Community development is an integral part of TATA Power’s business ethics – Foram Nagori, CSR Manager

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As a young developing nation with immense potential, grassroots community development focused on empowering micro-entrepreneurs, socio-innovators and agents of change can play a vital role in India’s transformational journey. The nation’s overall growth is highly dependent on empowering its youth, with an ever-increasing need for capacity building, skills development and employability efforts. Proper business investment in results-driven development, with on-the-ground support and much-needed ownership, can massively empower grassroots collectives, contributing to the broader development of the Indian economy.

A 115-year-old legacy is no small responsibility. As the oldest and largest integrated utility in the country, Tata Power today serves millions of lives, not only through the commercial value chain, but also through the social development programs run by the Tata Power Community. Development Trust. As a leader in the energy sector; it has an advantageous position that few other sectors have – doing good for the nation by fostering inclusiveness and excellence in its operations that serve many remote and underserved areas.

TATA Power’s CSR programs positively impacted 4.6 million lives in FY21 through various interventions undertaken in the areas of education, employability and employment, entrepreneurship and disaster management. Corporate CSR Manager Foram Nagori during an interview with India CSR. Extracts:

Tell us briefly about Tata Power’s flagship CSR initiatives.

Tata Power’s main CSR flagship programs include Anokha Dhaaga for empowering women’s collectives and farmers, Roshni Integrated Vocational Training Centers, Adhikaar to enable access to government social security schemes. State, the Enerji Club for the development of conservation champions, the Arpan volunteer platform, the conservation activities of Mahseer and Tree Mittra to promote plantations of native species adapted to the region and the restoration of biodiversity. Through its Tree Mittra program, over 8.5 lakh saplings were planted in 2021.

The power of collective efforts and local networks has proven particularly significant during the pandemic. The company’s collaborative work with government initiatives, experts, civil society partners and grassroots community institutions to foster social equity and balanced regional development has created a trust-based network that has proved to be of immense mutual value during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company’s holistic approach to relief and resilience measures has supported more than 2.6 million citizens, more than 150 public institutions around 65 operating sites by building the capacity of PHCs, sub- centers, vaccination and special care centers, district administrators, sarpanches, police, ANMs, women’s collectives and others. Oxygen support, protective equipment and medication were provided in underserved neighborhoods with the support of partners, community leaders, women’s self-help groups, CSR teams, volunteers and extended family from Tata. There has been an active contribution from Tata Power’s Anokha Dhaaga program women’s self-help groups in the manufacture and donation of masks made from high protection filters suitable for masala tea, Ashwagandha powder and the stimulant of immunity; also enabling wages and livelihoods for these women during difficult times.

In particular, the role played by Tata Power employees as essential service providers and their exemplary commitment amid several disaster situations, including the COVID pandemic, has been remarkable. Also continuing Tata’s philosophy of “giving back”, many employees and their families have even gone above and beyond to offer voluntary service with their family members and have participated in serving communities through donations. dedicated remote assistance interventions, etc. The company continues to support immunization supplementation with government authorities and partners in remote areas of Bihar and UP and facilitates registrations on COWIN through push calls under its flagship program Adhikaar.

What were the key steps and how did these initiatives contribute to transforming the community?

In 2020-21, Tata Power’s CSR outreach positively impacted 4.6 million lives in 60 districts across 17 states. Over 10 aspirational districts (as defined by the Government of India) and many marginalized communities are served through affirmative action efforts; focusing on the inclusion of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. The vision is to impact over 80 million lives through direct and indirect means by FY2025-26.

As part of financial inclusiveness, the company has enabled nearly 7,000 community members to access and enjoy the benefits of various social protection and social security schemes. The company has also trained over 47,000 young people through Tata Power’s flagship employability and employment programmes. Along with this, more than 21 lakh community members have benefited from Tata Power’s needs-based community development and outreach to stakeholders in business and 77,000 women micro-entrepreneurs have benefited from Tata Power’s flagship entrepreneurship initiatives. Tata Power. During the Covid outbreak, Tata Power’s extensive response benefited over 1.6 million community members. In line with Tata Group’s philosophy of empowering socially and economically disadvantaged sections, Tata Power’s CSR efforts across the themes have positively impacted the lives of 4 lakh young people.

What are Tata Power’s main women’s empowerment CSR initiatives?

It has become imperative to create more opportunities, empowerment and ecosystems for women to pursue their life goals in order to propel greater social betterment. Tata Power, through its Women’s Empowerment focus area, works towards holistic development, leveraging our circles of influence to promote equity, diversity and inclusion, not just in our venues but also in all communities across our value chains – upstream and downstream to enable inclusive communities & society.

Tata Power’s flagship CSR programs promote the empowerment of women and the inclusion of other marginalized groups (including the backward and the tribal) as a horizontal objective. The company also promotes inclusivity through programs like ABHA in Delhi, Odisha and Mumbai, which support the engagement of many semi-skilled/unskilled women in its value chain. This is structured as a Shared Value Commitment supporting lives and livelihoods, leveraging technology as a tool and enhancing the skills of women to serve as “community change agents”, not just for counting , billing and collection of electricity, but also to promote ethical and transparent use of energy and break the cycle of electricity theft. These women’s groups also serve as “Adhikaar Mittras” to deepen financial and digital literacy, while embedding progressive social behaviors in their communities.

Anokha Dhaaga, Tata Power’s flagship product, has been specifically designed to build the capacity of women’s collectives (self-help groups) and help them become empowered and gainful members of society. Launched in Maval in Maharashtra in 2015 with just 16 women, the initiative has now spread to multiple sites, with over 1,500 female members. It trains women in tailoring, tailoring and other micro-enterprises like making baskets and herbal products. The women make ready-made garments, household and personal utilities, and traditional handicrafts, thereby increasing their household income and, along the way, promoting local talent and retaining traditional craftsmanship.

Tell us about your association with BlessedBox and Nida Mahmood? What was the reason for this initiative?

Anokha Dhaaga – Tata Power’s women’s empowerment initiative, collaborated with BlessdBuy – a platform showcasing over 1000 sustainable and ethical products made by rural artisans, collectives and NGOs, on a limited edition “BlessdBox” . This edition is a festive gift set designed by Nida Mahmood, the “Queen of Indian Kitsch” – aimed at supporting the livelihoods of budding women’s collectives. Through this project, Tata Power aims to realize its vision of creating ambitious value for these collectives and empowering them to become part of the designer value chain.

With this series of gift sets, Anokha Dhagaa strives to give a platform and showcase unique, sustainable and ethical handmade products created by underserved communities in rural and urban India. With a focus on the circular economy and sustainably sourced materials, this project strives to uplift and empower marginalized communities.

Collectives have had an upskilling opportunity during the pandemic through digital and in-person quality training and hands-on to develop this designer and ambitious product line. More than fifty percent of the proceeds from the sales of this project go directly to women makers in Delhi and Jojobera, increasing their incomes by more than double the average earnings they earn producing for local markets.

This range of just 1000 boxes, handmade with love, includes an assortment of stunning dinnerware sets of 6 placemats, coasters, napkins and a safety mask. Inspired by the grandeur of regional Indian designs, the range is available in two designs – one set inspired by Lucknow Chikankari motifs and the other by the floral motifs of Mughal architecture. It is for connoisseurs of sustainable home décor products who display a refined yet conscientious lifestyle. This is an opportunity to own a piece created with pride and confidence by the Anokha Dhaaga women who weave their dreams with these boxes.

This limited-edition collection is available on internal e-commerce platform SaheliWorld.org and multiple marketplaces including Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Jaypore, Tata CliQ and Zwende.

What would be the main areas of intervention in the future? How do you want to advance your CSR plans focused on creating value for business and society?

India has a rich demographic dividend of over 49% female voters and over 6 million women’s collectives (self-help groups) spread across its states. This grassroots institution has enormous potential and promises to be the harbinger of change, progressive communities and inclusive societies. Our CSR and volunteering efforts will continue to champion and empower these institutions and groups; build their confidence, knowledge and skills to access more and more opportunities for collective growth and livelihoods. We look forward to enabling energy security in underserved regions, promoting clean energy and shared value in association with social innovators and changemakers.

(CSR India)

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