A community relationship in practice – Infrastructure and potable water
Investment in the communities around our operations has been significant, but it is the legacy that we will leave there that will ultimately have the greatest impact on the lives of local people. Our CBM project in the Raniganj (South) block is designed not only to create value for the company but also to make a contribution to the sustainable development of the local community.
We also believe it is our responsibility to improve water access in the areas in which we operate, making it easier for us to do business, and improving relations with the local population. We work with the local community to provide access to safe drinking water through the reformation of ponds, wells and tube wells which broadens access to potable water.
Tube wells are mostly located in rural areas and villages in an effort to provide the local community with a cleaner water source. One tube well can supply water to nearly 400 people. The benefits of the tube well include cleaner and safer water, they also make accessibility easier.
We have undertaken the rehabilitation and construction of over 40 km of roads. Residents of seven adjacent villages in Pagarbari area of Bankura district never thought that a stretch of 800 meters of dirt track could one day become an all-weather road. GEECL has replicated this for seven villages and, in the process, transformed the local economy given the ease with which people can now commute and transport goods.
Improving wellbeing where we operate – Health and Fitness
Our focus is to improve community health and empower the local community to encourage sustainable health. To improve the quality of care and utilisation of primary health care services by the village community and to increase knowledge and awareness of the community about major health issues.
To encourage better mental and physical health GEECL sponsors a number of sporting activities including football, cricket and kabbadi, the national team sport of the region. We also co-sponsored a state swimming competition in West Bengal in which 356 competitors took part.
We have touched the lives of thousands of people living in isolated rural areas who have been given access to our free medical camps. In three districts, spread over an area of 210 square kilometers, we have organised local medical camps in remote places where villagers would normally have to travel up to 5km away from the village. Our work has encouraged the Thalassaemia Society of Durgapur to extend its blood transfusion hall. This will be of service to patients in Burdwan, Bankura, Birbhum, and Purulia. We also participated in the organization of blood donation camps in Durgapur, Asansol, Anandapur, and Bankura where nearly 600 people donated blood.
Child development and support occupies a special place in GEECL's outreach programme. In Mohisilla Gram – Asansol region, we provided tricycles to two handicapped children aged 12 and 8 years. As a result, they no longer have to be confined to their homes and their lives have been greatly improved as they have the freedom to attend school with their friends and play with the other children in the village.
In poverty stricken tribal areas GEECL supports education and literacy programs and focuses on community outreach to improve the career opportunities of women and children. A wonderful example is that of Pappusona Gandhi, a brilliant blind student, for whom we provided two years of school fees. Pappusona recently came first in the state Madhyamik (secondary) examination.