Winning accolades for a job well done always acts as an instant morale booster, no matter who initiates the process. But when the kudos come from peer groups, coworkers or business associates, the shine of success acquires an extra glitter. Because this group works on the same terrain, faces the same challenges, and fights the same battles. Who else, therefore, can make a more accurate assessment of the effort put in to get the job done?
Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power Company, recently experienced the honour of being declared a winner by its peers and colleagues. It has won three prestigious awards at the Tata Affirmative Action Programme Annual Convention 2015. The Tata Affirmative Action Programme (TAAP) is a Tata Group initiative that was launched in 2007 for the betterment of disadvantaged sections of the society. Through TAAP, the Group educates, employs and empowers the underprivileged sections of the society, without compromising on merit or quality.
This year, Tata Power’s Affirmative Action initiatives was recognised at the TAAP Annual Convention in three categories- ‘Significant Adoption’ of Tata Affirmative Action Programme, ‘Significant for the Education category, and ‘Good Practice’ for the comprehensive Need Assessment Study, conducted by it, of the targeted SC/ST population in all its project sites.
The judges considered the work to be exceptional because the Company has taken a bold step forward, going beyond its mandate, to help the communities living in and around its sites. At the group level, there are four thrust areas for Affirmative Action, viz. Employment, Entrepreneurship, Employability and Education. Tata Power has selected a 5th E, that is ‘Essential Amenities’, as an additional area of focus. The 5th E, that lists basic amenities like infrastructure, drinking water, sanitation, and healthcare to be provided for the people, must be included to honour the commitment made by the Group to improve their ‘quality of life’, declares Tata Power.
Yes indeed, but this implies taking on responsibilities of mammoth proportions. Is the Company walking the talk, or is it merely mouthing the jargon? Perhaps it is time now to check the ground realities.
15 multi-dimensional community development programmes that cover every aspect of human life–health, education, income generation and livelihood restoration, infrastructure development, energy conservation and natural resource management– touching 18 villages and more than 36000 lives. All conceptualized and implemented within a time period of seven years. The performance report of the Coastal Gujarat Private Limited (CGPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power Company, is impressive. Especially so, because the impact of its work is already discernible in its ‘area of operations,’ the Modhva and Mandvi talukas in coastal Kutch, Gujarat.
So when a senior member of the CGPL clan says, “It is highly satisfying to look back on the last year and see the programmes we strategized, blossom into successful and replicable Community Relations (CR) models. It is gratifying to observe that our hard work over the last seven years has translated into bringing such a significant difference in multiple aspects of people’s lives,” he is backed up by rock solid evidence on the ground.
In CGPL’s catchment villages, the number of students going to school has grown steadily .from teachers who claim that the quality of the work they do has improved significantly thanks to the trainings organized by CGPL, and the technology (computers and other appliances) provided by it in classrooms.
Every villager living in the CGPL zone is aware of the perils of unclean water, and therefore, protects the infrastructure set up by the company to source unpolluted water as zealously as his or her own.
Even as Community partners here are being trained to be tech-savvy, the traditional livelihoods prevalent in this region, such as cattle-rearing that were languishing in recent times have now been given a fresh lease of life. The animals have grown in number and local dairy farms are in business again.
Such instances are numerous and they all lead to the same conclusion. That CGPL’s Community Relations (CR) Department has reinvented the scope, the dimension and the significance of the concept that the rest of the industry refer to as Corporate Social Responsibility