Playing a pivotal role in improving the quality of life of marginalised communities, Nayara Energy has many interventions in place
A new-age downstream and petrochemicals company, Nayara Energy owns India’s second-largest single-site, state-of-the-art refinery in Gujarat. As the fastest growing pan-India fuel retail network, it is also powering India’s growing energy demands. With its inclusive growth policy, the organisation has myriad interventions on sustainable development projects related to health and nutrition, education and skill development. and livelihood.
The focus is on the community around the operational areas. The aim is to promote the use of technology, innovative ideas and new tools that support community development and nation building. Community-based enterprises have been given a boost. There are collaborations with experts on re-skilling, creating new institutions, agriculture and livestock development programmes.
Nayara realises that real progress lies in socio-economic upliftment of the youth and the women. Hence, it is working with a multi-pronged approach in 15 villages of Devbhumi Dwarka and Jamnagar districts. Titled Gramsamruddhi, the project has three main areas: water and soil conservation, agriculture & animal husbandry development, women empowerment through skills and saving credit groups.
The youth are encouraged to study and complete their schooling till standard XII via the open school. Beginning with counselling sessions and giving them personalised tuitions, Nayara has appointed special people.
With a firm belief that women spearhead social change, Nayara Energy is empowering women to make informed financial decisions for their households. Micro-enterprises are being encouraged with the formation of Self-Help Groups (SHG) and through individual efforts.
With a focus on professional skills, Nayara started the Stitching Centre in Vadinar Village in 2016 in collaboration with BAIF Institute for Sustainable Livelihoods and Development (BISLD), Gujarat. It has trained over 1,100 girls till now.
The Centre started with a three-month basic programme on stitching skills. Post the basic skill development programme, a secondary level programme was introduced for participants looking for further skill enhancement. A partnership has been formed with Delhi-based social enterprise MasterG for specialised apparel design and production training. Many women enrolled for that and continue to work at the Centre. The women are also trained in stitching leather products such as wallets, key chains and cloth bags.
“Coming here has been a life changing experience,” shares an excited Afsana, an instructor at the Centre. After doing the three-month basic programme, she enrolled for the two-year programme and was then employed to skill other women. For the students, her journey has been inspirational. “Initially my parents did not allow me to go out to study or work. A lot of restrictions were imposed on us. The teachers from the Nayara Stitching Centre visited our homes multiple times and counselled our parents. We learnt to stitch many things and are now able to contribute to the family’s earning. The course gave me a lot of confidence and freedom,” she smiles.
Sheetal Mansukh shares a similar story, “I hail from a conservative family, where education and careers for girls are not accorded enough importance. The Centre is quite close to my home and I got an opportunity to learn a new skill. Now, I can stitch all trendy and traditional clothes and build a meaningful life for myself.”
The efforts for skill enhancement include creating new institutions, counselling the communities and families to participate in the programmes, establishing both short-term and long-term courses and creating work opportunities to enable income generation and ensure the learning is put to use.
Over time, the Vadinar Stitching Centre has evolved into a full-fledged garment manufacturing enterprise, which has linked around 500 women. During the pandemic, the women made over 1.5 lakh masks at home and could generate a collective income of Rs 10 lakh for their families, when most family members were homebound and could not earn. The Centre also has a store where ethnic suits, bags, pouches and leather products created by these women are sold.
If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime, goes the old adage. To give the villagers permanent financial independence, livestock management including breed improvement and cattle healthcare have been implemented. And taking the lead in this are seven women from the community, now called Pashu Sakhis.
Technology may have enabled mankind to locate the coastal village of Vadinar, Devbhumi Dwarka district, on the map, but it does not show the quality of their lives. It’s a village of fisherfolks, where most men are either earning through fishing or allied source. However, despite the livelihood, the earnings are meagre. Women and children battle with hunger and other daily living issues. For the widows, the situation is even more dire.
There were initial hesitations when Pashu Sakhi programme was introduced. The women did not understand the wider implication and livestock management was an unknown phenomenon. Jaitunben was one of the first women to sign up for this. “We could scarcely afford milk for tea or eat eggs, even if my children were unwell. I got 10 chickens and three sheep through this programme. This programme has brought monetary and other good changes in my life. Now we can eat to our satisfaction. I have also learnt to sign my name and taught my husband and others to write as well. At the Nayara training centres, we learn good values. People used to say I fight with everyone, now I have friends and they ask me to contest for the sarpanch elections. Nayara has given support, opportunities and instilled confidence in the women of this village,” she smiles.
Pashu Sakhi was primarily designed to give women a chance to boost their income through poultry activity. Under the activity, women are given 10 chickens or a goat, along with technical guidance and support to raise the chickens till the time they start hatching eggs. The women sell the eggs to make a living.
A vital aspect of the activity is that it provides interlinked support and is totally self-sustaining. The first recipients of chickens or goat are supposed to provide 10 chickens or sheep to other women when their hens begin to hatch eggs. Jaitunben says that she has managed to help 10 more women through this. The project introduces the concept of paying forward and enables community bonding amongst the villagers. There is handholding and mentoring all through the project by the staff.
The programme has been active in the village for last three to four years and over 60 cattle have been bred. There are many stories like Jaitunben's who now hope of realising their dreams.
To reach a wider network, community healthcare initiatives have been implemented across the district of Devbhumi Dwarka. The people are provided primary healthcare services, pathological facilities and the emergency response system ensures doorstep facilities to more than 50,000 patients across 15 villages.
It is a well-known medical fact that up till the age of five, good nutrition paves the way for heathy growth in a child. Despite India being the second largest food producer in the world, malnutrition in rural areas is a crucial aspect that needs immediate attention.
Taking a lead, Nayara Energy launched Project Tushti in 2019 at Vibrant Gujarat Summit. It is committed to eliminating malnutrition in Dwarka through a public-private partnership aligned with the Government of Gujarat.
‘Tushti’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Santushti’ meaning fulfilment and wellbeing. The goal: to strengthen the district’s nutrition indicators by leveraging Health and Wellness Centres (HWC) through technology and new-age delivery mechanisms.
For this, Nayara Energy partnered with JSI R&T India Foundation and Indian Institute of Public Health – Gandhinagar (IIPHG), Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS) and Department of Women & Child Development (DWCD).
To achieve the goal of a malnutrition-free Dwarka, the project has an integrated approach. There is strengthening of nutrition improvement systems and practices; tie-ups with government and other relevant nodal agencies; improving uptake of nutrition services for young children, adolescents and pregnant women in all the four blocks of the district; promoting a positive change in behaviour; digitising and developing a sustainable “Model Health and Wellness Centre” and converging with ICDS for monitoring the nutrition related parameters in vulnerable population.
A first of its kind intervention, under Project Tushti, two Child Malnutrition Treatment Centre (CMTCs) are being operated since September 2021: one at Sub District Hospital Dwarka, and the other at Community Health Centre, Bhanvad.
The space, infrastructure and treatment services for medical complications have been provided by the Zila Parishad. Project Tushti supports the renovation of the building, gives support for nutrition assistant and other human resources, therapeutic foods, counselling services and transport services for children and caregivers. Screening camps to identify malnourished children are conducted on a regular basis.
To reach more people, a Poshan Rath or mobile unit travels daily through in Bhanvad and Dwarka blocks of Devbhumi Dwarka District for screening and providing nutrition to children in various aaganwadis.
Each Poshan Rath is equipped with the necessary equipment for anthropometric measurements such as Infantometer, Stadiometer, Baby Weighing Scale, bathroom scale, Mid Upper Arm Circumference tape (MUAC), Leaflets, Energy Dense Nutrition Supplement (EDNS). A nutrition assistant accompanies the doctor from the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK). The anganwadi worker helps in the screening of children, provides counselling and weekly EDNS up to eight weeks. Children below the age of five are screened regularly.
Dr Swati Sachdeva, medical officer with RBSK, who screens children between 0-18 years of age, says, “We visit anganwadis on a daily basis. After the first screening if we find issues, we screen the child again for hepatitis. Then seeing the condition, we counsel the parents and recommend the child to the CMTC.” She is accompanied by Sumitra, the nutrition assistant, who says that the morning hours are for screening visits and then after the doctor’s recommendation, she constantly monitors the nutrition and treatment until the child is healthy.
The CMTCs are spacious, airy and well maintained to ensure speedy recovery. There is always a cook, caretaker and cleaner at the CMTCs. A beautiful play area ensures holistic development. “Most children give trouble during meals. But when they come here with other children and see the beautiful environs, we can easily feed them,” shares Sumitra.
“My child was very weak and refused to eat. The doctor recognised that he was suffering from malnutrition, and counselled us to enroll in this programme. In a span of 21 days, he has been nursed back to health. He was 6kg when admitted and is now 7kg. He smiles and plays now,” says Dakshaben, who got her one-year-old son Siddhartha treated at the Bhanvad centre.
A weight gain of 10 to 20 per cent is recorded in children during their two-week stay at the centre. Like Dakshaben, Rekhaben was also advised by Dr Swati to take her son Krish to the CMTC for nutritional improvement. And she is happy to see his progress.
Follow-ups continue until the child gains weight as per the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria with no other medical complications. Records of children are maintained and tracked both during weekly physical follow-up and through tele-counselling
CMTC also conducts counselling sessions on health and hygiene, how to care for a sick child, educates mothers and villagers about nutritious food, cooking methods. It even gives mothers demonstration of THR- Take Home Ration recipes such as methi thepla, sheera.
Nayara Energy also provides the wage cost for mothers who accompany the children and have to miss their work. It also creates work opportunities for these women such as making Bandhani or stitching to enable livelihood building.
The KIOSKS at HWC are equipped with testing and screening patients for aliments such as HBA1C (diabetes test), dental screening, skin diseases, height-weight measurement, calculating BMI, hemoglobin and blood pressure checks.
Four Health KIOSKs have been installed: Vadinar Dispensary, Ran Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC), Bharana Sub Centre and Verad PHC. Each centre caters to patients from three to four neighbouring villages. Operational since April 2021, about 20-30 people come to the centres daily.
Dr Faisal Sheikh, Programme Manager, IIPHG, calls these KIOSKs Health ATMs. “They are easy to use as they are like Android mobile phones. We can scan the patient immediately, providing accurate results for analysis. These reports can be accessed at different HWC and patients can get treatment and medication swiftly as the KIOSK is enabled with e-clinic software. This includes demographic detail, chief complaints, associated complaints, medical and surgical history, screening and examinations, provisional diagnosis, medicine, and lab reports,” he explains. The machines are hi-tech with bluetooth-enabled medical equipment such as blood pressure tester and thermometer. A volunteer helps the patients and fills in all the details.
Health KIOSK machine at each location is monitored and supervised monthly. The installation of each machine costs Rs 1,25,000 and there is an additional running cost of Rs 50,000-70,000 per month. Periodic trainings and orientation on Health KIOSKS are organised for staff members at each location. Close to 4,000 villagers have benefited from this facility.
With good healthcare facilities located either at Jamnagar 40km away or Khambhaliya 20 km away, the villagers face numerous problems. This not only delays the overall treatment procedure, but also drains them off financially. There are expenses on doctor’s fee, medicines, commuting, and the probability of losing their daily wage along with that of the person accompanying them.
Nayara Energy is supporting the Community Health Centre (CHC) in Jhakhar village since 2007 as that has the highest population in the area. A MBBS doctor is available for OPD consultations six days a week. The services are availed by patients of five surrounding villages. Basic laboratory facility is also available in the centre. There is a supply of medicines and upgraded infrastructure there. The organisation has also provided an emergency ambulance service.
A public announcement heralds the MHV that goes to different villages. It announces that the patients should bring their Aadhar card and phone number when coming for treatment. Each patient is registered digitally. The sarpanch of village Vadaliya Sinhan is happy that the MHV comes for two hours, twice a week, as there are no medical facilities there. “Over 61 people have been treated,” he says. The women are happy as there is continuity in the treatment and they come regularly for their medicine.
As a discipline, each MHV goes to 12 villages twice a week. The vans have a qualified doctor on board and patients are provided treatment as per examination. Dr Loktarikta Kanjiya shares that the van makes four visits a day to different villages. “Mostly people have skin diseases, common cold and cough. In summer, there is diarrhoea also. At least 25 patients come to avail the services of the van.” The MHVs also disperse free medicines. Altogether, the MHVs are catering to about 50,000 villagers by providing affordable and timely healthcare at their doorstep.
There are specialized health camps for diabetes and hypertension. In addition to curative activities, focus on preventive healthcare has also gone up. Nayara Energy also trains the frontline workers and plans special camps to educate the villagers. The health data is managed via a Patient Management Software and stored as e-health record. Through these initiatives, the health burden has reduced up to 50 per cent from government hospitals.
The journey to development is an endless one, but Nayara Energy continues to fuel its programmes with more power to empower lives.
1.. Stitching Centre in Vadinar Village started in 2016 and has trained over 1,100 girls till now. The women are also trained in stitching accessories
2.. Pashu Sakhi was primarily designed to give women a chance to boost their income through poultry activity. Under the activity, women are given 10 chickens or a goat
3.. To achieve the goal of a malnutrition-free Dwarka, Project Tushti has an integrated approach. There is strengthening of nutrition improvement systems
4. In addition to curative activities, focus on preventive healthcare has also gone up. Nayara Energy also trains the frontline workers and plans special camps