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Strengthening local communities is the key towards a sustainable future

Community feeling is strong in India. Companies who invest in the development of the communities they are a part of, create positive impact not only on the people residing there, but also on the environment and biodiversity at large. In a globalised and digitally connected world, one will expect feelings of community to fade quickly. Since majority of Indians are residing in rural areas, having a reciprocal relationship formed between businesses and rural communities keeps both vested in supporting each other.

Focusing on rural development first is a great way to level up our country by creating great places 'from within' rather than from external interventions. And this has been the approach that has enabled Shree Ramkrishna Exports (SRK) to bring about a noticeable change and develop the communities in various parts of Gujarat.

SRK follows a strategic approach towards management of natural resources - especially land, water, air and social and environmental sustainability while upholding productivity and efficiency of the diamond supply chain. We contribute more than 8% of our average net profit towards the various community welfare initiatives. Diamonds are luxury products, with very little social impact, and hence, it owes the society good deeds; this is what SRK believes in.

"I believe the world is like a Diamond- A tough place to live in but also inherently beautiful. In order to uncover its beauty, we need to work Slowly, Consistently, with Responsibility and Goodwill."

- Shri Govindkaka

In a recent instance, this month, Shree Ramkrishna Knowledge Foundation (SRKKF), under the guidance of Shri Govindkaka laid the foundation stone for the solarization of the Dudhala village of Amreli district in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Installation of 400 KW rooftop solar systems to power around 350 houses and public areas such as anganwadis and gram panchayat will be taken care by us. This will impact close to 2000 lives while addressing the needs of energy day & night. This move will help generate more income for the villagers and promote renewable energy in agricultural community of the village. The thought of developing Dudhala into a green village comes in line with the efforts towards SRK's sustainable initiatives in making our diamond crafting facilities as green buildings.

We intend to build the village of Dudhala as a “Smart village” by setting up not only solar panels, but by providing Digital connectivity to all the homes. With Shri Govindkaka's support, SRKKF will be enabling free Wi-Fi services apart from healthcare and medical services to the village for free of cost. Such a digital connectivity will enable facilities of tele-medicine, tele-education, e-health, e-entertainment, etc. and create local employment opportunities and drive socio-economic growth in the area.

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails”.

- Shri Govindkaka

He engages directly with the communities throughout the year, creating multiple opportunities to empower the deprived sections of the society. Dudhala is his native village, and the love for his homeland motivates him to do good for the people of his village. In 2014, he set up “Laljidada no vadlo” at Lathi village, which has been transforming lives and making healthcare accessible with its free medical and check-up facilities. Named after his late father Shri Laljidada, the vadlo has impacted 11,00,000+ lives so far. SRKKF has contributed towards water management too through construction of canals and more than 45 check dams in the Dudhala village of Saurashtra which gets considerably low rainfall and also water retention is less.

Apart from this, we have also brought about a noticeable change and helping develop the communities in the city of Surat, Gujarat, where SRK is celebrating its 6 decades of successful journey in the industry. To support Education, we have adopted 5 schools of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) in the vicinity of our crafting facilities and we are involved in the administration and pedagogy of the schools which shapes around to three thousand five hundred young minds. This initiative, namely the School Empowerment Program (SEP) focuses on the holistic development of children and aims to provide better opportunities to those schools which are deprived of materialistic facilities. Our V.N. Godhani English School provides co-education, nurturing and enriching both boys and girls culturally and spiritually. We impart knowledge about diamonds and enable advanced research in the diamond industry through SRK Institute of Diamonds (SRKID), an authorized training centre for skill development of the craftsmen of diamond industry since 2014. Through SRK Institute of Skills, we provide training and skill development programs in various domains like Art and Design; Engineering and Technology; Business, Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship; Spirituality; Humanities and Culture; and Sustainability. Shri Govindkaka personally meets around 100 socially/economically challenged people daily at our Relief Centre in the campus of V.N. Godhani English School to listen to their problems and to motivate them. So far, we have provided financial aid to nearly 48,000 people for medical treatment, and scholarships to more than 11,000 students for their higher education through the relief centre.

Local communities are a route towards more resilient and sustainable systems in multiple domains across society and the economy. Maintaining good relations with our community is a process that requires constant attention and resource investment with a committed long-term vision. SRK has always been a proud contributor in India's Aatmanirbhar journey, and we intend to keep contributing our bit for the development of our societies keeping in mind the greater good.