OVL Drills Oil, And Goodwill In Sudan

Updated: Nov 9 2003, 05:30am hrs
The overseas arm of Indian oil major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), is not just drilling oil in the horn of Africa, but is also involved in a number of community development programmes in Sudan. During the recent visit of President

A P J Abdul Kalam to Sudan, OVL gave a $400,000 (over Rs 1.8 crore) contribution to the Football Club of Sudan. Says Atul Chandra, managing director, OVL, Football is a passion in Sudan. And thats just one aspect of OVLs involvement with the people of that country.

Similarly, OVL is running two small dispensaries in Sudan where it is giving free medicines and treatment to around 250 patient every day. Besides, it is running two ambulance services to take patients from interiors to hospitals in case of emergency. We are also going to give about 1,000 Jaipur limbs every year to those who have lost theirs, says Mr Chandra.

Recently, the Khartoum Cancer Hospital needed equipment costing about $2,000. The OVL came to its help and has given some equipment. This has earned some brand equity for the company as the unit where the equipment is installed is named after OVL. We have also decided to take care of 10 mentally challenged children, 10 child cancer patients and 10 heart patients in Sudan and bring them to India and get them treated here at hospitals, which will be ready to treat them at cost for us, says Mr Chandra.

The OVL is also contributing in the field of education. It has donated a virtual library for IT books to Khartoum University. Further, the oil company is also planning to distribute 10,000 fully equipped school bags to the children all over Sudan.

The OVL has also taken over 1,200 acres of land, where 700 people are working and learning modern means of agriculture. Mr Chandra says that they have already had a bumper crop of jowar, and each year OVL will keep increasing the cultivation area in order to employ more people.

Mr Chandra also says that OVL employees feel very much at home in Sudan and the company will strive to enhance its community development initiatives in the country.