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Divi's Labs wooing locals with welfare measures

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JOY OF LEARNING: Young boys take a look at the books received from the representatives of Divis Labs at Annavaram village of Bheemunipatnam mandal. - C.V. Subrahmanyam

Visakhapatnam , July 7

DIVI'S Labs, which set up its second unit at Chippada village in Bheemunipatnam mandal of Visakhapatnam district three years ago, is trying to win over the locals by taking up community welfare measures and the efforts have borne fruit, according to Mr D. Madhusudana Rao, Resident Director.

``Our first unit is in the Choutuppal mandal of Nalgonda district where we manufacture bulk drugs and intermediates. It was set up in 1995 in 300 acres at Lingojigudem village and we were granted 300 acres more here to set up the second unit,'' he explained.

Initially, he said, there was a lot of opposition to the setting up of a bulk drug unit here and there were apprehensions that it would cause pollution and affect the livelihood of people in the vicinity. "But we could convince them that our technologies were clean and now the people in the surrounding villages are much more co-operative," he said.

He said the company was distributing notebooks to the students in the surrounding villages, constructing shelters for fishermen and employing as many as local people as possible in the non-technical jobs. "We have promised a job to anyone who has passed B.Sc (Chemistry) in the surrounding villages.

But there are very few eligible local candidates. Most of the candidates come from Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and other towns,'' he said.

He said the company had obtained ISO-9000, ISO-14000 and OHSAS certifications. "We take some of the local people into the plant now and then, show them around and explain to them the processes and how the chemical wastes are treated and let out into the sea," he said.

The company was increasing green cover in the vicinity.

During the past decade or so, he said, Divi's has grown into a Rs 350-crore turnover company.Quality control, envoronmental protection and contribution to community welfare had enabled the company to establish itself, he said. "There is no proposal by us to take up a site in the proposed pharma city near Parawada in Visakhapatnam district. We are happy here. There is enough room for capacity expansion,'' he added.

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