Michelin Tyres Epitome of Corporate Social Responsibility
Syed Ali Mujtaba
The global tyre company, Michelin has established a world class manufacturing facility some 50 km north of Chennai at Thervoy Kandigai in Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu.
Operating under the name Michelin India Tamil Nadu Tyres Private Limited (MITTPL) this polish tyre company has a state of the art plant that’s spread over an area of 290 acres of land.
The construction of the boundary wall and fence around the site is complete and the leveling of the ground has commenced. The plant is schedule to start operations in 2012, but will be fully functional only by 2020, absorbing, minimum, of 1,500 workers.
At the moment the training centre is the first building that has come on the site and the main focus of this facility is to offer training to both: Michelin employees and the local community surrounding the site.
“Apart from technical and language training to its own staff, the facility conducts training in soft and technical skills to help improve employment opportunities of the villagers, in general. This includes language training, computer skills, accounting, and other vocational courses like plumbing and carpentry,” says Mrs. Saradamani Dey, Communications Manager, Michelin India Tamil Nadu Tyres Private Limited (MITTPL).
As part of corporate social responsibility, Michelin, has sponsored household socio-economic survey in 31 villages on the periphery of the site. The survey was conducted by Foundation for Rural Recovery and Development (FORRAD) that collected empirical data on education, occupation, skills, income, expenditure, indebtedness and other indicators of socio-economic well being of the people living around the site.
Based on the findings of the survey, Michelin, as part of its corporate social responsibility has devised some mid term and long term strategy and has started a flurry of activity to meet such objective.
Michelin has initiated health camps covering pediatrics, gynecology, general health care and eye care. These camps are held to map out the health status of the local people and assist with a long term health plan. The first health camp was conducted in February 2011 and this was in association with Lifeline Hospitals, Chennai. About 225 people participated in this camp and 205 patients were prescribed medicines.
So far, Michelin has organized four eye screening camps since September 2010 in association with Sankara Nethralaya, the world famous eye hospital in Chennai. In these camps a total of 1143 persons from 8 villages registered and 87 persons successfully underwent cataract operations and additional 186 people were prescribed, and given spectacles.
Apart from such activity, Michelin, in partnership with two national NGOs, the Foundation for Rural Recovery and Development (FORRAD) and Action for Food Production (AFPRO), has taken step towards natural resource management of the area surrounding its site.
The AFPRO conducted a preliminary survey that revealed that agriculture in the region surrounding Michelin site is fed by large rain-fed lakes and most of the lakes at the far end of the irrigation channels were silted up.
Michelin, committed to its corporate social responsibility initiative, has taken steps towards de-silting of the irrigation channels and so far has completed dredging of about 18 kilometers to harness the water resources in the lakes surrounding its site.
“Such initiative may increase the storage capacity of the lakes and maintain the water supply to the farmers living on the far end of the lake,” says Mrs. Saradamani Dey, Communications Manager, MITTPL.
One needs to visit the Michelin site, to have a feel of its corporate social responsibility where conservation of human and natural resources and developmental activity is going on simultaneously. However, there maybe some discontentment too simmering below the surface and that needs separate investigation.
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org