CSR at ports: A shin­ing ex­am­ple

Ports should im­ple­ment CSR in a more holis­tic man­ner to en­sure not only re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion but by cre­at­ing liveli­hoods to the dis­placed and af­fected lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties

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Ports should im­ple­ment CSR in a more holis­tic man­ner to en­sure not only re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion but by cre­at­ing liveli­hoods to the dis­placed and af­fected lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Sea­ports are es­sen­tial for the de­vel­op­ment of lo­cal, re­gional and global economies. Cur­rently, the mar­itime sec­tor is among the fastest grow­ing in­dus­tries. Ports have to be planned with a long-term per­spec­tive, so port and port-cen­tric in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment re­quires large scale land ac­qui­si­tion. Fu­ture in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment and lo­gis­tics needs must be en­vi­sioned in plan­ning land ac­qui­si­tion. This of­ten causes con­flict on coastal re­source use, re­sult­ing in re­sis­tance from the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties where the port in­fra­struc­ture is be­ing de­vel­oped.

Such con­flicts can be avoided through in­volv­ing the com­mu­ni­ties who are dis­placed or whose liveli­hood is af­fected by the port de­vel­op­ment. Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and re­set­tle­ment of the com­mu­ni­ties that are dis­placed and re-skilling of the peo­ple who have lost their liveli­hood due to port de­vel­op­ment is es­sen­tial.

Our coun­try has seen many huge protests against such land ac­qui­si­tions for port de­vel­op­ment. Though govt came up with Land Ac­qui­si­tion Act, 2013 to ad­dress the con­cerns of the dis­placed, still there ex­ists trust deficit between the de­vel­op­ers and the lo­cals. There are many al­le­ga­tions like forcible land ac­qui­si­tion, in­ad­e­quate com­pen­sa­tion, in­ef­fi­cient re­set­tle­ment and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pol­icy etc. for this trust deficit.

Dis­place­ment of peo­ple for huge in­fras­truc­tural projects im­pacts them in var­i­ous ways:

1. Dis­tur­bance to the well built ageold so­cial net­works. Peo­ple of­ten grieve to leave their ances­tral lands for the sake of com­mon good. For ex­am­ple, trib­als com­plained about loss of their bhoodan lands dur­ing land ac­qui­si­tion for Kir­ta­nia port de­vel­op­ment of Odisha. 2. 3. Loss of Liveli­hood is a ma­jor con­cern. Ports de­vel­op­ment nor­mally evicts fish­er­man com­mu­nity. For ex­am­ple, Enayam Port de­vel­op­ment faced huge protests from fish­er­men com­mu­nity.

Fish­er­men in the Ko­valam ham­let in Kan­niyaku­mari district of Tamil Nadu protested against the Kan­niyaku­mari In­ter­na­tional Con­tainer Trans­ship­ment Ter­mi­nal. The ter­mi­nal was ear­lier planned to be de­vel­oped in Enayam, but was later shifted to Ko­valam by VOC Port Trust due to protest by the lo­cal fish­er­men com­mu­nity.

4. Even the union govern­ment’s flag­ship Sa­gar­mala project did not pass un­crit­i­cised. M.ilango, Chair­per­son of Na­tional Fish­work­ers' Fo­rum said, “We the fish­er­men are fac­ing a se­ri­ous threat as the govern­ment is plan­ning to dot Indian coast­line with about 300 big ports, about 50 nu­clear power plants, dozens of smart cities touching in­dus­trial cor­ri­dors. This de­vel­op­ment is highly un­sus­tain­able and is aimed at driv­ing the tra­di­tional com­mu­nity of fish­er­men away." So, in or­der to ad­dress all these is­sues and pro­vide a peace­ful in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment, Govt in­tro­duced the con­cept of Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR) un­der Sec 135 of Com­pa­nies Act, 2013. Though the prin­ci­ple be­hind CSR i.e., “Giv­ing back to the so­ci­ety” is not new, GOI made it legally manda­tory on cer­tain cri­te­ria.

Un­der cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, the pro­mot­ers of the ports can de­sign a re­gion-spe­cific Re­set­tle­ment and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion (R&R) Pol­icy, by pro­vid­ing de­cent hous­ing, ba­sic ameni­ties like drink­ing water, san­i­ta­tion, schools and hos­pi­tals. Apart from these, the in­se­cu­ri­ties of loss of liveli­hood must be ad­dressed through in­no­va­tive skilling ac­tiv­i­ties. Lo­cals can be trained and re­cruited into op­er­a­tional ac­tiv­i­ties of the Port, thus, mak­ing them an in­te­grate part of the port de­vel­op­ment.

Ev­ery vil­lage will have some unique cul­tural as­pects. Sup­port to sus­tain

such cul­tural as­pects is also cru­cial for peace­ful coex­is­tence of the port and com­mu­nity.

Con­vinc­ing the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties about the prospec­tive so­cio-eco­nomic ben­e­fits must guide the port es­tab­lish­ment. And, a gen­uine R&R pol­icy will build the trust on the port au­thor­i­ties and can help to get the sup­port of the lo­cals for fur­ther ex­pan­sion of the Port and sur­round­ing in­dus­tries.

Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam Port, de­vel­oped on the East coast of In­dia is a clas­sic ex­am­ple as there has been no sig­nif­i­cant neg­a­tive im­pact to the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties due to the port op­er­a­tions. Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam port started its CSR en­deav­our in 2008, by build­ing 500 houses with all the ba­sic ameni­ties as part of its re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and re­set­tle­ment pro­gramme for over 500 poor house­holds, liv­ing in var­i­ous vil­lages. To ad­dress any in­se­cu­rity, the houses were reg­is­tered on the names of the dis­placed. The port then went on to cre­ate broader com­mu­nity and lo­cal eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes that is help­ing in em­pow­er­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity to grow along with the port.

The CSR ac­tiv­i­ties of the Port are car­ried out by CVR Foun­da­tion. These ac­tiv­i­ties are de­signed to cover five im­por­tant as­pects of the so­ci­ety.

1. Ed­u­ca­tion: Un­der the name of “Vid­yaratna”, Schol­ar­ships are pro­vided to the lo­cal stu­dents to pur­sue higher ed­u­ca­tion. Un­der “ASRA”, they are pro­vid­ing evening tu­itions to lo­cal chil­dren in or­der to bridge gaps in pri­mary and sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion. They have built one school “CVR English medium school” ex­clu­sively for R&R colony chil­dren and pro­vides free ed­u­ca­tion. About 4000 chil­dren are pro­vided ed­u­ca­tion, half of them be­ing girls. These chil­dren are from the 100 vil­lages across four man­dals of Nel­lore district.

Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam Port has re­cently built an­other mod­ern in­ter­na­tional stan­dard “Na­va­neetha Pub­lic School” to pro­vide free world class ed­u­ca­tion for the poor­est of the poor chil­dren, in the sur­round­ing vil­lages of the port.

2. Health: Un­der “San­jee­vani,” port ar­ranges for pe­ri­odic mo­bile health clin­ics in the vil­lages, with pro­fes­sional doc­tors from su­per-spe­cial­ity hos­pi­tals. Also, R&R colony has an ex­clu­sive hospi­tal pro­vid­ing free med­i­cal care and medicines.

3. Women em­pow­er­ment: Un­der “Navy­atha”, lo­cal women are be­ing trained in sewing and are em­ployed to stitch uni­forms for the security and field op­er­a­tors. Also, they are given train­ing in hos­pi­tal­ity ser­vices, Pickle mak­ing and pack­ag­ing, bou­quet mak­ing etc. This skill train­ing has im­proved their in­comes as well as their sta­tus in the home and the so­ci­ety.

4. Skilling: Un­der “Bhavitha”, lo­cal youth are trained in many areas like so­lar equip­ment in­stal­la­tion and re­pairs, security ser­vices, driv­ing, weld­ing, crane op­er­a­tions, hos­pi­tal­ity etc. Af­ter train­ing, they are pro­vided with jobs in port and in the sur­round­ing in­dus­tries. This ad­dresses ma­jor con­cern of loss of liveli­hood.

5. Com­mu­nity Wel­fare: Un­der “Sa­matha,” the port sup­ports many com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties like lo­cal cul­tural fes­ti­vals, lo­cal sports, de­vel­op­ment of parks, con­struc­tion of RO plants, spon­sor­ships to lo­cal sports tal­ent, pro­vid­ing fish­ing nets and lat­est GPS de­vices to Fish­er­men etc. Also, Port stands as a sup­port in pro­vid­ing men, food and medicines dur­ing nat­u­ral dis­as­ters like floods etc.

A re­cent sus­tain­abil­ity re­port re­veals that Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam Port has spent about Rs.16.3 crores on CSR ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing 2016-17, which is al­most 10 times more than the man­date. The breakup of the CSR funds spent is as be­low:

• Ed­u­ca­tion: 5.03 crores

• Health: 1.02 crores

• Women Em­pow­er­ment and Skills:

19.80 lakhs

• Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment: 9.25

crores

• Other wel­fare ac­tiv­i­ties: 54 lakhs

When Port was be­ing built, ut­most care was taken to pro­tect the ex­ist­ing man­groves. Sub­se­quently, man­groves were ad­di­tion­ally de­vel­oped in 50Ha along with nurs­eries with a ca­pac­ity of 20 lakhs prop­a­ga­tion per year. Part of its green belt de­vel­op­ment, the port has planted over 3.2 mil­lion saplings. The Port has adapted many eco-friendly mea­sures to up­grade and im­prove the en­vi­ron­ment in the port by in­volv­ing the com­mu­nity.

The Port has pre­pared a de­tailed road map for CSR ac­tiv­i­ties, de­vel­oped a blue print on sus­tain­abil­ity and has in­volved the com­mu­nity and ad­min­is­tra­tion in de­sign­ing and im­ple­ment­ing the CSR ac­tiv­i­ties. De­vel­op­ing con­fi­dence and trust among the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and mak­ing them part of the port’s in­clu­sive growth story is es­sen­tial for har­mony and sus­tain­abil­ity. The prime duty of any cor­po­rate is to give back to the so­ci­ety and en­vi­ron­ment. Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam Port sub­scribes to the phi­los­o­phy of com­pas­sion­ate care with a pol­icy of re­spect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and sup­port­ing its lo­cal com­mu­nity.

About the Author

Anil Yend­luri (IPS) is the Di­rec­tor and CEO of Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam Port Com­pany Ltd. Un­der his able lead­er­ship Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam Port has been show­ing tre­men­dous de­vel­op­ments and is in­stru­men­tal in cre­at­ing new records, win­ning awards and ac­co­lades. Mr Yend­luri ear­lier is his ca­reer served as Addl. SP at Kot­tayam, Kollam, Kerela; SP, Palakkad, Kan­nur, Thrissur; Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Kozhikode, Kochi, Er­naku­lam; DIG and IG of Ker­ala. He also served as SP, CBI at New Delhi, Visakha­p­at­nam. He has been de­puted to UN Mis­sion in Bos­nia & Herze­gov­ina.

Na­va­neeta Pub­lic School es­tab­lished by the port for ed­u­ca­tion of lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties

Un­der Navy­ata pro­gramme women are trained in tai­lor­ing to stitch and sup­ply uni­forms, not only to port, but also to other es­tab­lish­ments as well.

Anil Yend­luri, CEO & Di­rec­tor Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam Port Com­pany Lim­ited

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