Building infrastructure for local communities is as sensitive and significant a task as sustaining a long-term relationship with the local people. Because infrastructure defines the quality of life they are empowered to lead. This is considered to be a cardinal truth by the workforce at the Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power Company, based in Kutch district of Gujarat. For instance, a school which adds a set of functional toilets to its expansion plans would record a fall in the dropout rate of female students in the senior classes. Comprehensive water harvesting structures and a network of steady and stable water supply source would spare the womenfolk hours of walking to and fro to fetch their family’s daily quota. Safe and well connected roads would take the farmers and other rural traders closer to the market place.
These examples are by no means fictitious. CGPL has invested heavily in building ‘relationships’ with the villagers who live in and around its project site. Its works include several 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 and influencing thousands of lives. All conceptualized and implemented within a time period of seven years. The performance report of CGPL 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.
Hundreds of toilets have been built in the villages to improve the state of sanitation facilities locally. Today, a handful of these have succeeded in achieving 100 per cent mark in individual sanitation units, a feat that has been acknowledged and applauded by the state government. As per official statistics, this programme has been replicated in the neighbouring villages as well, leading to an overall upgradation in the sanitation status of the region.
Meanwhile, CGPL continues to work with the locals to build repair and renovate community infrastructure. From classrooms to sanitation units. From cremation grounds to a cricket stadium.
Pgs 25,26 and 35