Vulnerable communities across the country had to face several challenges during the times of COVID-19; and it was no different in our close surroundings…. specially for the section with deeply entrenched poverty, village children who were neither prepared nor could afford virtual tutoring, migrant workers who had to return with a bleak future, local labourers falling prey to the economic impact of ongoing crisis, petty shopkeepers whose only source of daily income came to a standstill…there could be more. Even seemingly simple measures to keep the spread of COVID-19 at bay, like maintaining social distance, use of proper mask & sanitizers, washing hands with water and soap, were mere luxuries to many. While there were no exigent pressure or representations, as a responsible corporate citizen, the company genuinely felt concerned about the wellbeing of these hapless people.
The management came to the rescue to every section of the community, through its customised approach. There were instant arrangements for long supply of dry ration and cooked food, to prevent any casualty out of hunger. This also included constant coordination and persuasion with the local administration to normalize supply of basic amenities. Free masks & sanitisers were distributed to those who could not afford. Special arrangements were made to build virtual set up for village children through tailored programs so that they did not miss out on regular classes. Direct & indirect job opportunities were created for the migrant workers – many of them subsequently decided not to return to their earlier jobs. Soft loans and arrangements were made for the petty shopkeepers to reinstate their business. As a policy, company arranged to disburse full payment of the wages to every such contract worker who could not come to the plant due to lockdown restrictions, for the entire period of his/her absence. Besides, the company also extended able support to the local administration and public health centres in equipping them to effectively continue their treatments. And the impact has been all pervasive….as the normalcy was restored in quick time.
Company adopted an integrated approach to serve the poor & needy people in all the 4 locations – Gamharia, Vijay II and Joda and some of the services extended were as follows :
There were special arrangements made by the company for the migrant workers who returned during the COVID time, leaving behind their source of income. Approx 200 such migrant workers were extended gainful engagements, in the following manners :