Vedanta Resources expanding CSR activities in Orissa and other states

With a mission to impact the lives of 2.5 million under-privileged children, Vedanta Resources group has already strengthened its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes across all operating States in India.

Online PR News – 16-March-2010 – – With a mission to impact the lives of 2.5 million under-privileged children, Vedanta Resources group has already strengthened its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes across all operating States in India. With Rs. 186.50 Crore already invested in various CSR programmes in the past 4 years, the Group has also laid down Rs. 125 Crore CSR Plan for the year 2009-10. CSR Plan is part of Business Plan for the Vedanta Resources Group. Programmes on Health, Education, Livelihood, Self Help Group – Women Empowerment, Vocational Training to Rural Youth, Schools, Mid - Day Meal to Children, Infrastructure Development, Integrated Child Development Programs and other CSR Projects are impacting the lives of lacs of people in States where the Group operates in India, viz. Rajasthan, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Goa. Speaking to Mr. Anil Agarwal, recently, he said ‘CSR is close to my heart and we are working day and night for the benefit of the under-privileged children in the country’. Computer Education, Mid-Day Meal and through Bal Chetna Anganwadi Project, we would be touching the lives of about 2.5 Million children in coming 3-5 years time, he added.

Stressing the need for nutritious diet for young children, he said, ‘Children are under-weight, almost half of their regular weight. They do not get good nutritious food. We are trying to make sure that through our Bal Chetna Anganwadi Project (under Integrated Child Development Scheme) and Mid-Day Meal Programme these children get proper diet.’ With over 1,000 Anganwadis adopted from the State Governments of Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and Orissa, under the Public Private Partnership, the Group is already taking care of about 35,000 under-privileged children. Today, these Anganwadis have utensils, ground-nuts, planned diet for the children, water filters for safe drinking water, hygienic toilets, toys, colourful books, to name a few. Children are happy and their attendances in these Anganwadis have increased immensely.

Today they sing poems and play games. A doctor visits them regularly for their checkups. Utmost care is taken to ensure that their weight is proper. Lanjigarh in District Kalahandi in Orissa; Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand and Bhilwara in Rajasthan; and Korba in Chattisgarh are the districts were these Anganwadis are operating. Vedanta is planning to increase the impact by adopting more Anganwadis and cover about 500,000 children in the coming year in Sterlite Bal Chetna Anganwadi Project. In Orissa, Vedanta Aluminium Limited; in Rajasthan, Hindustan Zinc Limited; and in Chattisgarh, BALCO is spearheading the CSR Projects and covering more and more underprivileged children.

Taking further, another programme through which the nutrition to children is being taken care is “Mid Day Meal” Programme. About 180,000 children of over 2,400 primary and middle schools are being provided mid-day meal by the Vedanta Group Company, Hindustan Zinc in Rajasthan. At present 6 – Hi-tech kitchens are operating and the group is already moving ahead to set-up 31 more such hi-tech kitchens in the coming 3-5 years. 9–Hi-Tech Kitchens are expected to come up by 2010 - 2 in Orissa in Jharsuguda and Lanjigarh; 3 in Rajasthan, 2 in Chattisgarh, 1 in Bihar and 1 in Jharkhand. On an average, setting up of kitchen costs about Rs. 1.25 crore. The target is to serve about 10,00,000 children and provide them good food.

Computer education is another area Vedanta Resources group is concentrating. Computer education to all under-privileged children in the country is the dream of Mr. Anil Agarwal, Group Chairman, Vedanta Resources plc. At present 200 schools are covered in Rajasthan and 1,000 computers have been distributed. These schools are government schools and priority has been given to girls’ schools. About 40,000 students are already benefiting from this initiative and the Group proposes to cover about 10,00,000 children in coming 3-5 years.

The priority of Computer Education Project is to increase computer efficiency, which is mandatory in the today’s environment, up-bring their education system, bring self-confidence in students, encourage logical thinking, analytical ability and bring them par with other children. The Computer Education Project has itself played a big role in retention of students and has positively impacted the attendance in schools. The project is being extended to 200 more schools in Rajasthan in the coming year.

Mr. Anil Agarwal is also building “Vedanta Cancer Hospital & Research Centre” in Raipur, in the State of Chattisgarh, through Vedanta Medical Research Foundation, a non-profit organization. The objective is to develop a “Centre of Excellence” for high quality referral medical care in Oncology, Cardiology, Pediatrics and Neurology rendered in a scientific and academic environment and to bring ultra modern, multi-modality diagnostic and therapeutic facilities to common man at an affordable price. The Hospital would be of 360 beds and in the first phase about 100 beds are being put-up. The first phase is likely to be completed within 18 months. With the proposed built-up area of about 4.45 Lac sq. feet, the Vedanta Cancer Hospital & Research Centre will be a state-of art with all modern technology.