By Rajiv Tewari, Consulting Editor, CharityWorld.com, based on a conversation with Anadi Sinha, Praveen & Gaurav of UNO MINDA and SPARK MINDA.
About MINDA Group
The founder of Minda Group, Late Shri S.L.Minda, had laid the foundations of CSR way back in 1958 by running a number of charitable and social organizations. The Group which now has two separate identities as UNO MINDA and SPARK MINDA Groups and a highly motivated work force of over 25000 team members have carried on the mission of their founder. They are managing as well as supporting a large number of public service projects. The Group has 80 manufacturing plants in India, Indonesia, Vietnam & Spain, design centres in Taiwan& Japan and sales offices in USA, Europe and Vietnam. It also has a strategic sourcing office in China. CSR activities are deeply ingrained in the culture of the group companies and act as a major source of inspiration for its employees and business associates.Thanks to Anadi Sinha, President (Group HRM), for helping us in connecting with team CSR who shared the audit reports on each project to doubly reinforce the credibility factor.
Give more to get more
Providing food, shelter, medical facilities, education & skills to the under-privileged gives the kind of happiness, respect & trust which money can never buy. Business benefits accrue automatically as a by- product. By acting as a good corporate citizen, organizations earn the trust of clients, business associates and are able to attract and retain the best talent. Selection of MINDA group for this article was only due to the image of MINDA group as a responsible corporate citizen.
In an age, where even the leadership teams do not have long innings in a company, the MINDA group has been able to retain its best talent and is able to attract the best in class talent. If one only takes into account the cost of talent retention and attraction, the returns on CSR would more than justify the returns. Add to this the increased productivity due to a higher level of employee commitment and the trust from the stakeholders to fully appreciate the value of giving more to get more.
MINDA Group’s charitable work had started with its inception itself. Gradually it has taken grown in size with several projects. Focus of these projects is to empower the underprivileged to live with dignity and happiness. The impact of this powerful thought has had a great impact on the work culture of MINDA where people want to come to work at a happy and happening place. The list of CSR projects undertaken by the group is too long to be shared here so we will be sharing only some of the projects to indicate the width and depth of their efforts.
CSR Initiatives of UNO MINDA Group
This project is focused on helping the underprivileged in rural areas through education, vocational training and need based community interventions in the states of Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand. Currently, four vocational training centres, four coaching centres and two primary schools are fully operational in remote areas of these states. Samarth Jyoti is accredited with the National Institute of Open Schooling and Jan Shikshan Sansthan under the Ministry of Human Resource and Development to run its vocational courses. This is important from the point of view of employability for which certification from an approved authority is necessary in most cases. Students in these centres are imparted skills in tailoring, beauty care, computer basics and English language so that they can be usefully employed.
Help in Draught Situation
UNO MINDA is also helping and contributing in tackling other social issues of the communities. Maharashtra was badly hit due to extreme draught situation. UNO MINDA, Pune team received a request from Khed Panchayat Samiti, Pune for support which was immediately given under the MINDA CSR policies. Under this project, 800 meters length of drainage channel was cleared of weeds, debris &itsdepth was increased to store the rain water which was spilling over and flooding the entire area. As a result, water level of all the wells was maintained throughout the year & the farmers were able to reap a good harvest. This commendable work by team Minda was done at village-Jaulke, Tal-Khed (approx. 35 km from MIDC, Chakan).
Sanitation facilities at Sheetla Mata Mandir were provided. Total 10 toilets (5 for Ladies & 5 for Gents) were constructed at Sheetla Mata Mandir, Gurgaon for devotee’s convenience. This is something India is struggling for decades. Imagine the difference the corporates can make to this area by simply following the Minda model of CSR.
Road & Drainage Support
Road construction & drain repair project were taken up by Samarth-Jyoti, Naharpur. Approximately an area of 10000 square feet was covered with cemented lock tiles. Local communities were happy with the facility and appreciated UNO Minda Group for their effort in helping them. Earlier the road was always flooded due to overflow of drains & people had a great difficulty in moving from one place to another.
Jammu & Kashmir flood relief:
Solar Lanterns were distributed among flood victims in the rural areas at J & K.by the MINDA employees to help them as the electricity supply was badly disrupted due to floods. A total of 400 families benefited under this scheme.
Support to Girls Hostel (Kanya Chhatrawas)
25 Beds & a Cow has been given to Dudhiya Baba Girls Hostel, Pantnagar, Uttrakhand to support the students who were so poor that they did not even have the basic facilities.
Health Check Up Camp
A Health Check-up Camp was organized at Naharpur in collaboration with SGT Medical College & Research Centre, Budhera, Gurgaon. Health tips for ladies & children were given. Total 104 ladies & children got the medical advice.
CSR Initiatives of SPARK MINDA Group
This is a vocational Training Program in which the underprivileged children are trained in computer basics, cutting & tailoring and spoken English. This training has been imparted to more than 1000 boys and girls in 2015-16 at Greater Noida, Pune, Chennai and Pantnagar. Computer Education is provided to those children who do not have its access to computers in their schools. Through this training program the underprivileged are able to get support for their employability. These projects are executed in collaboration with the village Panchayat in ensure the people’s involvement on a larger scale.
Health and Sanitation Projects
Based upon our need assessment in schools, it was observed that a huge dropout of children takes place due to lack of sanitation facilities. To solve this problem a toilets construction project was started in schools in April 2013. This project has ensured proper sanitation to more than 1000 school going children at Pantnagar. This project is supplementation to Swachh Vidyalay Abhiyan (Clean Schools Initiative) of the Government of India. Additionally, a healthcare project was also started for the girls from the North Eastern Region. Children of the war affected families of North Eastern Region are provided overall healthcare facilities at Vanvasi Chhatravas, Pantnagar.
Women Empowerment through Menstrual Hygiene
Spark Minda Foundation started the women empowerment project for healthcare through its Menstrual Hygiene Programme. This initiative of Spark Minda Foundation is supplementing the”Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (Save the Daughters and Educate the Daughters), Programme of the Government of India.
As an initial step to fulfil the vacuum created by absence or little knowledge about Menstrual Hygiene, Spark Minda Foundation is directing its efforts to mobilize the female community of Kuleshara village towards a system of menstrual care through awareness and by promoting safe menstrual period management. The prime objective is to make people aware that access to safe and secure sanitation is one of the key human rights, which people have yet to achieve along with the right to live with respect and dignity.
Our study showed that about 88% of women do not have access to sanitary pads, 70% women think human blood is dirty and quite a few cervical cancer cases are suspected because of poor menstrual hygiene. This multi stakeholder programme was initiated in collaboration with Unicharm and Global Hunt Foundation and several other organizations. This initiative got a lot of support from over 800 women from the villages of Greater Noida, Pantnagar, Kanchipuram District and Rajgurunagar district of Maharastra who came together for gaining access to knowledge and awareness on women healthcare and hygiene issues.
Business Integrated CSR
A business integrated CSR Model has been installed at Tihar Jail, New Delhi in September 2013. This manufacturing unit of Wire Harness gives an opportunity to the Tihar Jail inmates for learning manufacturing skills and in earning extra income for their families. A part of their wages is also given to the victims’ families. Tihar Jail, Minda Furukawa and Maruti Suzuki are the stakeholders of this Public Private Partnership Project.
A similar model has been replicated in Yerwada Jail Pune in 2015, where 30 inmates are working and the wire harness is supplied to Mahindra.
Support to Differently abled
One of the key areas under the CSR of Spark Minda Group is inclusion of person with disability in the workforce and providing them greater employment opportunities. 104 differently abled persons were trained and employed across the group in 2014-15. Different types of disabilities are falling under this. Special facility is created inside the factory for each type of disability. They are trained well before deployment.
Joint Projects by the UNO MINDA & SPARK MINDA Group
Many projects are carried out jointly by the UNO MINDA & SPARK MINDA group under the Moga Devi Minda Charitable Trust. Here is a glimpse of the joint projects:
Minda Bal Gram
Minda Bal Gram is a Children Home, licensed with the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of NCT of Delhi. MBG is an expanse of love and care for children who need “care and protection”. The aim is to provide long term quality institutional care along with elementary development facilities to disadvantaged children. All children receive shelter, education, recreation, medical care, nutrition, vocational training and other facilities that go into making a child a responsible citizen.
Moga Devi Minda Memorial School
It started in 2010 and is spread in over 6 acres in a safe, peaceful and eco-friendly environment with picturesque surroundings. The school is recognized and affiliated with the CBSE. MDMMS has well-designed classrooms and has already set a high standard of quality and value based education. MDMMS is a school with a difference. The school encourages co-existence instead of cut-throat competition; it provides a learning environment instead of rote learning and encourages creative thinking instead of being monotonous all the time. The school is a Senior Secondary Co-education school and has more than 1200 students. MDMMS caters to provide high quality education in the rural area with excellent facilities like library, laboratories for Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Environment Science; and play grounds. The school is well equipped with an Art and Craft Room, Music Room and a Medical infirmary.
A multi – speciality hospital is under construction at Bagla
Our founder late Shri S. L. Minda ji always wanted that quality medical facilities should be available in the vicinity for the villagers of the Adampur Block and he was extremely particular about providing medical facilities to women and children. In order to fulfil the dreams of the founding father the MINDA group isconstructing a multi-specialty hospital adjacent to the Moga Devi Minda Memorial School at Bagla. The foundation stone laying ceremony has already been done and the first phase of construction of 40 bedded multi-specialty hospital has begun.
Established in 2007, the S. L. Minda Seva Kendra (SLMSK) provides vocational training to rural youth including women. SLMSK is accredited with the National Institute of Open Schooling, Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Government of India to run its vocational courses. Vocational training is provided in computer basics, computer applications, computer hardware and networking, desktop publishing, cutting and tailoring, beauty culture and embroidery. Currently, vocational training centres are located at Bagla, Siswal, Jakhod, Dobhi, Muhabbatpur Dhani and Telanwali villages of the Adampur Block, District Hisar, Haryana
Minda Seva Sadan
Sewa Sadan was one of the initial projects taken up at Bagla in 2007. It was built to provide community space for common causes. It is a spacious and well maintained building for the benefit of village folks for hodling village meetings, workshops and other social functions like marriages, get-togethers etc.
The secret behind the rapid growth & success of the MINDA Group is in its commitment to creating social wealth along with materialistic wealth. Their global expansion, recognition in the market place as leaders in their product category and an ever growing team of over 25000 employees is a testimony to the fact that they are getting a lot by giving more.