Tata Chemicals Society for Rural
Ground zero | Global community | Participatory development | Projects
The concept and practice of sustainability is at the core
of all Tata Chemicals' activities, including its corporate
social responsibility initiatives. This is the basis for Tata
Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD), the community
intervention that is helping change the lives of hundreds
of people that live around TCL factories across the globe.
TCSRD believes that sustainable community development ensures
a better quality of life now, as well as for future generations.
It involves resolving the current needs of the community without
jeopardising the development needs of future generations.
The key element that TCSRD brings to the community is knowledge
- knowledge of new methods of agriculture, better management
of land and water resources, social and human capital management,
and other tools of empowerment.
Tata Chemicals established TCSRD in Mithapur, India
in 1980. It was born out of a need to engage, understand and
address the requirements of its neighbouring community. When
the fertiliser plant at Babrala was commissioned TCSRD became
active in that area; on TCL acquiring the Haldia operations,
TCSRD started its operations in that community.
TCSRD started its work by following a traditional philanthropy
and welfare approach. It has since been continuously evolving,
changing according to the needs of the people and the changing
times. Today TCSRD is anchored to the concept of sustainability
and this is reflected in all its activities and programmes.
As Tata Chemicals has grown and new companies and geographies
have come within its global umbrella; the scope of TCSRD's
operations has grown as well. For instance TCSRD has become
involved, through Tata Chemicals Europe and Tata
Chemicals Magadi, with communities in Europe and Kenya.
Community leaders from Kenya have visited TCSRD programmes
at Mithapur and taken back with them the concepts of community
participation and participatory development. TCSRD has engaged
with the Kenyan community by training them in various processes,
especially in management of water resources.
Participatory development is the mantra for TCSRD. It
works in close partnership with all development agencies,
be it the government, other non-governmental organisations
or members of the community.
The key drivers at TCSRD are learning from others, and sharing
and growing both in terms of reach and impact. In 2008, the
28th year of its inception, significant new initiatives have
been started, including the setting up of rural BPOs and the
Karjobi promotion at Babrala.
These are all steps in TCSRD's journey towards integrated
sustainable development of all the regions that TCL operates
In the past year, TCSRD has focused on natural resource management, conservation of bio-diversity and development of entrepreneurship programmes to promote self-employment. On the conservation front, TCSRD recorded a first in India in 2011. A whale shark was tagged using a satellite transmitter to track and establish the migratory pattern of this endangered fish in the Indian Ocean. Other projects included rainwater harvesting and the commissioning of reverse osmosis plants to help improve drinking water quality.
Says group MD and TCSRD president R Mukundan: “Our country’s vision for sustainable development with social equity through effective public-private partnerships has always inspired Tata Chemicals. We have consistently demonstrated a concern for community, both internal and external, and a respect for environment.”
TCSRD is on track to achieve its goal of impacting the lives of a million people by 2015.