When a corporate kept returning to RC Gorkhpur with CSR funds

Schoolchildren using the handwash station set up by RC Gorakhpur.
Schoolchildren using the handwash station set up by RC Gorakhpur.

It all began in 2018–19 when the then secretary of the club M P Kandoi suggested to the members of his club, Rotary Club of Gorakhpur, RID 3120, that they adopt a school — Purva Madhyamik Vidyalaya — in Jungle Kauria, in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh. The Rotarians were passionate about literacy and went about the task of beautifying the school and providing basic facilities like a wash station, toilets and learning material, including smart classes complete with e-learning facilities.

The school beautification got a lot of attention from the local community and one of these who noticed the fine work done by the Rotarians on this school was the Japanese company Toyo Engineering India, engaged in the installation of a fertiliser factory in Gorakhpur. The corporate approached PDG Anoop ­Agarwal, CSR chair of District 3120, who is also member of this club, to utilise their CSR funds. “They had done some work with Rotary in Mumbai where their headquarters are located and said they were very happy about the ­partnership and the quality of work done,” says Agarwal.

In three phases, Toyo Engineering India has contributed ₹1.2 crore to RC Gorakhpur for community projects; and wants to give more!

The company was ready to give CSR funds to the tune of $32,500, but their only condition was that the club should use the money for improving government schools that were close to the fertiliser plant coming up on the periphery of the city, because this would benefit the children of their workers. And the work should be completed by March 31, 2019.

Agarwal added that initially Toyo Engineering wanted to give ₹20 lakh, but when the funding was worked out more money was required, and they agreed to give `23 lakh, when told that Rotary also would put in money through a TRF global grant.

Children seated on furniture provided by the club.
Children seated on furniture provided by the club.

The result was a global grant of $60,129, in which Toyo Engineering donated $30,875.

With these funds, the Rotarians began the task of converting 10 schools into Happy Schools by providing 391sets of desk-benches, 14 ­toilets, 12 smart classes (fully equipped with e-learning facilities), nine water ­supply systems, 12 wash stations, 38 fans and nine RO water providers.

The project was started in April 2018, and completed in time by March 31, 2019, just as stipulated by the corporate which was very happy with the work done by the Rotarians. “They would send their representatives to examine the work which was done and not only expressed satisfaction, but their company ­secretary Suhas ­Patwardhan approached us again, saying that we want to share more of our CSR funds. This time tell us how much you want and what are the areas in which you will do work,” smiles Agarwal.

RID Bharat Pandya at the school.
RID Bharat Pandya at the school.

“We suggested that we will uplift more schools and also work in the area of healthcare,” said Kandoi. This time 16 schools were selected; these already had toilets but the education officers said they required other facilities, such as beautification of the campus, setting up of smart classes with e-learning facilities, handwash stations, benches and desks, fans, white boards, etc, which the club agreed to undertake and convert all these 16 schools into Happy Schools. For this project Toyo Engineering contributed $39,875 of the total GG of $58,825.

For the third tranche of its CSR investment, for which the company again chose RC Gorakhpur, it was decided to give some state-of-the-art equipment for cancer detection and other diagnostics to the Guru Sri Goraknath Chikitsalaya, a hospital run by a charitable trust.

Toyo Engineering is so happy with the work done by our club that they have once again come forward to give us more CSR funds for the next round of community welfare projects.
M P Kandoi
past secretary, RC Gorakhpur

The approved global grant for this project is $134,028, for which the CSR contribution of Toyo is over $91,650 (₹67.8 lakh). An order has been placed for an ultrasound colour Doppler machine for radiology, costing ₹40 lakh, and another diagnostic equipment costing ₹54.75 lakh.

“Due to the Covid pandemic this project has been delayed; the hospital is associated with the Gorakhnath Temple, with which UP Chief ­Minister Yogi Adityanath has a close connection. We are planning to get this project inaugurated by the CM on Oct 17, the day our club completes its 75th year,” says Agarwal.

smart-class

The total money spent on this project is a whopping ₹1.7 crore ($252,982), adhering to the guidelines laid down by RIPE Shekhar Mehta that an organisation that has completed 100 years — Rotary came into India 100 years ago with the charter of RC Calcutta — should do “bigger and bolder projects”. In this, the CSR funds by Toyo Engineering total over ₹1.2 crore.

Adds Kandoi, “Toyo Engineering is so happy with the work done by our club that they have once again come forward to give us more CSR funds for the next round of community welfare projects.”

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