Our Vision is both to enhance the quality of life and the socio-economic well-being of those communities in and around our operations and to contribute towards developing empowered and sustainable societies.
Social Investment – Health, Education and Livelihood Bio Investment – Water Harvesting, Agriculture and Social Forestry
Our role in community engagement has many dimensions.
We play a significant development role in terms of employment, local skill development, the purchase of local goods and services and contributions to the exchequer on the back of our extensive operational presence in thermal power facilities, aluminum, zinc, iron ore and copper. We also contribute in terms of local infrastructure development, road maintenance and medical facilities.
We are passionately committed to the communities where we operate. Regardless of their location, our goal is always to be an integrated community partner, based on our determination to create value through inclusive growth and to craft win-win solutions.
Our approach to community development is holistic, long term, integrated and sustainable. Our community engagement process, alongside baseline studies and needs assessments, helps us in our perspective planning for three to five years in selected villages.
Our work with communities ranges from rehabilitation and resettlement (wherever applicable) in greenfield projects, to a more all-encompassing approach in brownfield projects. Our approach is both intensive and extensive, depending on whether the village is in the core area of operations or in the buffer zone. The process culminates in integrating the various projects in a phased manner that is aligned to Vedanta’s Integrated Village Development Programme.
Monitoring and evaluation tools are integral elements of our project designs. These are reviewed at both business unit and Group level by senior management teams. Periodic internal and external assessment is a key element of our learning and forward-looking process. Social audits also help us understand the impact and outcomes of our initiatives on the lives of the people we work with.
- All our interventions have a three to five-year sustainable long-term perspective in line with the business objectives of the units involved. Our role is one of a proactive enabler and partner, which entails mapping the needs of the community and acting upon these in collaboration with the community itself, government and local NGOs to empower the community in line with the business objectives.
- Identifying and nurturing stakeholder relationships is a dynamic, inclusive, planned and continuous process. We understand healthy stakeholder relationships are a prerequisite for good risk management. A structured process of engagement is adopted using a three- pronged approach - keeping the stakeholders informed, engaging with them and forging partnerships to address their needs and concerns. Engagement strategies are decided in line with the needs of the project and the stakeholders. Within each stakeholder group, key stakeholders are identified based on strategic imperatives derived from the strategic objectives. A well-defined strategy and a clear set of objectives, timetable, resources and allocation of responsibilities combine to serve the purpose.
- We work towards creating a Holistic Development Plan for every village we work in. Our life span in each village is for a period of five years. When we phase out from a village, we aim to leave the baton of development with its empowered village development committees.
- We work at two levels to maximise our work and reach. First, we work with the community, employees and partners at a local level to identify and plan projects for a defined area in and around our plants in consultation with the community. We also encourage employees to volunteer for and participate in all projects. Second, we work regionally with NGOs and the government, partnering with bilateral and multi-lateral organisations to further our cause wherever relevant and meaningful. We also identify macro projects to benefit the wider region – these could be within or outside the ambit of our operational focus area. A feasibility study of such a project is carried out before implementation, ensuring long-term sustainability and impact of the project.
- Documentation is an important tool for success. The baseline and needs assessment studies form the premise for all our planning. This data helps us to map the impact of our interventions and our progress over a period of time. Before programmes are rolled out, extensive brainstorming takes place at unit level, and we ensure that built-in mid-course corrections may be undertaken wherever necessary in the execution stage.
- Our work is based on a project philosophy model. Each focus area has been developed into a project. The project proposal is well documented and serves as a blueprint for all work covering that specific area or issue and is replicable across geographies. The project proposal outlines specific objectives, measurable deliverables, achievable activities and the implementation process, replicable and sustainable projects and timely interventions, which are defined within a clear time frame.
- We use the Public-Private-People-Partnership (4P) model. Partnerships are key drivers in our work with communities. Most projects involve collaborations with elected bodies, government, NGOs and communities. The 4P model helps us impart a greater degree of sustainability to our programme. We partner with central and state government schemes for our interventions as and where possible, and bring in NGO partners for implementation. Networking and forging alliances facilitate innovation and speedy implementation, as well as avoiding duplication of activities, time, energy and resources. This approach enables sustainable impact.
- We measure and audit our work internally and externally.
- We meet annually to review, plan, learn and acknowledge efforts as well as to gear up for the following year.