting, all certified by the SDC.
So far the project has benefited 3,000 young people across five communities. It has been commended as a model project by the State Secretary of Technical Education and has won a number of awards.
In Goa, Vedanta Ltd.’s technical school celebrated a 10–year anniversary, with 1,082 young people graduating as electricians and plumbers over the decade – a 100% pass rate.
“After training, the school gave me an offer to join a hotel. I happily joined there and today I am earning Rs.4,500 as monthly income.”
1, 3 & 8
SOLAR MICRO-GRID FOR 100 DESERT HOUSEHOLDS, INDIA
When night falls, the villages around Cairn India’s operations in Barmer, Rajasthan, are in complete darkness. But thanks to Cairn’s rural solar mini–grid pilot project, people now have the light and power to work, run small businesses and study safely.
In partnership with the photovoltaics company SunEdison, the grid is made up of a centralised solar energy production and storage facility, and electricity lines connecting each house. By pooling power in this way, each household can access energy more reliably than via the national grid, which is prone to outages.
With 100 households now able to run lights, fridges and fans, community productivity has dramatically improved. Television was even introduced to one remote village for the first time. By replacing kerosene lamps, which are prone to fire and emit petrol fumes, safety and health are also improved and villagers save two-thirds of the cost.
Following the success of this pilot, ownership of the solar facility was transferred to the Gram Panchayat (local self-government) and will be run as a Village Electricity Committee where community members are responsible for collecting payments, operations, basic maintenance and security of the facility.
This initiative is an exemplar of Vedanta’s philosophy of grassroots development, empowering women, working in partnership and handing ownership to beneficiaries at the earliest opportunity.
“Now the schoolchildren are able to study at night. Housewives and girls can now get freedom from working in the dark.”
SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED MANAGEMENT, INDIA
In partnership with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, the NGO Action for Food Production and community Panchayat councils, BALCO conducted a needs assessment in four villages in Chhattisgargh. This consultation revealed the requirement for better watershed management for agricultural irrigation.
BALCO stepped in to fund 33 acres of fencing, a cascaded dam, three farm ponds storing 850,000 litres of water, two wells and 600 kilograms of seed potato. The results have been impressive: 40 acres of land can now be irrigated, benefiting 28 farmers; rabi crop yields have increased
and further crops including wheat, gram and mustard have been planted; 2,400 kilograms of potatoes have been harvested; soil water retention is helping preparedness for climate change drought; and fish are being reared at all three ponds. Farmers also received training in sustainable cultivation, nutrient and pest management and animal husbandry, and a cattle vaccination programme was initiated.
After successful implementation of this initiative, BALCO has begun the process of handing ownership to communities, in line with Vedanta’s model of social empowerment.
1, 3 & 7
CHAMPIONING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS, INDIA
Sterlite Copper has been creating and supporting Sakhi self-help groups for rural women for 10 years and has formed 1,056 groups over this period, reaching 15,251 women. The Sakhis bring together government organisations and six non-government organisations (NGOs) under Vedanta’s vision of developing women entrepreneurs to create social mobility and economic empowerment.
Training is offered in book-keeping, leadership and decision-making, and members receive assistance to grow income-generating enterprises ranging from prawn pickle processing to dried flower production; candle making to rabbit rearing.
Groups are based on principles of fairness and democracy and are born out of a needs assessment to understand the issues and barriers facing women. For example, many women have reported a lack of access to credit as a barrier and thus microfinance has become a key focus of Sakhis.
As a result of these self-help groups, women are earning an average of US$48 a month more than they were previously, a relatively large sum in rural Tamil Nadu. Furthermore, many have secured loans ranging from US$800 to over US$6,000 to grow their enterprises. The collective savings of the group during the reporting period was US$642,000, a milestone in the Sakhi goal of being self-sufficient in funding.
HELPING VILLAGERS TAKE CONTROL OF SANITATION, INDIA
Over the year, 11,426 household toilets were built as part of HZL’s agreement with the State Government of Rajasthan to invest £848 million in building 30,000 rural toilets for families classified as in poverty, over three years. The community development team has been working in and around 200 villages in Rajasthan where 60% of the population lacks access to a toilet and where open defecation leads to disease. Lack of sanitary wear is also preventing girls from attending school.
Also in Rajasthan, Cairn India has constructed 2,200 household toilets in three communities. Its goal is to build 20,000 household toilets and 150 school toilets in 120 communities by FY2018. Working closely with government and NGO partners, it saw satisfaction reported by 81% of beneficiaries.
HZL and Cairn India follow a public – private partnership model that involves close collaboration with communities and external stakeholders. An extensive process of Panchayat consultations and focus groups runs in parallel with awareness-raising
campaigns on the importance of sanitation. Both businesses apply Vedanta’s ethos of long-term community ownership as beneficiaries share the costs of construction. In Tamil Nadu, Sterlite Copper has invested £84,000 in building 195 individual toilets and 23 school toilets since 2011, alongside social NGO Sulabh International. Sanitation levels have increased by 24% in the two targeted communities.
PROJECTS LIKE THESE CONTRIBUTE TO MDGs 4, 5 AND 6