CSR news digest – 002
India’s philanthropy: Taking singles instead of hitting sixers
A new report, “India’s CSR: Taking Singles Instead of Hitting Sixers,” provides an analysis of CSR and philanthropy in India today. While many in the media and philanthropic sector have commented about India’s CSR spending requirement, there has been very little constructive reaction and feedback from NGO’s working in India – the very organizations receiving CSR funds. In interviews with 39 leaders of the world’s largest NGO’s working in India, the following three recommendations were repeatedly espoused as necessary for CSR spending to have any impact on Indian society.
- Moving beyond the check: Much deeper engagement by CSR departments to assist their NGO partners to grow and succeed
- Emphasize the Corporate in CSR: Engage all parts of the corporation to assist NGO partners and make them better at operations, finance, marketing and governance
- Focus on impact: Instead of funding short-term, internal projects, CSR departments and philanthropy should have long-term strategies to scale external partners, NGO’s and impact public policy.
From broken buckets to greater goals: The National inclusion cup – a CSR initiative of Sony Pictures Networks
The National Inclusion Cup gives underprivileged children and young adults a chance to play football seriously, and it also changes lives
Supporting the cause of empowering India’s underprivileged youth through sports, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has partnered with an NGO Slum Soccer to launch The National Inclusion Cup, the only national football tournament of its kind for underprivileged youth. This is a CSR initiative of Sony Pictures Networks India.
Slum Soccer aims to change life in the slums, where the game of football is used as a means to connect individuals, teaching life skills and working towards improving overall quality of life for underprivileged youth. Initiated by the Slum Soccer team in 2001, Slum Soccer fosters sustainable development within the marginalized population of India, using football to bring about a change in the lives of street dwellers. We aim to provide long term solutions to combat homelessness and improve living standards in underprivileged areas. Sports is therapeutic and we aim to give these youth hope and purpose.said founder Slum Soccer, Vijay Barse.
The real outcome of Slum Soccer and the tournament itself is evident if you look at football not as an endpoint but as an entry into what is now a fairly large developmental network with sport at its core. Dr Barse says, “Over the years, we have built tie ups with various other NGOs that work with sport as well as with organisations like the UN and Unicef.” With Unicef, Slum Soccer organises programmes in schools in Central India that improve the quality of physical education imparted in schools. A programme called WASH in other schools teaches children the importance of sanitation and hygiene through football while another called Shakthi works to create a safe space for girls between the ages of 13 and 18 to play sport and build up their confidence and social skills.
Once a CSR initiative, now a reputed school for differently-abled
Tucked away in the hills of Kanan Devan in Munnar, surrounded by the luscious greenery of the tea plantations, stands Srishti, a school for the differently-abled. Over the quarter century of its existence, the school has earned a reputation for providing education and supporting the development of children with different abilities in Munnar.
The differently-abled children are taught life skills, basic reading and writing, fundamentals of mathematics and arts, all free of charge. Once their education is completed and they reach adulthood, they are imbibed into the other projects of Srishti.
These children lead a life as any so-called ‘normal’ children,” says Ratna Krishnakumar, managing trustee of Srishti. Many of the earlier alumni are employed in the other Srishti projects which are located within the complex namely, Athulya (a handmade paper and stationery unit), Aranya (natural dye and textile design units), Nisarga (fruit preserve unit), The Deli (bakery and confectionery unit) and the Vegetable Garden. A few of the students in these units have undergone training in countries like US and Japan.
The food products made in the units in Srishti do not use any artificial preservatives nor does its paper and dye units use artificial colours. The textiles with shibori designs, a Japanese manual resist dyeing technique, made in Aranya are popular in India and abroad.
AkzoNobel India wins Golden Peacock Award for corporate social responsibility – 2016
AkzoNobel India has been awarded for its outstanding work in promoting education among children across India. It has been supporting and investing on the education of more than 7000 children in Delhi, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and Karnataka. Aptly named as Parivartan, the flagship education project of AkzoNobel India is helping transform lives of thousands of children. As part of this project, AkzoNobel India partnered with respective State Governments to offer early childhood education to children in the age group of 2-6 years, non-formal education to out of school children to bring them back to the school and remedial education to underprivileged children to improve their grades and stop them from dropping out of school. In addition, AkzoNobel has also been supporting road safety education through creating awareness amongst more than 5000 children in Mohali and involving them in educating the larger society through their successful campaign named ‘Mission Salamati’.
BSE Sammaan and TISS launch CSR Workshops in Chennai, Delhi & Kolkata
The workshops focus on following five areas.
- Understand Project development and its measurable social impact
- Legal framework of CSR and compliance process
- Positioning CSR projects strategically for greater social impact and brand recognition
- Case Studies and learn best CSR practices
- Engaging with resource agencies for proficient use of CSR funds
A new technology to convert waste to energy might help India deal with its mounting garbage woes
Plastic pyrolysis is a technology by which plastic is broken down into smaller molecules of pyrolysis oil and gas to generate energy.
According to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), India is the world’s third-largest garbage generating country. Worse, while just about 75% of municipal waste is collected, only 22% of this is processed and treated. The situation becomes alarming when one considers that by 2030, waste generation is expected to more than double from the present 62 million tonnes.
The good news is that the government recently recognised pyrolysis plants as part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity. Already, HPCL, IOCL and Engineers India have floated tenders to set up pyrolysis plants as part of their CSR spends. Also, the municipalities of Thane in Maharashtra and Chandigarh in Punjab recently called for discussions on setting up pyrolysis plants.
From CSR to responsible business
The crux of business responsibility is not only a totality-of-business approach, but also the need to go beyond the legally mandated. A recent report by Oxfam International highlights that 1% of the population of India owns 58% of the wealth.
“Giving”, though, is too often limited to cheque-book philanthropy. Contributing to development is, therefore, mainly through donating funds. This approach is now echoed in the Companies Act 2013, which seeks to mandate corporate social responsibility (CSR) for larger companies.
The crux of business responsibility is not only a totality-of-business approach, but also the need to go beyond the legally mandated. To their credit, industry associations have tried to do this and defined guidelines for business responsibility. However, the voluntary adoption of these has been low and disappointing.
Companies, particularly bigger ones with their strong financial muscle, could well ensure better business responsibility on the part of their suppliers. This could include governance and financial standards. They might also consider giving preference to businesses that—through their employment policies, location or ownership—contribute to greater inclusiveness. Needless to say, this has to be rooted in the company’s own governance, employment and other policies, which must include diversity and inclusiveness as key elements.
Large investors also have a substantial influence on companies. They, too, could use such financial muscle to promote responsible business. Civil society organizations have an important role, given their growing ability to influence opinion. Having devised measures to assess performance on the dimension of business responsibility, and disseminating reports on this, they could work proactively with companies to help them promote responsible business.
NGOs highlight need of CSR funds in rehabilitating street kids
“We are facing a huge population challenge in India with poverty and unplanned parenting making child vulnerability manifest in issues such as the ones faced by the street children,”saidLuke Samson, director of NGO Sharan, adding that as per a recent UNICEF estimate, the number of street children in India was 17 million.
“Childcare being one of the major areas of concern, corporates should spend money in this domain for a better impact of CSR activities and contribute to nation-building,” he added.
The street children are among “the most vulnerable” in the society, said Anindya Chatterjee, Regional Director, Asia Regional Office, International Development Research Centre, adding that the discussions on the subject will help prepare plans to protect them.