Blue Star’s CSR initiatives in FY16 comprised vocational training in the area of AC&R pursuant to the Government’s ‘Skill India’ mission; community development activities around its manufacturing facilities; donation of Blue Star equipment to deserving not-for-profit organisations; building toilets in Zila Parishad (ZP) Schools as part of the Government’s ‘Swachh Bharat Initiative’; and contribution to disaster relief activities.
Vocational training initiatives by the Company executed through meaningful partnerships in industry-specific programmes with NGOs, industry bodies and other like-minded corporate bodies across India have helped in skilling school drop-outs in the vocation of AC&R. These vocational training initiatives are also being extended to MEP services. The Dadra factory hired apprentices under National Employability Through Apprenticeship Program (NETAP) - a Public Private Partnership of TeamLease Skills University; CII; All India Council for Technical Education; and National Skills Development Corporation under the HRD Ministry. This initiative lends the much needed thrust for on-the-job training and boosts job creation by aligning skills of the workforce to industry's needs.
Toilets were built for deserving Zilla Parishad schools, grappling with insufficient sanitation facilities, around Blue Star’s factories at Wada and Dadra, providing for this basic need to over 900 students. Blue Star is also responsible for the maintenance of these toilets since upkeep of toilets is a matter of concern in India. The Company also organises sensitisation sessions on sanitation and hygiene practices for the students, parents and teachers through NGOs. Infrastructure facilities of Government schools around Blue Star factories at Dadra and Himachal have also been improved, as part of a public-private partnership model. Air conditioners and water coolers have been donated to not-for-profit organisations such as the ZP School at Himachal, St Joseph’s College in Tamil Nadu, Bombay Leprosy Project in Mumbai, Akshar Trust at Vadodara, Apollo’s Community Health Project at Chittoor and several others. Blue Star made a contribution to CII Foundation during the year towards relief efforts and rehabilitation measures during the Tamil Nadu rain and floods disaster.
In addition, Blue Star also made donations to Blue Star Foundation, India Cares Foundation as well as Multiple Sclerosis Society of India. The Company actively participates in the Affirmative Action Agenda of CII and contributed for Development of Dalit Entrepreneurs by promoting supplier diversity, imparting management techniques and mentoring.
Blue Star Foundation (BSF), a public charitable trust established by Blue Star Limited, has been actively supporting philanthropic causes for over three decades now. BSF’s charter covers education of less privileged children, health/medical support to marginalised communities, poverty alleviation and environmental protection. These include Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences in Odisha for holistic educational opportunities for tribals; Jyot Bahu-Uddeshiy Samajik Sanstha, Thane for school drop-outs to rejoin mainstream education; The Anchorage, Mumbai offering opportunities for education and vocational training for the mentally challenged; Ashray Akruti, Hyderabad towards a special school for children with varying degrees of hearing impairment; Seva Sadan Society in Mumbai towards supporting girls in difficult circumstances; Indian Association of Blood Cancer & Allied Diseases, Kolkata for medical relief of cancer-affected patients; and several others.
The Mohan T Advani Centennial Scholarships by Blue Star Foundation render financial assistance to few undergraduate engineering students studying in Government recognised, un-aided colleges, during the year. These scholarships are for students in the Mechanical (Production)/ Electrical/ Electronics engineering disciplines. The initiative aims at holistic support for these students, inclusive of mentorships and internships to prepare them for future work life.
In FY17, Blue Star will focus its CSR initiatives in the below areas:
Vocational training in the area of air conditioning, refrigeration, electrical and plumbing.
Similar to FY16, Blue Star will continue support to run vocational training courses in Air Conditioning & Refrigeration as well as Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing services in institutions such as Bala Mandir Kamaraj Trust, Chennai; Indo-German Institute of Advanced Technology (IGIAT), Visakhapatnam; and others such as Himalayan Group of Professional Institutions, HP across India.
Water purification project in schools.
Blue Star’s long-term plan aims at improving the quality of air and water as well as food preservation solutions for the disadvantaged sections of the society.
It is estimated that only 18% of a total rural population of 833 million Indians have access to treated water. In comparison, 41% of the rural population, or 346 million people, own mobile phones. India ranks a dismal low 120th out of 122 nations for its water quality and 133rd out of 180 nations for its water availability. India registers around 1.4 lakh child deaths annually due to diarrhoea. Children are more susceptible to water-borne diseases than adults due to their lower immunity levels. With this abysmal situation of safe drinking water in India and Blue Star’s strong connect with water, the Company feels the need to focus on improving the situation of availability of safe drinking water, especially for children.