Philanthropic initiatives have a long history in India. But the idea was brought into a legal framework in 2014 when Corporate Social Responsibility was introduced as a statutory obligation under Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013. Under this, every company with an annual net worth of over Rs 500 crore, turnover of over Rs 1,000 crore, or net profile of over Rs 5 crore, must spend at least 2 per cent of its net profile on CSR.A recent example is the water conservation efforts by Dabur India in Rajasthan.
These companies divert a major chunk of the CSR funds towards human development.
Desert Bloom-Bringing water to the Desert(Water Conservation)
- Dabur India Ltd is one of India’s leading FMCG companies with a wide range of products vased on Nature and natural ingredients. It has manufacturing presence in Newai , a tehsil in Tonk district of Rajasthan. As part of its community development initiatives, Dabur has been rolling out programmes aimed at Environment Sustainability across the country, which includes successfully introducing cultivation of Shankpushpi herb in Barmer.
- Dabur decided to extend its community development initiatives in the state and venture into Water Management and water conservation to help farmers in the region gain access to water all through the year.
- Dabur sought to protect water resources in water-stressed areas, and also aim for significant water-balancing through cost-effective, eco-friendly, community-based technologies like Water Harvesting, Water Conservation, Recharging of Tube Wells and Plantation .
Water Conservation practices carried out:
Three activities were carried out in the working area:
- Nadi formation
- Tanka Construction
- Recharging pits
Nadi Formation: Nadis are village ponds that are used for storing water from an adjoining natural catchment during the rainy season. Nadis in Rajasthan serve the purpose of building up water reserves for human beings and their cattle. Besides, being a surface water body, they also act as a watering hole for animals.
After detailed discussion with the community, an existing nadi in Palai village was selected for rejuvenation. The nadi was in a neglected state with uneven ground level and very little water storage capacity. Dabur started the rejuvenation work on this nadi by cleaning, repairing, desilting and deepening it with the aim of completing the nadi digging and other related activities around this pond before the onset of Monsoon. Alongside rejuvenating the nadi, its officials also conducted the communities on water conservation and regeneration.
The 66 metre (length) x 33 metre breadth) x 3 metre (depth) nadi now has a capacity to storte around 65 lakh litres of water, enough to meet the potable as well as irrigation needs to the villagers for a year. This nadi has been providing water to three adjacent villages for irrigation as well as their drinking purposes.
Tanka Construction: A traditional water-harvesting system in Rajasthan, Tanka (small tank) is an underground tank that is built in the main house or in the courtyard. The Tankas are circular holes made in the ground, lined with fine polished lime or cemented, in which rainwater is collected.
Under this project, the company decided to construct an improved version of the Tankas with labour contribution from the participating families. In all, 10 Tankas have been constructed in different villages for public use. These Tankas, having a dimension of 12ft x 12 ft, were constructed at common places so that every household in these villages can have easy access to produce to potable water. Each Tankas has a cemented catchment area for taking out water.
Each Tankas-with cement plaster, cement concrete and covered with a cemented roof has a capacity to harvest 32,000 litres of rainwater. While the Tankas were constructed primarily for meeting domestic-water needs, families can use the tanks water for irrigating their plots. Today, 250 families are benefiting from these Tankas.
Recharging Pits: Over the past decade, scantly rainfall and long periods of dry spell have led to a drop in ground water levels in Tonk district.
Understanding the fact that tube well recharge is the best way of harvesting every possible drop of rainwater and sending it directly to the ground water table, Dabur initiated a recharging project as part our larger Water Management & Conservation initiatives in these villages. Under this project, 55 tube wells and wells across the three villages were recharged. For the purpose, cemented containers with (3ft x 3ft x 3ft dimension) were constructed and 50-200 ft long pipeline set-up. During rainfall the catchment area water flows towards these containers. Once the container was full, the water moved from these containers to the well through the pipeline, thereby recharging the well.
Additionally a 6 ft deep circular ring structure near the existing tube wells. The containers are connected to these structure, directing the water flow to recharging these tube wells.