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What is Corporate Social Responsibility and Why Is It Important

Corporate Social Responsibility is a tool of the government that makes successful companies accountable to societal problems by setting a minimum level of contribution to society. India is the only country in the world that has made CSRs a mandatory measure to be taken up by companies, which it introduced in the Companies Act, 2013. Companies having net worth of rupees five hundred crore or more, or turnover of rupees one thousand crore or more or a net profit of rupees five crore or more, are required to allocate 2 percent of their annual net profits to a CSR Committee which would aim to improve the quality of life for society at large. CSRs often take very multi-dimensional approaches to achieving this goal, it may be through initiatives to mitigate environmental impact of industry practices, voluntary programs and development initiatives that protect social welfare. (Adam Lindgreen and Valérie Swaen, Corporate Social Responsibility).

Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR is an avenue for corporate entities to cultivate a culture of philanthropy which play a huge part in the functioning of our economy. The top Industries and business enterprises hold a lot of influence and power in the economy of the country; thus, they have a fundamental responsibility to contribute to social welfare in a more comprehensive manner than just token donations. Different companies have taken various approaches to implementing this CSR policy initiative in the public sphere, and their plans of actions are updated every year. For example, Mahindra and Mahindra have focused on contributing towards the development of the education sector as one of their primary goals of CSR policy. Education of the girl child, scholarships for postgraduate studies abroad and Mahindra sponsored academy schools are just a few of the projects sponsored by the Mahindra group. One aspect that often goes unnoticed is how effective private industries can be in the implementation of policy initiatives, and how it differs from traditional philanthropy. Ratan Tata perfectly puts this in context in one of his interviews, ““A lot of money is less effectively used than it could be because an organization has not done enough research. Today, a large amount of philanthropy in India is deployed in traditional forms like building a temple or a hospital. India has to move into a more sophisticated form of philanthropy that is designed to make a difference rather than building edifices”.

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NGOs have also directly benefited from CSR initiatives on account of various partnerships. The CSR programme under Infosys, for example, directly partners with non-profit organizations to implement policy initiatives targeting hunger, poverty, education, rural development and empowerment of women at a local level. NGOs operate at the micro level which is a crucial part of community building and development, and partnerships on the CSR front give them the financial backing to implement fruitful schemes and improve the quality of life for the spheres of society they operate in.

This is where I’d like to introduce an organization like Pehchaan The Street School, which has been tirelessly working to provide quality education to children from underprivileged and deprived backgrounds.With over 10,000 hours of work over 7 years and over 300 volunteers in their stead, they have worked to create a respectable organization on the foundation of minimal funding. Shikshantar is one of their programs that has successfully managed to touch the lives of over 1000 children in the last 5 years through the powerful arm of education. It is an organization that is devoted to the idea of education for all, and its actions are a testament of that. This is an NGO that truly sets an example for other organizations that aim to tackle the grave issue of education for children in India.

NGOs operate at the local level with a purpose that often governmental organizations may not be able to emulate, and it is for this reason why providing the support that they need is crucial to improving the state of civil society. CSRs are an initiative that wants to encourage the idea of targeted philanthropy, and investment into NGOs, I believe, is the most efficient way to achieve that goal. CSRs and their relationships with civil society are turning into an important facet for expanding social development goals and one of the positive things we can look forward to in the ever progressing development of our country .

 

To organize a CSR activity with Pehchaan The Street School, please connect with us at 9711718972

– By Saagen

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