With 65% of its population still living in rural areas, we can safely say that India is still very much a land of villages – and proudly so. The cause of rural development has been one that has seen a number of programs, much investment and CSR funds, as well as the support of private organizations to intervene with the district and local organizations for better systems and processes in place.
The top priorities and impact for rural development programs would have to necessarily include the following:
- Better access to resources;
- Infrastructure building;
- Resources for better agriculture and allied activities;
- Women, children and animal welfare;
- More representation of females in education and workforce participation;
- Limits set on energy use and energy flow;
- End to end health and hygiene setups;
- Private involvement to facilitate local authorities in their execution plans and policies.
With these in mind, here are the top ten rural development programs that are set to create the basis of growth through purposeful CSR:
- Ultra Tech Cement Limited has announced an expenditure of over 11 Cr INR to eradicate poverty from rural areas with community development and direct implementation of the policies with the authorities.
- Rural Electrification Corporation Limited has pledged close to 10 Cr INR of its total CSR spend on building sustainable cities and communities, especially through the Shri Kedarnath Utthan Charitable Trust.
- Oil India Limited is also in the rural development frame of mind with 7.36 Cr INR dedicated to industry innovation and infrastructure buildup.
While these are some of the largest plans in the overall CSR plans of the aforementioned companies, there are many more that take the cause of rural development forward. The impact can be seen in better infrastructure and more inclusive models that accord growth and added benefits like better healthcare, economic opportunities, education and nutrition in the long term.