The CSR initiatives of the Company aims to enrich the communities we work within while contributing towards the economic growth and self-sustenance of the stakeholders and preserving the cultural, ethnicity and value systems of the community we operate in.
ONGOLE COMMUNITY PROGRAM
A special focus area of CSR has been the improvement of the lives of marginalized women labourers in Ongole, Andhra Pradesh. It is with the belief that impacting a woman leads to impact an entire family, the program has focus on women related initiatives.
Running in 4 villages and 3 grading centres where majority of these women work, the areas of improvement include safe drinking water and sanitation wherein we have installed Community RO water plants, individual toilets, extended water pipeline to deserving hamlets, undertaken drainage construction and garbage management in the villages. The health and nutrition initiatives have health camps every quarter, promote kitchen gardens and poultry distribution to improve nutrition intake, sanitary napkin distribution and the initiative has also equipped the government primary health care centres to benefit the women and their families.
Under education we have carried out infrastructural development of government schools and aanganwadis, distributed school bags and stationery for children and provided scholarships for meritorious children with intent to promote education and reduce dropouts and discourage child labour. We are also providing skill development for the women with skill training centres; and started training of self-help groups and village development committees. Over 10,000 individuals, family members and the community of our leaf graders have benefitted from these water, sanitation, health, hygiene, thrift-credit and education related interventions.
VINUKONDA FARMERS PROGRAM
Prakasam and Guntur districts in Andhra Pradesh are predominantly known for the burley tobacco, chilli, cotton and other crop growing farmers. Close to 90% of the agriculturists in Vinukoda are small and marginal farmers with land holdings measuring between 1 to 5 acres. Due to the prevalent agro-climatic conditions in the region and the drought like conditions prevailing for more than a decade, mostly farmers are dependent on single crop.
Gven this context, the farmers are caught in the trap of seasonal employment, low incomes, lower bargaining power, increasing debts, downward trend in labour prices.
Along with these issues, there are larger community issues arising from drought like the high fluoride contamination in groundwater, lack of safe drinking water, poor access to toilets, lack of community sanitation and hygiene. Besides these, limited access to education and skills beyond farming and non-availability of social protection, children inadvertently get pushed into child labour.
Godfrey Phillips is working in the region with various intensive initiatives for the development of poor farmers and the communities they belong. We have formed Farmers Development Societies and provided corpus that serves as a revolving fund to provide loans that can be utilized for procuring agricultural implements, equipment such as sprayers, irrigation pipes, fertilisers and pesticides from wholesale markets. Our objective is to reduce debt overtime by empowering farmers. We have also provided subsidized curing sheds, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the farmers. Water and soil conservation programmes such as desiltation and farm ponds have been undertaken along with water treatment plants for provision of safe drinking water in a region that has high fluoride contamination. Regular health camps with checkups by specialists and distribution of free medicines is an attempt to better the health of the community. Godfrey Phillips is also running a unique initiative, After School Program, is on wherein the infrastructure of the schools are improved and children are kept back after school and are provided nutritious meals, provided help with studies and are taught extra-curricular activities like yoga, dance etc. This is to reduce child labour in the tobacco farms.
GIFT FOR GOOD
Gift for Good is an initiative to promote the gifting of products made by women artisans in remote rural parts of India. It is an innovative method to help propagate and market handmade products that come from India’s rich heritage of artisanal arts and crafts.
Although non-profit organisations and self-help groups also work in this area, there are several challenges they face in making their ventures viable and sustainable – building capacity to meet market standards, generating finance through CSR grants, and accessing marketing knowhow. Enhanced product sales through Gifts for Good improve unsteady revenue streams and brand building activities go a long way in sustaining such organisations.
The gifting also promotes the cause of the women and the organisations behind them, creating awareness as well as advocacy, besides providing evidence of the potential of these women and how much they can achieve with the right training.Handmade Gifts for Good products have been used by Godfrey Phillips India for all festival, and occasion, gifting.