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Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR, as the name suggests, is an idea in which an individual or corporate or business is expected to follow a business model which enhances the growth of both the company and the society at large.
It is necessary to maintain a balance between the economy and the society in today’s time.
CSR requires companies to acknowledge that they should be publicly accountable not only for their financial performances but also for their social and environmental record.
Main development goals of CSR activities include:
♦ Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
♦ Provide universal primary education to all the children; CSR in education
♦ Promote gender equality and empower women
♦ Improve maternal health
♦ Reduce child mortality
♦ Combat fatal diseases like malaria, HIV-AIDS etc
♦ Ensure environmental sustainability
♦ Develop a global partnership
The four dimensions of CSR are:
♦ Discretionary Responsibility: This involves philanthropy; it means giving money, time or in-kind to charity.
♦ Ethical Responsibility: It is about the responsibility to avoid harm or injury. It means creating a good and safe environment for people to work in.
♦ Legal Responsibility: It means to earn profits using legal means and within the jurisdiction of law. No illegal activities should be practiced in the corporate.
♦ Economic Responsibility: These include activities like state contracts and state subsidies, economic regulations and tax incentives, intellectual property rights, patents etc. Economic impact through activities likes outsourcing, knowledge innovation, and social investments.
One of the best ways to enhance the company’s reputation and brand value is by incorporating corporate social responsibility in the business model. Many companies follow this by investing in the education sector.Education is the most treasured jewel anybody can own and a basic human right according to our constitution.However, it is disheartening that even today many children are deprived of this amenity.
Education is the backbone of any economy in this world. Alas, it is a dream for many. It might interest you to know that our government has taken up many measures and launched many schemes to improve the quality of education in India. One of them is the “Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan” which has been operational since 2000-2001 and aimed at providing free and compulsory education to the children falling in the age group of 6 to 14 years.
To improve quality while providing access to secondary schools at the same time, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA, 2009) scheme was brought into action. This may sound crazy but even today the drop out ratio of students from school is still high and even today girls are barred from studying in many villages and rural areas.
Corporate play a very vital role in improving the quality of education in India.
Many corporate have joined hands with the government to make this dream come true.
Infosys is a global leader in consulting, technology, outsourcing, and next-generation services.It was established in 1981 by N. R. Narayana Murthy and six engineers in Pune, India, with an initial capital of US$ 250.At Infosys, the distribution of wealth is as important as its legal and ethical creation. The Infosys Foundation was founded in 1996 as a not-for-profit trust to support the social initiatives taken up by the company.
The Foundation supports programs and organizations devoted to the cause of the destitute, the rural poor, the mentally challenged, and the economically disadvantaged sections of the society. The Foundation also helps preserve certain cultural forms and dying arts of India.
Through their Computers@Classrooms initiative launched in January 1999, a donation of over 2,567 computers to various institutions across India was done.
Additionally, they have made many donations of computers and other amenities to educational institutions and are focused on an ongoing basis in the future.
Infosys also formed the “Education & Research” group which has the pride of anchoring the Infosys Extension Program (IEP), which consists of the Infosys Fellowship Program, Rural Reach program, Catch Them Young and Train the Trainer.
Dell Inc. is an American privately owned multinational computer technology company.
It originates in Texas, United States. It develops, repairs, sells and supports computers and related products and services. Michael Dell, while a student at the University of Texas at Austin founded the company in 1984. It is now one of the largest technological corporations in the world, employing more than 103,300 people worldwide.
This organization has gone beyond funding to create comprehensive programs that aim to transform the communities as a whole.
It believes that its employees should use their unique skills and expertise to support the causes they’re most passionate about. It encourages youth learning.
There are 72 million children worldwide who are cannot go to school and lack access to the facilities, good quality teachers, and the technology they need for a better education.
Dell believes that access to education and technology is a right and a necessity for all mankind.
Dell provides grant funding, as well as the latest technology. Dell also addresses any basic or community needs that might restrain a child’s ability to learn, for example, food or security.
A local Dell manager deploys and upkeeps the Dell systems and solutions, and local team members volunteer their time to support the organization’s needs.
This shared responsibility between Dell and the community, supported by Dell volunteers brings about real learning opportunities and change.
Merck Serono is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, and a brand and division of Merck focused on biopharmaceuticals.
Its CEO is Belén Garijo and was founded in 2007. Programs that ensure basic education and decent livelihood for children from underprivileged families have been adopted in the CSR for education sector by this company.
Merck India Charitable Trust Scholarship Program was established in 2005 under which 225 students in undergraduate studies in Mumbai and 50 students from Goa in 2015 have been helped.
Distribution of school uniforms to students in Goa was also done. A very important and amazing fact is that there have been no drop outs since the inception of the program.This shows that the program was able to change the lives of many children by its proper enforcement.
Early scholars of this program are working for international organizations.Merck India Charitable Trust was set up in 2010 and it has been self-funding since then.Active Kids for Active India Initiative with Magic Bus (NGO) was adapted to support 600 students.
It aimed at equipping children with life skills, hygiene awareness, and equal rights awareness through the medium of sport. Employees were made to interact with the students through the medium of various sports activities arranged by the organization in this positive direction.
Other CSR activity includes the donation of study material etc.
Support for schools in Jharkhand is another initiative taken up by this company. Three schools for basic education run by the NGO IGEP for the benefit of children of mine workers who may otherwise have worked in the mines were established under the endeavor. Sponsoring 55 students in the RP Modi international school ensures that students do not drop out of the school for lack of resources.
ITC Limited or ITC is an Indian corporate giant headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal.ITC was formed on 24 August 1910 under the name of Imperial Tobacco Company of India Limited, and the company went public on 27 October 1954. The earlier decades of the company's activities centered mainly around tobacco products.
In the 1970s, it diversified into non-tobacco businesses. Its diversified business includes five segments: Fast-Moving Consumer Goods, Hotels, Paperboards & Packaging, Agri-Business & Information Technology.ITC's Primary Education Programme addresses the lack of quality primary education in rural communities.
It aims to strengthen the government primary schools' vast network.It has by far helped by stemming drop-outs, increasing enrolments and improving learning outcomes.Age-appropriate infrastructural facilities are provided to government schools, ranging from separate toilets for boys and girls, boundary walls, drinking water stations, and furniture.
Focusing particularly on sanitation and health, students and teachers are trained on WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) principles, and students are motivated to form WATSAN (Water and Sanitation) Committees and Child Cabinets to take ownership of WASH areas in schools, helping to promote behavioral change among children in their formative years.
The Programme also works to strengthen school management committees and build capacity among teachers to ensure that infrastructure can be sustainably maintained in the long run.
Parents’ participation is actively encouraged to develop collaborative partnerships that ensure that more and more children are able to complete their schooling.The 'Read India Plus' initiative, in partnership with the NGO, Pratham, was introduced in 2013.
Utilizing an innovative pedagogy, it is geared towards helping children between the ages of 6-14 to achieve all five competencies – Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing and Doing. ITC’s Primary Education program has covered over 460,000 students to date. In addition, more than 1,320 government primary schools have been provided infrastructural support.
Several other companies are also taking up such CSR activities to improve education standards in India.Companies and organizations in association with the government are putting their best foot forward in helping to bring up the education state in our country. As citizens of India, we should also work for the betterment of our nation and strive towards an incredible India we all know it can be.
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