Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has bagged the Businessworld-FICCI-SEDF Corporate Social Responsibility Award – 2006. President of India Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam presented the award to Mr S.K. Roongta, Chairman, SAIL, at the FICCI Auditorium here today. The award recognises the innovative corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives taken by SAIL in the fields of education, access to drinking water, medical and healthcare, sanitation, communication/roads, sustainable livelihood/income generation, women's empowerment, tribal welfare, environment preservation, sports, reproductive and child healthcare, heritage preservation, cultural and recreational activities, etc. This is the first time that a public sector enterprise has won the award since it was instituted in 1999.
Over the years, SAIL has established 133 company-run schools that impart quality education to more than 80,000 children, maintaining a girl-boy ratio of 1:1. SAIL also provides access to improved sources of drinking water to more than 2 million people. More than 20 million people have benefited from SAIL's 20 hospitals, four speciality hospitals and numerous primary healthcare centres. The first corporate entity to collaborate with NACO for generating greater awareness on AIDS, SAIL has so far covered more than seven lakh people in its AIDS awareness programme since 1999-2000.
To promote and help develop smallscale industries around its plants, the company generates orders worth more than Rs 600 crore for ancillary industries annually. In addition, the Mahila Samaj/Samitis in SAIL plants/units have been working relentlessly for empowerment of women from weaker sections of society by forming self-help groups for income generation.
At its plants, units and mines, SAIL has its own townships comprising collectively of 140,000 houses, well-equipped hospitals and lush green parks, which benefit the community at large besides the company's employees and their families. SAIL has also created sports facilities at the townships while organising sports activities all over the country in football, archery, tennis, athletics, cricket, etc. Tribal children with sporting talent are also trained at SAIL's four sports academies.
Tribal welfare is another thrust area of SAIL's CSR activities. Bokaro Steel Plant of SAIL has adopted a number of children of the nearly extinct Birhor tribe of Thakurani. Bhilai Steel Plant is providing free education with free boarding and lodging to 76 SC/ST children. To preserve the environment in and around its plants/mines, SAIL has planted 13.5 million trees and is nurturing them. As part of the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol, several other projects have been taken up. Besides, the company regularly afforests areas that are denuded due to mining activities.
During the current financial year, SAIL has planned to spend nearly Rs 100 crore on CSR activities, which inter-alia include :
> Developing 16 model steel villages in the states of Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pra;
> Setting up a technical university at Chhattisgarh in association with the state government, with a contribution of Rs 50 crore.
A total of 33 companies had participated in the Businessworld-FICCI-SEDF Corporate Social Responsibility Awards – 2006 contest. Of these, only seven companies – SAIL, Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd, NTPC, HSBC, Hindustan Zinc Ltd, Zensar Technologies and Tata Chemicals Ltd – were shortlisted for the top award through a unique three-tier rigorous selection process, including field visits, and all the applications were thoroughly scrutinised and assessed on various parameters of CSR. The jury consisted of Dr Abid Hussain, Justice Leila Seth and Mr Mark Runcers, who were assisted by Grant Thorton and the Business & Community Foundation.