It is the responsibility of a business organization to give back to the society and the environment at large without which it cannot operate. Since business organizations are economic organs of society, the progress and sustainability of the Company is measured by its contribution to the society and environment along with its economic growth. Besides being a manufacturer of a number of life saving drugs and antibiotics which contributes to the life and health of people and lends a helping hand to the community, We believes in conducting its business responsibly, fairly and in a transparent manner with minimal impact on the environment.
At Tata Motors, our CSR efforts are focused on improving the quality of life of underprivileged communities neighbouring our business operations. Our interventions focus on health, education, employability and environment, impacting over 5,80,000 lives in India.
As I write this foreword for the Annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report of Tata Motors for the year, my mind goes back to 1960, when a Sir Dorab Tata Scholarship of 60 rupees per month for six years allowed young Raghunath Mashelkar to undertake his higher education. If someone had predicted 55 years ago that one day the same Raghunath Mashelkar will chair the CSR Committee of one of the flagship companies in the Tata group, no one would have believed it!
During the year, largely triggered by the Companies Act 2013, we have seen a positive shift in CSR approach of many companies in India. CSR programs are now subject to a regular review by theCSR committee of the Board. We, at Tata Motors, have been engaged in CSR activities for the past several years. Our emphasis continues to be on education, skill development, environment and health. It continues to be on the marginalised sections of the society. It continues to be on Tata Group's philosophy of 'improving quality of life'.
However, we are increasingly focusing on three things.
The first is a heavy emphasis an outcome rather than just output. We continuously ask, are we making a real difference to the lives of the people? We are developing new methodologies to measure this difference.
Secondly, we are trying to increase both our efficiency and effectiveness through inclusive innovation, namely 'getting more from less for more'. We do this by forging strategic partnerships with NGOs, technical training institutes, concerned government departments and its whole eco-system.
Thirdly, we are trying to increase our outreach. During the year, we have positively impacted lives of more than two lakh people through our focussed CSR programs. .
As we reflect on the year gone by, the first thing that stands out is the joy of being ahead of time. Through the strategic deployment of our CSR initiatives throughout the country, we reached over half a million people in FY 2016-17, a goal was to reach out to half a million people in 5 years, that is till FY 2019. The committed efforts of the CSR team members, NGO partners and our volunteers helped us in realising this dream in three years.
Successful implementation of our philosophy of 'More from Less for More' has been the key driver in our being able to reach such a large population so fast. Our implementing partners were also familiarised with the philosophy to maximise the reach of the projects. Such collaborations helped us reach the most deprived people from the community and develop scalable sustainable solutions for them.
The emphasis on Affirmative Action programmes by earmarking 40% of our CSR budget has facilitated social inclusion of the historically marginalised and discriminated Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribe communities. Such programmes facilitate both individual and community development, as the beneficiaries are seen as influencers and role models for the others in their community.
We shall also remember 2016 - 17 as the year when we concentrated our efforts on innovating our programmes. Use of technology in programme delivery and monitoring, encouraging social entrepreneurs to develop local solutions and deepening our ties with research and academic institutes are some steps we took to nurture innovation.
I am curious to pen down my thoughts on a cause very close to my heart. During the last year, I have had a chance to witness CSR activities at close quarters and participate in a few events during my visits to the plants and other locations. Petra, my wife, accompanied me for some visits and was left overwhelmed. It was heartening to see the passion demonstrated by our team and the difference each of our small acts can create in people’s lives. This year we touched and impacted lives of over 580,000 people through our initiatives in the field of health, education, employability and environment.
Under the health pillar, we could influence 362,000 lives within a wider community of malnourished children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. Preventive and curative health camps were conducted to spread the health awareness
Our initiatives in the sphere of education aim at promoting the academic growth of secondary school and college students by disbursing financial aid, developing school infrastructure and facilitating special coaching. More than 86,920 students benefitted from our programmes across our seven locations.
To address the shortage of skilled workforce in automotive and non-automotive trades, we partner with skilling centers to train unemployed youth in market driven courses. This year we helped more than 87,750 people enhance their employability skills.
More than 43,500 people participated in our environmental awareness and protection campaigns and we planted more than 100,000 saplings across our locations.
The deep-rooted culture of commitment to meaningful community development continues to help us grow as empathetic individuals and good corporate citizens. Our team members balanced their professional engagement to participate in the 6th and 7th edition of Tata Volunteering Week in large numbers. More than 10,000 employees participated in the activities drawn up by the CSR teams at each location.
With each year, we reach more people through our programmes by collaborating with other organizations. Our alliances with academic, technical and social organizations help us to optimize our funds for a greater impact. Each partner brings a new perspective on social dynamics, and a rich experience and domain expertise, which adds value to the project.
We have covered good ground in 2016 - 17, but let us not get complacent. We need to work harder this year and encourage greater participation. Our ambition of transforming more lives can only be achieved if we can develop innovative methods of programme implementation.