Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates SAIL CSR projects in Murshidabad

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (UNI) The key to true social development is inclusive development that involves participation of central and state governments supplemented by efforts of PSUs like SAIL since it benefits the commonman, said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Speaking at a function in Murshidabad district of West Bengal where vital hospital equipments and a mobile medical unit has been donated by the nation's largest steel manufacturer, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) as part of its efforts to improve the living conditions of people in mofussil areas.

Recalling his association with SAIL dating back to early 1980s when he was the Steel Minister, Mr Mukherjee remarked, ''SAIL has been doing a remarkable job of providing educational, medical and social facilities to lakhs of people across the country and truly deserves the title of being a Navratna company.'' Earlier Mr Mukherjee also inaugurated a tube-well project at Mondalsar village in Khargram block of Murshidabad. The project envisages erection of 80 hand-pumps at Khargram and another 20 at Jangipur block to alleviate the problem of non-availability of potable water being faced by the villagers in these areas.

Of the 25 blocks of this district, 19 are hard pressed for safe drinking water since most of the water sources are arsenic affected.

''It must be remembered that every major event has a humble beginning," Mr Mukherjee remarked, comparing SAIL's developmental work with Gandhiji's Dandi March that began with a single step.

Though this might seem a small step when viewed in the context of the human development index of the country, it is significant since it reflects the will to fulfill one's social obligations, he added.

The total cost of the two projects undertaken by SAIL is about Rs 60 lakh.

Adhir Ranjan Choudhury, local MP, hoped SAIL will further broaden its scope of social development activities in the region and suggested setting up of an ICU unit at the Jangipur Sub Divisional Hospital.

Managing Director of SAIL's Durgapur Steel Plant, V Shyamsunder, informed that a key point of SAIL's credo is the resolve to 'make a meaningful difference to people's lives'.

Expressing his satisfaction at being able to extend a helping hand to the people of Murshidabad, he also informed the gathering about SAIL's contribution to various aspects of nation building, adding that the Prime Minister had awarded the FICCI Award for 'Rural and Community Development Initiatives' to the company in February this year, according to a release issued here.

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