At CreditAccess Grameen, we have always aligned business priorities with ‘Social Commitments’ targeting need-based interventions for community welfare in select states of our operating geographies. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) interventions are focused on enhancing quality of life of the communities that are located in the vicinity of business locations by way of creating awareness and providing support
CA Grameen’s CSR programme is based on the following framework:
- Need-based understanding of selected topics in the area of Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, Health and Financial Literacy
- Community focused participatory planning for identified programs
- Monitoring of projects on regulatory basis
- Evaluation and Social audit
CSR Execution for FY 2018-19
Navya Disha, an NGO is the executing partner of CA Grameen’s CSR activities. The activities are conducted jointly by Navya Disha and CA Grameen staff at select branches. In FY2018-19. A total number of 220 branches were chosen across Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh for implementing CSR activities. We have conducted 20,667 activities under three main programmes reaching over a million people (customers and non-customers). Details of these programmes available in this report.
Increased access to clean water and improved sanitation are the key outcomes of any WASH activity. Keeping this in mind, a CSR impact assessment study was commissioned through an external research agency (MCril). At a macro level, progress in WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), Susikshana (special education to children) and Sugrama (community development programme) programmes in Karnataka and Maharashtra was studied. The sample selected covered 8 districts reaching 400 households who had constructed toilets within the last 3 years
A few broad level findings from the study indicate that,
- Over two thirds of the households saved time in toilet usage (earlier they about one hour per trip to go outside or use a shared toilet)
- People feel safer than before largely because of privacy and protection from harmful insects and animals
It was found that the most important hygiene-related behaviour is practiced nearly in all households. Most households clean their toilets on a weekly basis and everyone washes their hands with soap before eating. Based on a few of observations, the management team revisited some of the programmes mentioned below and this increased the effectiveness of these programmes implemented in FY 2018-19. The programmes were as follows:
- Workshop for Gram Panchayat elected representatives that was redesigned to a cluster-level awareness programme
- Health Awareness campaign pilot programme in one branch at Ramanagara district, Karnataka, to meet the health needs of customers in non-communicable diseases
Flagship Programmes of 2018-19
The flagship programs of CA Grameen are as follows:
- WASH : Water, Sanitation, Hygiene programme
- Susikshana : Children education programme
- Sugrama : Community development programme
To promote a hygienic environment through the prevention of open defecation, to reduce the incidence of water and soil borne diseases and to create awareness about safe drinking water are the primary objectives. Various innovative ways are used to reach out to customers and people in villages up to district level on ill effects of open defecation which pollutes soil, water and air. Given below are the activities conducted in FY2018-19
Activities under WASH:
- Branch Staff training on WASH
- Customer Orientation on WASH
- Wall Painting
- Street Plays
- Flyer Distribution
- Social Awareness Campaigns (SAC)
- Cluster Level Awareness (CLAP) – New Initiative
Learning that empowers: Government and aided schools in select CSR villages are selected and children who are studying in 8th, 9th and 10th standard were provided with guidance on overall personality development. The activities included team games, flow charts and live demos.
Activities under Susikshana:
- WASH for 8th standard students
- Financial literacy for 9th standard students
- Career guidance for 10th standard students
Sugrama is a village adoption programme aimed at improving the lives of rural communities through sustainable integrated community development activities. Themes such as sanitation, preventive health, water management and infrastructure in partnership with communities (local government and NGOs) has been the primary focus. The programme is implemented by adopting two gram panchayats covering 25 villages. The details of gram panchayats are provided below:
- Hosa Vantamuri in Belgavi district (9 villages)
- Urdigere in Tumkur district (16 villages)
Health Awareness Campaign at Channapatna branch
As a result of the continuous increase in non- communicable diseases, cancer screening has become a high priority component of women’s health. Since CA Grameen customers are all women, we wanted to support them with a comprehensive health check package. In the process, we collaborated with Niramai who voluntarily offered a free cancer screening to 123, customers through a non-invasive risk assessment software (AI-artificial intelligence) that detects breast cancer in the early stages.
This one-day ‘Comprehensive Health Check-up Camp’ was conducted at the Channapatna branch. The objective of this campaign was to create awareness about non-communicable diseases. Customers usually are not aware about these diseases and the practice of visiting a doctor and getting themselves checked on regular basis remains a taboo. Customers were invited to take a free check-up on breast cancer screening and other non-communicable diseases. Niramai and Narayana Health offered free thermal breast screening and health checkups for 123 CA Grameen customers.
The entire process of screening takes about 20 minutes. A basic risk assessment study containing 12 questions was used for a basic profiling of the customer. This enabled the Niramai team to classify the chances of customers getting exposed to cancer as high, medium or low based on family histories with cancer diseases, lifestyles and general health status (related to pregnancy and menstrual health). Customers who were identified with high and medium risk underwent scanning using artificial intelligence technology. Customers who were diagnosed under low risk category, were given a physical examination by a trained professional.
Our research team interacted with a few customers who went through the entire process of check-up. In order to get feedback and identify areas that needed improvement. The findings clearly showed that all customers were delighted with the service offered by CA Grameen and wanted to attend such health campaigns in future.