In one of its first engagements with the corporate sector, GRAAM carried out an evaluation of the CSR initiatives undertaken by Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd. (TKM) in the areas surrounding their manufacturing plant in Bidadi near Bangalore.
The process involved the collection of primary and secondary data of the villages under the 4 GPs in the vicinity of TKM’s premises. Field visits were carried out in each of the villages and discussions were held with Self-help group (SHG) members (both men and women), village leaders, youth and school children to understand their needs and their perception of TKM and its community development activities. The team also visited schools, Anganwadis and health centres to identify their needs and assess the extent of support received, if any.
A 4 member team from GRAAM stayed in Ittamadu village throughout the duration of the data collection, which lasted almost 2 months. The stay helped the team build a relationship with the community and experience and understand the lifestyle of the people living in the area. It also helped collect data in a formal and informal manner. The information thus gathered helped to understand the impact and efficiency of TKM’s activities and to understand the perception of the company and its community development activities among the villagers.
A detailed document on Community Development Initiatives of TKM was submitted in December 2012. It was found that the CSR wing of the company had involved in different activities. Some of these include
- Construction of a school building
- Distribution of bags and notebooks to children of select government schools
- Construction of toilets
- Tree Planting
- Drawing and painting competitions for school children on World Environment Day
- Health Camps in villages
- Awareness activities related to road safety
However, the effectiveness of these activities were limited since the utility was not upto the mark and some efforts were duplicated. It was found that needs analysis was required and based on the analysis, suitable and sustainable initiatives could be suggested.
Community needs analysis: With the help of a community expert, a needs analysis was then carried out in the 4 GPs. Subsequently a consultation exercise was also held with the community where the needs identified were placed before the Gram Panchayath. It was here that the needs were validated and new needs also identified.
For instance, Bidadi GP members indicated the need of Solid & Liquid Waste management and a graveyard/ crematorium – these were not identified in the needs assessment process earlier.
Strategy Document: All these inputs are being considered for a strategy document for community development that is being developed with the help of a management consultant. The document takes into account community needs, capacity of the CSR wing of the company and lays an emphasis on sustainability of the initiatives and involvement of local community in the activities.
GRAAM’s key learning from this project experience is that dialogue between industries and the communities around their establishments is crucial for making the CSR initiatives meaningful and fruitful.