Driving inclusive growth through corporate social responsibility
Most business enterprises see their primary purpose and role as delivering shareholder values. But we at Pennar believe that the primary purpose of development is to ensure that every individual gets to live a life of social and economic dignity. Each section of our society has a role to play in achieving developmental goals. And it all starts with a sound upbringing for every future generation. To develop successfully, we need to ensure that the child is healthy, gets a good education and becomes a productive adult with full access to financial services.
To this end, we have focused on two local villages, Chandapur and Ankanpally that are in close proximity to our manufacturing plants. Both these villages have two Upper Primary Schools and five Anganvadi schools, but lack basic infrastructure facilities like benches, tables and chairs. The roof is leaking, some class rooms don’t have doors, and in some, the floor is non-existent. Children do not have school uniforms, access to clean drinking water or nutritious food. Hence it was but natural that we focused on developing schools and providing the children nutrition.
The first set of CSR activities were initiated in September 2010. This was merely six months after the commissioning of our plant. Mr. Suresh Kumar the then district collector of Medak District along with Pennar’s Managing Director, Mr. P V Rao, distributed school benches, tables, chairs and uniforms.
It is essential to provide children with a nutritious diet. Studies have shown that including eggs in the children’s mid-day meal at school has shown positive effects in children, such as higher test scores and improved attendance. Eggs have approximately six grams of protein and are a good source of vitamin D and calcium. Pennar provides eggs twice a week to each school child in all schools, including Upper Primary and Angavadi Schools in both the villages.
Milk is also very essential for the growth of the children. It provides calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamins and zinc. Milk also supplies other essential nutrients for growing children, including protein for muscle growth and vitamins like riboflavin that release the energy from food. Pennar distributes milk to all the school children in both the villages every week.
Contaminated drinking water is the primary cause of gastrointestinal illnesses with the problem being especially severe in the monsoon months, due to water logging, unsanitary conditions, open sewage etc. Life threatening diseases like cholera and typhoid are highly prevalent in these months and it is very essential to have a safe and pure drinking water source for the children. To counter this, Pennar has started providing RO drinking water to Chandapur and Ankanpally schools every day.
In the pursuit of right to education, Pennar is providing scholarships to the top two students from class Vth, VIth and VIIth of Chandapur and Ankanpally Upper Primary Schools. This initiative has continued since the year 2011-12.
A Mega Health Camp was conducted for villagers from Chandapur and Ankanpally, in association with ESI and the Factories department at the PEBS Pennar plant at Sadasivpet. K. Padma, Joint Director, ESI, Mr. Y. Gangadhar, Dy. Chief Inspector of Factories and Mr. K. Srinivas Rao, Inspector of Factories played a key role in organizing the camp. 12 ESI doctors including General Physicians, Gynecologists, ENT, Skin Specialists, and Radiologists attended this camp. Male and female nurses were also in attendance. ECG, blood tests, pulmonary function tests and lipid profiles were checked. Medicines for cough, fever, diarrhea, other gastric ailments, body pain, eye drops, vitamins, tonics, etc. were distributed free of cost.
The state government provides text books to the village schools. But not note books. We at Pennar address this gap by providing free note books to the children every year.
With the help of the aforementioned programmes and activities we are quite confident that we can be a part of the growth and development of the children in these villages. Continuous interaction and activities with the children will help them to grow in a better environment, exposed to new ideas and thoughts.
We also realize that the above activities and programmes are not the end but just the beginning of a continuous process that needs to be sustained over a period to achieve the desired results. Periodic follow up and repetition of programmes and activities is essential to leave a lasting impression in the minds of the children.