ET Awards 2014: Tata Steel’s commitment to social causes makes it Corporate Citizen of the Year
The Economic Times
Depth, a partnership approach and a clear emphasis on measurement and outcomes provided Tata Steel an edge over the other nominations in the category for Corporate Citizen of the Year. It reflects in many of the interventions by the company lately. Its Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative (Mansi), a public-private partnership with the government of Jharkhand and the American India Foundation, has so altered the health indicators of villages in Seraikela, one of India’s most backward regions, that the government is keen on taking the programme across the entire state.
The structures and protocols meticulously put in place by the programme that began in 2009 shows in the well-being of the target populace spread across 167 villages.
According to 2012 figures, the infant mortality rate has dropped from 62 to 40 and maternal mortality rate from 513 to 376.
Independent assessors from the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers, who have been tracking the work of Mansi, describe the progress made over the past few years as remarkable.
“The principles of our founder have been our driving force, which has instilled in us that the community is not just another stakeholder in our business, but it is in fact the very purpose of its existence,” said TV Narendran, MD, Tata Steel India and Southeast Asia.
Mansi’s activities, delivered through the Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS), include workshops on breastfeeding, safe child delivery, detection of risks and child management, besides focusing particularly on the training of traditional birth attendants in villages.
Mansi has also made considerable progress in targeting conditions such as asphyxia and sepsis. In addition to the TSRDS, there are three other arms engaged in CSR focused on education, health, sports, agriculture, environmental sustainability and the maintenance and promotion of tribal culture. Jury members were impressed by the “sheer breadth” of the CSR activities conducted.