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    Community Initiatives
VAL’s community initiatives are an important part of the company’s vision of bringing sustainable development to the communities in and around its operations. Currently the CSR team of 17 people reaches out over 87 villages having more than 30,000 populations along with 15 NGO partners. Their need-based interventions span 3 broad areas of health, education, livelihood and sports and culture.

An impact assessment study was undertaken by the Asian Institute of Sustainable Development, Ranchi to assess the impact of VAL’s sustained CSR activities. The report covered 89 villages in a 10km radius of the project, and stated that the quality of life of the people significantly improved over the four year period from 2004 to 2008:

  • Infant Mortality Rate reduced from 200 to 75 per thousand live births
  • Child malnutrition down from 58% to 31%
  • Immunisation increased from 35% to 71%
  • Malarial death dropped from 80% to 20%
  • School drop-out rate down from 70% to 20%
  • School attendance increased from 45% to 86%
  • Farm man day’s employment increased from 120 to 250 days
  • Surface irrigation increased 35% through stream diversion method
  • More than 750 acres of land under vegetable cultivation
  • Crop failure reduced nearly 50% due to improved cultivation techniques, plant protection
  • Roads, drains, tube-wells, enabled communication, hygienic sanitation and potable water for 50,000+ people
The community initiatives at Lanjigarh have focused on the following objectives to be achieved in the next 5 years:
  • Enhancing Quality of Life congruent to Nature, Culture and Tradition
  • Reducing malnutrition level by 25%
  • To bring down malarial deaths to 5%
  • Socio-economic development ensuring direct and indirect employment to over 10,000 people
VALís key stakeholders include the neighboring community, local employees, Governments, NGOs, farmers, self-help groups, employees, retainers, contractors, district administration, tribal development, Government agencies, and village heads. VAL strives to proactively engage with these stakeholders and also seeks to address the Dongria Kondh tribe through Advocacy Communication through local folk media and other activities. The company works to ensure sustainable projects, processes and outcomes that the local people could claim ownership of and benefit from at the same time.

Adopting a holistic approach for overall development of the community encompassing health, education, livelihood and village infrastructure development, VALís initiatives follow a 360į approach. They encompass:
  1. Need assessment
  2. Participatory planning (community consultation)
  3. Project formulation (based on demand, supply analysis , scientific delivery system and equity)
  4. Project Implementation
  5. Participatory Monitoring and Third Party Evaluation
  6. Fresh need assessment based on impact / evaluation study
A few of VALís on-ground activities
Health:
  • Mobile Health Units
  • Health Outlets, Health Camps
  • Neo Natal Screening Programme for sickle Cell Anaemia, Reproductive Child Health
  • Project Trupti for potable drinking water
  • Upgradation of the Lanjigarh Hospital
All these initiatives are being executed to ensure Primary Health Care to the unreached, propagation of preventive measures thereby reducing incidences of disease and hospitalization.

Education:
  • Child Care Centres
  • Vedanta Bal Chetna – Ensuring a good beginning for every child by offering nutrition, health care and education in the local primary schools adopted by Vedanta
  • Mid Day Meal – for school going children to continue to go to school
  • Scholarship Schemes
  • DAV School - to impart quality ‘English Medium’ education.
Livelihood:
  • Project Jeebika Ė to improve livelihood options of tribal women
  • Project Shashakti Ė to Empower women with improved livelihood options and life style
  • Commercial Vegetable Cultivation, Animal Husbandry, WADI(Orchards) Integrated Village Development Programme (IVDP) to ensure sustainable livelihood to men , women, local youth through viable farm and non-farm activities as individual and group enterprises.
Infrastructure:
  • Rural infrastructure initiatives like Approach Road, Sitting Platforms and Community Centres for locals
  • Project Ujala Ė Offering electricity to nearby villages
  • Other facilities to ensure access to basic amenities improved quality of life and facilitate faster movements of goods and services for all.
Socio-cultural bonding: VAL also participates in traditional cultural events, festival, support for sports and promoting local heritage to bond with the society.

Endearing results: VALís social engagement activities have augured well for the company-community relationship. The on-ground activities have brought Medical Treatment to reduce MMR/ IMR, sickle cell anemia and ensure family welfare programmes for over 18,000 people across 87 villages. VAL has ensured 100% enrollment and joyful learning for more than 1000 children in Child Care Centres, 30,000 children in Anganwadi Centres and formal schools and food fortification that have reduced malnutrition in approximately 30,000 children across 1010 villages in Kalahandi and Rayagada district.

VALís socio-economic initiatives have empowered around 1500 men, 1200 women and 300 youth by generating sustainable livelihood options and inducting need-based capacity building measures along with appropriate backward and forward linkages in over 2000 Households across 50 villages.

Click here to read about one of VALís initiatives: The Transformation of Phuldumer, a village in Lanjigarh
 
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