The DS Group (Dharampal Satyapal Group)is a Multi-Business Corporation and one of the leading FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) conglomerates with a strong Indian and International presence. Founded in the year 1929, it is an inspiring and successful business story that blends a remarkable history and legacy with visionary growth. The Group continues to build successful brands across diverse business categories. The Group is guided by a clear set of values and built on a strong foundation of collective good, Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of the DS Group’s business objectives. It endeavours for the sustainable well-being of the stakeholder communities by addressing economic, environmental, and social issues and challenges.
The Group works on projects across the country to achieve the aforesaid objective focusing on critical areas such as Water, Livelihood, and Education. The CSR projects of the Group are designed on the principles that indigenous knowledge, academic inputs and technological advancement are essential for sustainable development. Thus the projects encourage active participation from the community at all stages, beginning from conceptualization to its implementation to ensure sustainability. The Group works in multi-dimensional approaches with the objective to do impactful work with the communities bringing together critical stakeholders like local Government Institutions, recognized Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs/INGOs), esteemed Educational Institutions, and notable personalities for conceptualizing robust CSR projects..
“As responsible corporate citizens, it is our duty to protect our planet and preserve it for future generations. We believe that sustainable practices are not only good for the environment but also essential for the long-term success of our business. By integrating sustainability into every aspect of our operations, we strive to create a better world for our stakeholder communities and for those who will inherit it in future.”, said Mr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, DS Group
Ms Sunita Gupta, Social Advisor, DS Group said, “Our CSR interventions strive to strike a balance among socio-environmental factors in order to attain an equilibrium for responsible expansion. Our sustainability programs are prominent in the areas of waste management, recycling, energy management, and water management. This ties our corporate, social, and environmental goals together so that we may significantly improve society and the nation as a whole.”
DS Group CSR’s work has been recognized and conferred with many notable awards by various organizations & institutions including the National Water Awards by the Ministry of Jal Shakti and most recently FICCI Corporate Social Responsibility Award.
According to the World Bank report on Water Resource Management, 40% of the world’s population live in water-scarce areas. The scarcity exacerbated could cost some regions up to 6% of their GDP. Thus, the world needs urgent action to address the acute concern of water scarcity. Climate change has increased the incidences of drought and floods across the globe including India. Countries like India, which are heavily dependent on seasonal rains in Monsoon, bear the severity of climate change. Due to the same, there is sweeping changes in Monsoons over the last 20 years which has resulted in the reduction of water recharge in the streams by 35%. This has severely decreased irrigation potential, agriculture productivity, and undermined livelihoods, and food security. While several steps are being taken by the global communities to address the growing concerns of climate change, localized efforts towards effective management of available water resources can build the resilience of the communities across the country. Focusing on water conservation and restoration, DS Group
Has ongoing Water Conservation projects in 6 states of India, namely Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Gujarat, benefitting millions of people. .
DS Group Water Conservation projects involve identifying sources of water and treating them with a pragmatic approach to conserving soil and water for improved and sustainable agriculture. Therefore the construction of recharging and storage structures, renovation of existing defunct and underutilized water bodies, and soil conservation measures are taken on under this project. The Group is also forming and nurturing two tier community institutions, water user groups for regulating water utilization at the source level and the village development committees for overall management of the project activities. The project has significantly/ positively impacted the availability of water at the surface and sub-surface levels, which has led to increase in net-irrigated areas. The crop productivity in the project area has significantly improved resulting in better economic conditions of the community.
The Group conceptualized the ‘Water Economic Zone, an integrated watershed development project in 2018 to enhance natural resources, particularly water and soil for supporting an agriculture-based economy. Through this project alone, the DS Group’s CSR programme has reached out to more than 23000 people from 26 villages, mostly from the tribal background. The project has treated an area of around 11000 hectares in Alsigarh and Kurabad areas of Udaipur.
Prior to the intervention, the area was characterized by low productivity, rain-fed farming, severe soil erosion and degraded land and forest. Based on the geographical conditions and community needs, the intervention constructed and renovated various soil and water conservation structures under the principle of ‘ridge to valley’ approach. This intervention has led to better economic opportunities to the local tribal communities. The group also introduced various measures for efficient irrigation practices in this project. Alternative practices like drip irrigation, rain guns based on Solar Pumps, which reduces the practice of flood irrigation and use of fossil fuel based-pumps focus on water preservation and usage of green energy. Besides this, the Farmers were trained on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for existing crops, while being introduced to diversified farming. They were also encouraged to develop pasture land in the common land.
Through this initiative the project aims to ensure value addition in on-farm and off-farm livelihood avenues through environment-friendly activities and empowering local communities for the long-term sustainability of the project. Motivated by the successful impact of this project, it is now being replicated in Khandwa and Betul districts of Madhya Pradesh, which has relatively similar topography. The intervention will be implemented in 3000 ha. in the Khandwa and 1700 ha. in Betul districts.
Under the water conservation initiatives, more than 900 water harvesting structures have been constructed or renovated with a cumulative storage capacity of around 80 Lakh cubic metres till date. The intervention has brought more than 2300 hectare area under irrigation.
The DS Group believes in inclusive growth through the skill building of people from underprivileged sections of society. The group works with a dual approach to firstly make current livelihood avenues more productive and profitable for the stakeholder communities, while also empowering them to adapt to diversified livelihood options and facilitate them to take advantage of emerging opportunities. The Group supports a range of projects, which are focused on strengthening the enabling environment for existing livelihood opportunities by providing backward and forward linkages, inculcating improved practices, value addition in products, introducing new technology, facilitating environment and imparting skills for sustainably enhancing incomes. The associated community is also endowed with market-oriented skills and vision to explore diverse avenues to utilize the opportunities in the emerging job market.
The Group has supported large-scale livelihood creation for a decade, making sure that the interventions become self-sustainable for the communities. Agriculture, Livestock, Entrepreneurship and Skill Development have been the core sub-thematic areas of Intervention. In agriculture, Sustainable and Comprehensive Agriculture for Livelihood Enhancement (SCALE) is a one of its’ kind project where farmers are being provided with end-to-end support to encourage large-scale production so that they can directly supply to institutional buyers. The Group is also supporting Farmer Produces Organisation (FPO) for these projects.
The CSR interventions of the DS Group have already impacted livelihoods of 29,000 households across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Assam, and Tripura. Most of these projects are supporting rural communities, which are dependent on the agriculture sector as their prime source of income. The Group directly works with more than 25,000 Farmers on improved agricultural practices, diversified crop patterns, organic farming, post-harvesting practices, market linkages, and livestock management. These projects are designed in a participatory approach, amalgamating traditional knowledge of communities with technological involvement to make agriculture efficient, profitable and sustainable. Simultaneously, skill development projects are also supported for employable skilling of the youth and women from the underprivileged section. As of today, approximately 250 households have been supported by the Group through acclaimed Civil Society Organisations (CBO), working in this sub-thematic area.
Education is one of the key intervention areas for DS Group. The Group believes that “Education is an essential tool to empower people for a better future”.
Initiated in the year 2015, the Group has undertaken a wide range of initiatives to promote quality education through Formal, Non-formal & Remedial methods. The projects are largely focused on bringing development in cognitive and affected domains of the children. The group is running – schools to provide formal education to underserved communities and supporting a school in tribal area of Sheopur district in Madhya Pradesh. For Non-formal and Remedial education the group has partnered with CSOs that expose students to methodology, which is unique in its richness and quality. The various Non-formal and remedial interventions have been instrumental in improving school enrolments of out-of-school children and drop-out students across Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Through these projects, the group has served more than 20,000 tribal and urban slum-dwelling students in the age groups 3 to 22 years.
Apart from this, through a very unique project called “Creative Adda”, the group also encourages skill based education for the students. The students are facilitated to explore their learning interests and co-create and design their own learning path.
Another very unique project called “Salute to Martyr” is being supported by the group. Under this project, the children of martyrs from para-military forces are not only supported in continuing education, but are also provided psycho-social support to overcome the trauma.
The Group also actively undertakes various other CSR interventions aligned with national priority and contributing towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). These interventions include setting up mid-day meal kitchens, promoting Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by constructing toilets & spreading awareness, providing basic medical services, renovating schools, supporting orphans, setting up mobile medical units, disaster relief works etc.