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No success or achievement in material terms is worthwhile unless it serves the needs or interests of the country and its people.
CGPL team understood that community participation is a critical success factor for any development effort and keeping this in mind it started with the following community development initiatives at the beginning of the project:
CGPL has come a long way in meeting its commitments in the area of operations. In the course of treading this path, CGPL's presence has influenced the lives of the communities around its areas of operations, in many ways, especially in the six catchment villages namely Tunda-Vandh, Mota Kandagra of Mundra; Nanabhadia, Tragadi and Modva of Mandvi Taluka of Kutch. CSR activities have now been extended to the entire block i.e. Mundra and Mandvi. Safe Drinking water and Education - the two flagship programmes of CGPL are being implemented in these two blocks. CGPL is always striving for improvement in the quality of life of the people around and hence has partnered with specialized agencies /NGO/Government organizations and many other like-minded stakeholders for overall improvement of the region. The Company's endeavours are focused on holistic development of the region.
CGPL has begun the journey of engaging its neighbouring communities to address their developmental needs and issues. A systematic strategy has been followed for the identification and grouping of stakeholders based on their influence, leading to a phased stakeholder dialogue. It includes exploring and engaging, building and formalizing, implementing actions and then continuously evaluating in a manner that institutionalizes relationship with the communities. The programmes and their outcomes are aligned to achieve high level of impact and sustenance. The above strategy has taken the Company on a journey that spans the themes of education, health, income generation and livelihood, safe drinking water, rural energy, natural resource management, infrastructure and institution building.
CGPL is involved in a wide variety of community development projects in and around the project site. These programmes cover many areas, from health and education to livelihoods, women-children welfare and much more. Local needs are identified through direct communication and surveys. For seamless working with community, a CSR office has been established in the heart of the village, outside the project boundary.
One of the major issues identified in the project area was mitigation of the loss of grazing land. This led to a benchmark mitigation initiative in the region and possibly in the state. The team went to several industries that were operating in the region since past years but were unable to find any mitigation plan or success stories for the same. CGPL also approached the Government agencies for identifying the statues/norms for mitigating the issue of loss of grazing land. The initiative that was finally designed and undertaken by the Company is beyond Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R).
The cooperation from the village Gram Panchayat led to the formation of the Village Development Advisory Committee (VDAC), which became the first contact point for the Company for all developmental works to be carried out in the respective villages.
The committee after deliberation with opinion leaders and the community suggested following options for mitigation of the issue of reduction in grazing land faced by the community due to the upcoming power project:
Keeping in mind its sustainability, creation of more ownership among the community and focus on inclusive development, the Company has one Gaushala at Tunda- Vandh and another in the process of being constructed at Mota Kandagara. The Company has formed two trusts namely “Tunda Vandh Gauseva Charitable Trust” and “Mota Kandagara Gauseva Charitable Trust” with maximum representation from the villagers.
In continuation with its community development efforts, CGPL has provided an innovative and replicable model by establishing Fodder Supply Centres and building Gaushalas (animal shelters) in 2 panchayats of Mundra, Gujarat. The Gaushalas are spread across 13 acres of the Company's land with two fodder storage sheds, 5 cattle sheds and cattle troughs. Presently around 3000 cattle are catered to by these Gaushalas, which receive a supply of 4777 MT green fodder and 3942 MT dry fodder. The grazing land mitigation plan and interim supply of fodder has set up new benchmarks in the region as well in the state of Gujarat. Tata Power, through this initiative, has helped the community and the cattle owners who are largely dependent on dairy, to access regular fodder supply for the cattle thus ensuring their source of income. Post attaining the license to operate in the area, the Company has benefited more than 400 cattle owners of Tunda, Vandh and Mota Kandagra villages in the project vicinity.
The Trust formed comprises of community members and three representatives from the Company. It has its own bank account from where transactions take place. The signatories are from the Company and from the community to maintain transparency and ownership amongst the community. Further the Trust also sells cow dung. For the efficient management of Gaushala, a group of Gaushala workers are engaged for better fodder management and housekeeping of the Gaushala, whose salary is borne by the Company.The Company is further looking at expanding their initiatives at the Gaushala through initiating a self-sustenance model, institutionalizing the trust and initiating phase wise planning for the development of the Gaushala.