“CSR interventions in water sector would help industries contribute towards building resilient and sustainable communities for the future” was the message that reverberated at the National Seminar on Promoting CSR initiatives for Water & Livelihood Security Building Partnerships & Bridging Gaps which was organized by CII –Triveni Water institute today.
Dr. Madhukar Gupta, Additional Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Government of India quoted how the Bhakra project commissioned post-independence propelled the green revolution in erstwhile Punjab through the Indira Gandhi canal which made irrigation water accessible to regions with rainfall less than 100 mm. He asked CII to help build partnerships between different actors bringing different skillsets. Mr Gupta sought the help of industry in identifying the gaps in various government schemes and assist in bridging these gaps. He concluded by stressing on the need to connect people for any schemes to gain traction in India.
Mr. Shailendra Singh, Additional Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce &Industry, Government of India during his keynote address in the second plenary explained that even though the land ownership is vested in individuals, the resources underground like minerals and groundwater were regulated by the government. Mr. Singh emphasized upon the need to focus on a holistic approach involving activities at watershed level, rather than limiting activities at the village level, which in many cases deprived the industries of the benefits of these CSR activities. Mr. Singh concluded by inviting the water experts from industry to 50 backward districts identified by NITI Aayog for upliftment of the local community.
Mr D.P. Mathuria, Executive Director –Technical, National Mission for Clean Ganga, Ministry of Water resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, emphasized upon the need to develop a Water-Energy-Food nexus. Mr. Mathuria explained the risks posed to livelihoods and business by the high degree of variability in water availability round the year despite the country possessing annual water resources to the tune of 1869 BCM. Based on his experience working on the Ganga Basin, Mr. Mathuria stressed on the need to develop replicable models considering the issues of cost viability. In this respect Mr. Mathuria called upon CII to facilitate handholding of its industry members to the various technology partners. Mr. Mathuria also enumerated the various government schemes formulated by the government to tackle the issues encountered in the Ganga basin, including policy interventions that would soon to be implemented along the Himalaya part of the Ganga Basin, which would be further extended into the downstream part of the basin.
Earlier during the Inaugural Session, Mr. Ramesh Datla, Chairman, CII National Committee on Water welcoming the delegates to the seminar called upon CII-TWI to help industries incorporate inclusive growth for sustainable development of business. Mr Datla stressed on how community commitment helps in building brand value and suggested CII to play a proactive role through its different centers on excellence in leading its members in this endeavor. He further explained about the various services offered by the CII-Triveni Water Institute that could help industries improve the efficacy of CSR interventions in water through scientific tools like WATSCAN. Mr. Datla concluded by stating the need to encourage small and medium enterprises in taking up CSR activities.
Mr. S Sen Principal Advisor, CII in his concluding remarks highlighted the various activities undertaken by CII in the water sector through improving the water accessibility in Vishakapatnam, rejuvenation of ponds and rivers in south India and promotion of rainwater harvesting across the country. Mr. Sen concluded by reminding the industries to also take a stock of the impacts generated by the CSR spending. Successful case studies of CSR interventions in water sector undertaken by industries across the country were showcased at the seminar.
The Sessions of the National Seminar witnessed eminent speakers like Mr Sharad Pradhan, Divisional Head-CSR & Govt. Relations, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd , Mr Brajesh Tomar, Head , Water resource management program , Ambuja Cement Limited, Mr Anoop Gupta, Dy. General Manager – CSR, Gail India Limited, Mr Akhilesh Yadav , Regional Manager - North, ITC - Social Investment, ITC Limited, Mr Joy Mukherjee, Additional General Manager, DCM Shriram Ltd, Mr Sushil Gupta, Session Chairman & Former Chairman, Central Ground Water Board , Mr Ashok Baran Chakraborty , Chief Sustainability Officer, (NFCSR) & Head “Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CESD), Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, Dr Durjoy Chakraborty, Scientist, Central Ground Water Board, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, Mr Venkatesh Shete, Manager, Lupin Limited and Mr Vamsee Jasti, Programme Head - Skilling, Entrepreneurship and Alternate Livelihoods, Reliance Industries Limited.
12 December 2017