MARG Karaikal Port & MS Swaminathan Research Foundation proudly announce the success of their joint initiative, "Knowledge Connectivity Program"
~Leads to enhanced livelihood opportunities for fishermen, farmers & Self Help Groups, in Karaikal & Nagapattinam regions~
- The project has bagged "Best Community Program Award" at the Responsible Business Summit held at Mumbai in June 2012
- The project has so far benefitted over 20,000 farmers, fisherman and Self Help Groups (SHGs)
- MARG Karaikal Port plans to further scale up its social initiatives having successfully executed this project
Karaikal, July 10, 2012: Witnessing the resounding success of the "Knowledge Connectivity for Rural Empowerment" project, MARG Karaikal Port has plans to upscale its initiatives for social benefits in the Karaikal & Nagappatinam region. The project is one of the social initiatives of MARG Karaikal Port under its CSR banner MARG Parivarthan which is being executed in partnership with M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) since November 2011. It has enhanced the livelihood opportunities by directly & indirectly reaching out to over 20,000 which includes farmers, fishermen and Self Help Group women (SHGs) across Nagapattinam & Karaikal regions.
In lieu of its success in improving the livelihood of rural populace of Karaikal and Nagapattinam, the Project is adjudged as the "Best Community Program Award" at the Responsible Business Summit held at Mumbai on 29th June 2012 at Mumbai.
Since the launch of the project, the target population receives two daily audio advisories related to their livelihood. A help line set up at MSSRF project office serves to provide more information and to clarify doubts on the audio advisories. Phone-in programmes are being organized on a regular basis with subject experts to obtain further information, clarification and guidance. Based on the results of the need assessment study, awareness & training programmes are being conducted at village levels. In addition to this a fortnightly magazine "Namma Ooru Seithigal" that carries relevant information pertaining to their occupation & region are being distributed.
The project takes information to the doorstep of rural community using audio, print & practical demos. The farmers, fishermen and Self Help Groups have access to information within their reach to make timely decisions for their social and economic development.
The project has brought significant changes in their capacity in terms of (a) confidence due to acquiring new knowledge and skills, (b) updating existing knowledge and skills and (c) blending science with traditional knowledge, resulting in improved productivity.
Commenting on the success, MLN Acharyulu, Executive Director - Marine Infrastructure, MARG Group said "We are encouraged by the outcome of the project. It has been an enriching experience working with community around us and this strategic partnership with MSSRF has helped us in our social endeavour to enhance livelihood opportunities of local population. We have leveraged advanced technologies employed by MSSRF and their rural networking platform to ensure that our social endeavours produce tangible results ."
MSSRF has developed a complete database of the beneficiaries of the programme and documented their changing needs & interests through a web based knowledge management system on a continuous basis and activities are aligned to meet the aspirations of the target groups. The response from the target audience is encouraging and found to have a profound impact on their lives, as the project is unique & dynamic in the sense that it is based on periodical review and feedback sessions involving all the stakeholders. The feedback on the content in terms of its relevance and also for technical reasons in terms of quality of the voice message – the audibility, speed of narration and clarity in the voice messages is taken as a critical improvement parameter. Separate panels of experts for each of the three groups have been instituted to guide & advice on the project.
Captain K. N. Ramesh, Chief Operating Officer, MARG Karaikal Port say, "MARG Karaikal Port is always looking for avenues and reach out to people in need. The program has proved to be very engaging with the combined efforts of MARG Karaikal Port & MSSRF. This initiative with MSSRF has seen tremendous success for the fishing, farmer and Self Help Group communities. This collaboration is a role model in terms of 2 organisations coming together for a common cause and leveraging each other's strengths to achieve desired deliverables "
Plans to encourage local youth to acquire the skill of truck driving and pursue the same as a remunerative livelihood are on the anvil. Integrated farmer's club with a focus on Animal Husbandry is also being looked upon aggressively.
In the past, MARG Karaikal Port in association with MSSRF has successfully organized a Career Guidance programme on 15th May 2011 for the benefit of the school students in Nagapattinam district. Over 350 students participated and the event commenced with release of "Career Guidance Booklet" – an exhaustive booklet on career options. The booklet provided a detailed insight into various career streams that youngsters from Nagapattinam could pursue.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation is a non-profit research organization and was established in 1988. M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) has all along been developing and following a pro-nature, pro-poor, pro-women and pro-sustainable on-farm and non-farm livelihoods through appropriate eco technology and knowledge empowerment.
About MARG Karaikal Port:
MARG Karaikal Port is a premier, deepwater, all weather port on the South East coast of India. The Port has a sizable hinterland because of its strategic location. Awarded on BOT basis by the Government of Puducherry in 2006, MARG Karaikal Port when fully developed is envisaged to have a total of 9 berths capable of handling up to 47 MMTPA. The Port is to be developed over 3 phases with the final phase getting operational by 2017.
MARG Karaikal Port has shown its versatility by handling different types of cargo like coal, fertilizer, cement, raw sugar, project cargo, gypsum, containers, steel pipes, scrap, bagged sugar, construction material etc. The Port's cargo handling capacity and capabilities increased significantly during the past 12 months as 2 new deep draft berths were operationalized, taking the total number of berths available at the Port to 5 at present. The Port has deployed dedicated infrastructure to handle containers and liquid cargo and expanded the existing facilities catering to dry bulk cargo.
MARG Karaikal Port's operational processes and practices are on par with the best in the industry and the Port has managed to bag ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications in a record time, demonstrating the maturity and quality of operational processes followed at the Port.
More information on MARG Karaikal Port is available on http://www.karaikalport.com
MARG Limited (BSE: 530543), incorporated in 1994 and headquartered in Chennai, is an infrastructure, real estate development and services company. The Company is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and its shares are traded on the NSE under the category of 'Permitted Security'. The holistic regional development undertaken by the group is unlocking economic prosperity and creating inclusive & sustainable growth models.
With over two decades of reassuring presence and the credit of pioneering the development of economic growth centers, MARG's portfolio spans across the entire infrastructure value chain - urban and industrial infrastructure, urban residential clusters, marine infrastructure & services, malls and EPC division. The group is expanding its sectoral presence with airport projects in Bellary and Bijapur and Multi-level car park projects. Listed by Dun & Bradstreet among "India's Top 500 Companies 2010", today MARG Group has projects worth more than Rs. 3000 crores under execution, a seasoned human capital of more than 1000, global partners in the Infra space and offices spread across India, Singapore and China. The MARG CSR brand – MARG Parivarthan complements these business verticals. More information on MARG is available on http://www.marggroup.com
About MARG Parivarthan:
The CSR arm of MARG group was born out of a vision to master plan the existing social fabric. Inclusive growth has been the guiding philosophy of MARG through which at all our major project sites it ensure that the surrounding population is included in the development processes and the progress is two way and mutual. MARG as an organization have redefined the fundamentals of urbanization by creating eco systems where surrounding environment is an integral part of MARG's forward march.
MARG CSR initiatives have been developed as a business model, well integrated within its business operation. The commitment is for a complete SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION of neighborhoods with sustained and diligent focus through a spectrum of development programmes under 9 different thematic areas viz: Education, Health, Skill Training & Employment, Community Infrastructures, Environment, Relief & Rehabilitation, Welfare programmes, Culture & Sports promotion and Social Cause promotion.