Ambuja Cements, the cement and building material company of diversified Adani Group, commissioned a comprehensive Social Return on Investment (SROI) Study to evaluate the impact of its transformative interventions in Farakka, West Bengal. The renowned CII Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CESD), New Delhi conducted the study, revealing that Ambuja’s CSR arm has generated an impressive social return valued at INR 9.91 for every INR 1 invested.
The SROI study, which was conducted using the Social Value UK methodology and the seven principles of SROI, analysed the impact of the interventions carried out over a three-year period from 2019 to 2022. It identified the agro-based livelihood program as the highest contributor to the impressive SROI.
This program encompassed interventions that significantly increased agriculture income, improved crop productivity, and developed irrigation channels. Notably, its success also reflected the value addition from water resource management interventions, resulting in increased groundwater availability and improved irrigation facilities.
Through the efforts of Village Health Functionaries (Sakhis), Ambuja has significantly improved the health conditions of the people in Farakka. Sakhis played a crucial role in enhancing Maternal Child Health indicators, including reducing Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), as well as increasing institutional delivery rates. The accessibility of healthcare services for truckers also improved through initiatives such as TB testing, HIV/AIDS awareness, and enhanced awareness of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Ambuja’s interventions in allied agriculture, particularly in poultry and goat rearing, have had a transformative impact on women’s empowerment in the area. These interventions generated multiple earning opportunities for women, leading to structural changes in terms of access to credit and savings.
Furthermore, the company’s skill development initiatives have also enabled youth in Farakka to generate income and promote entrepreneurial ventures. During the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, these locally sourced income streams proved vital for the survival of many households.
Ajay Kapur, CEO, Cement Business, said, “We are thrilled to unveil the impressive impact of Ambuja’s interventions in the communities of Farakka, West Bengal. We have been actively engaged in uplifting communities in Farakka, a part of the Murshidabad District that has now become one of West Bengal’s aspirational districts. The area faces significant challenges, including poor health conditions and limited livelihood opportunities, leading to slow growth. Recognizing the need for change, we are focused on providing need-based interventions in community health and improving livelihood options through agriculture, allied agriculture, and skill training, with a particular emphasis on empowering the marginalized and predominantly tribal communities.”
Ambuja’s partnerships have significantly contributed to the success and scale of its interventions, impacting a larger number of communities. Buoyed by these achievements, the company aims to strengthen its models and expand its initiatives to other places within the region.
Through these interventions, Ambuja demonstrates its commitment to sustainable development and improving the lives of the communities it serves.