Civil Society appreciates ONGC role in community projects: CSR Webinar during Swachhta Pakhwada 2020

Dated : 14 July 2020 10:34:00 PM

Renowned experts from the NGO ecosystem of India praised the involvement of Energy major ONGC in supporting vital community development projects. These came up during a webinar on a theme “Impact of ONGC Swachhta Project: Civil Society Perspectives” organized by ONGC on 14 July 2020, the second last day of Swachhta Pakhwada 2020. 

Participated by eminent speakers on the subject, the proceedings of the webinar was webcast on reports.ongc.co.in for all ONGCians.

The renowned panel of speakers comprised Executive President of Sulabh International Mr Samrendra Chatterji, IAS (Retd), Founder of Earth & Us, a unit of Auroville Foundation Mr Mirhaj Ameen, General Manager of Hand in Hand IDS, Chennai Mr KY Babu, Founder President, Moksha Pargvaran Evam Van Suraksha Samiti Mr Vinod Kumar Agarwal, Founder Barefoot College, Ajmer Padmashri Mr. Bunker Roy and Principal Consultant & CDO, REACHA, New Delhi Mr Nikhil Pant. ONGC Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal  also participated in the webinar along with ED-Chief CSR Mr S S C Parthiban.

The webinar on ‘Impact of ONGC Swachhta Project: Civil Society Perspectives’ in progress
The webinar on ‘Impact of ONGC Swachhta Project: Civil Society Perspectives’ in progress

The Webinar commenced with the introduction of panelists by Mr Jayant Walia and Mr. Abhijeet Bhattacharya of CSR. Head-CSR Mr. MS Tonk welcomed the panelists and participants, highlighting the importance of CSR and ONGC contribution to Swachh Bharat Mission. Major Swachhta-related CSR projects like construction of toilets (IHHLs, community toilets, school toilets), Solid Waste Management project - Green Rameswaram, Restoration of ancient stepwells at Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, Revival of Ancient River Saraswati, Clean Himalayas campaign and Project Bandicoot - installation of robotic manhole scavenging machine were shared with the panelists and participants.

Executive President of Sulabh International of Sulabh International Mr Samrendra Chatterji, IAS (Retd) highlighted how the support of ONGC CSR helped them construct over 5000 toilets in country’s remote areas, across 10 states throughout the length and breadth of India. “Later, with ONGC support, we also constructed around 20,000 Individual Household Toilets (IHL) in various villages.” Mr. Chatterji underlined that Sulabh has also distributed cotton bags, replacing single-use plastic bags in various village schools, with ONGC help. “With the help of ONGC CSR team and district administration we were able to accomplish this task,” said Mr Chatterji. He shared that the quality of ONGC-supported toilets were superior and people wanted more ONGC participation. Mr. Chatterji opined that maintenance of the toilets is a vital issue and needs to be seen by the local governments.

Founder of Earth & Us, a unit of Auroville Foundation Mr Mirhaj Ameen said that they are touched by humanity and flexibility of ONGC team members. He highlighted that rural lives can be changed significantly if the right tools are applied. “While doing the CSR project with ONGC with learnt that behavior change takes time and flexibility is critical,” said Mr Mirhaj Ameen. He recommended ONGC supporting happiness workshops into modules for remote areas.  

General Manager of Hand in Hand IDS, Chennai Mr KY Babu said that ONGC projects on waste-management have impacted lives of people at grass-root level there. “Smart access has enhanced usability”, Mr. Babu shared.

Panelists sharing their insights during the webinar
Panelists sharing their insights during the webinar

Founder President, Moksha Pargvaran Evam Van Suraksha Samiti Mr Vinod Kumar Agarwal thanked ONGC for supporting Makshda - its ecosystem environment project related to cremation. During this address he emphasized the benefits of the projects.

Founder Barefoot College, Ajmer Padmashri Mr. Bunker Roy underlined how the project with ONGC helped them to train illiterate women of rural areas and transform them into solar engineers. He said that ONGC investment in female training and development in rural India is worthwhile, as trained females stay back in their villages and participate in transformation. “Low cost and community-driven innovation is need of the hour and ONGC should support more such projects.”

Principal Consultant &CDO, REACHA, New Delhi Mr Nikhil Pant shared that ONGC CSR team has always been very professional and helpful. “ONGC CSR is an empathetic group. The team made invaluable contribution towards strengthening army perception and in mainstreaming the youth of the valley,” said Mr Nikhil Pant. He highlighted that under the project, more than 1000 youth were trained, achieving about 50-60% livelihood enhancement. Also, “Drug De-addiction was also achieved in this project supported by ONGC.”

Addressing the Webinar panelists and participants, Director (HR) Dr. Alka Mittal appreciated the inputs provided by the panelists. She thanked the founder leads of projects to share the insights of the CSR projects supported by ONGC. These CSR projects being her some of her favorites, she said that while in CSR, she was involved in the conceptualization of many such  projects. “The experience and the satisfaction of involvement gained from here will remain with me for my whole lifetime.”

Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal addressing the Webinar panelists and participants
Director (HR) Dr Alka Mittal addressing the Webinar panelists and participants

Dr. Alka Mittal highlighted that Swachhta is a continuous effort and agencies like Sulabh work hard at ground level to implement them. She appraised the green cremation project of Moksha Pargvaran Evam Van Suraksha Samiti. She thanked J&K REACHA projected for letting ONGC energy soldiers help the army through the CSR initiative. Appreciated the ‘Solar Woman’ project of Barefoot College where they educate the woman and make them an entrepreneur. Organizations like these inspire us to associate more and more with such agencies to upgrade lives,” opined Dr. Alka Mittal.

Dr Alka Mittal said, “ONGC HR and CSR team always try to make the difference in the lives of communities in the operational areas. She also commended the work done at the locations in the last fortnight inspite of COVID-19 challenges in remote areas.    

The webinar was attended to by Key Executives and Head HR/ERs of work centers across ONGC. It ended with an engaging interactive session, followed by concluding remarks by Chief Corporate Communications Mr Harish Kumar Awal, who aptly anchored the proceedings of the Webinar.