Vedanta setting up cancer hospital in Chhattisgarh


New Delhi : London-based Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta group is setting up a 360-bed cancer hospital in Chhattisgarh at a cost of Rs.300 crore (Rs.3 billion/$60 million) and has committed Rs.125 crore (Rs.1.25 billion//$25 million) for next fiscal towards its various projects on corporate social responsibility.

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The first phase of the Vedanta Cancer Hospital and Research Centre at Raipur with 100 beds is slated for completion in 18 months and is being set up by the group’s non-profit foundation.

Other schemes across several states include those on water harvesting, cash crop plantation, infrastructure development, health, vocational training, supply of potable water, sanitation and model village development.

“Corporate social responsibility is close to my heart. We are working day and night for the benefit of the under-privileged children in the country,” Agarwal, who has major interests in the global metals business, said in a statement.

“Through schemes on computer education, mid-day meal, and through the Bal Chetna Anganwadi Project, we would be touching the lives of about 2.5 million children in the coming three-five years.”

Tens of thousands of under-privileged children, youth and women in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Goa have benefited by the initiatives, on which Vedanta has already spent Rs.1.86 billion over the past four years, he said.

The group said over 1,000 anganwadis, or child care centres, had been adopted in Orissa, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh under the public-private partnership of these states and plans had been finalised to take care of about 35,000 under-privileged children.

Today, children at these anganwadis have utensils, planned diet, including nuts for nourishment, water filters for safe drinking water, hygienic toilets, toys and colourful books, among other amenities, said the statement.

“They sing and play games. A doctor visits them regularly for checkups and utmost care is taken to ensure that their weight is proper.”

Speaking about another programme, the group said nutrition to children was being provided through the mid-day meal scheme, touching the lives of 180,000 children in more than 2,400 primary and middle schools by Hindustan Zinc in Rajasthan.

Six high-tech kitchens are already operating in the state and 31 more are to be set up in the next three-five years, the company said, adding another nine have also been planned in Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand.

“On an average, the setting up of a kitchen costs about Rs.1.25 crore (Rs.12.5 million). The target is to serve about 10 lakh (one million) children and provide them good food.”

Computer education is another important area for the Vedanta group and some 200 schools at present were being covered in Rajasthan to benefit 40,000 students by distributing 1,000 computers.

“The group proposes to cover 10 lakh (one million) children in coming three-five years.”

On the cancer hospital, the group said the objective was to develop a centre of excellence for high quality referral medical care covering oncology, cardiology, paediatrics and neurology to bring modern facilities to the average citizen at affordable prices.

“With proposed built-up area of about 445,000 sq ft, the Vedanta Cancer Hospital and Research Centre will be state-of-art with all modern technology.”