CSR: The wind beneath our wings
The year 2015-16 has been a milestone year in the arena of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) -supported development interventions. The CSR focus has now become more strategic, with corporates committing to long term, multi-year engagements and emphasising on sustainable impact with the participation of key stakeholders. Synergies with existing government initiatives, multi-corporate engagements and focus on innovative development solutions are important developments in corporate citizenship. CSR initiatives have grown to include capacity building of NGO partners, creation of peer learning opportunities and meaningful employee engagement. This is helping to strengthen partnerships and support development.
Through effective management and technical support to CSR interventions of an increasing number of corporates, significant contributions have been made by CAF India in 2015-16 to address critical social causes and make an impact. Some of the key accomplishments have been to ensure the right to education for a large number of marginalised and vulnerable children across states through holistic educational facilities. This includes creating accessible and innovative educational opportunities; enhancing learning outcomes through pedagogical, curriculum enhancement and teacher training; using technology and e-learning opportunities, ensuring supportive educational and physical infrastructure and enhancing engagement of students, community and parents.
Another unique intervention of the year has been the facilitation of strategic and multi-year corporate giving for integrated and sustainable village-level development, with active community participation and multi stakeholder engagement. This includes facilitating integrated village development models in select villages across India.
Sustainable livelihood and skill development support for a range of skills has been provided to marginalised individuals, in urban as well as rural areas, while linking the skilled workforce to sustainable livelihood opportunities. Effective implementation of right to sanitation intervention across states, to ensure construction, renovation and upkeep of sanitation facilities and WASH education covering schools, households and community toilets has been another important contribution.
Under health, the key accomplishments have been ensuring the nutritional security of children, provision and strengthening of primary health services in remote and inaccessible areas, and facilitation of health camps. Environment has been another important area where we have done extensive work on access to safe drinking water in schools and among communities, water conservation and water recharge interventions, tree plantations and wildlife protection through innovative conservation practices and approaches, use of technology and effective community engagement.
Timely disaster relief and rehabilitation for the flood-struck Jammu and Kashmir and Chennai was another important area managed by CAF India.
Thus CSR has expanded and become an important means for corporates to make meaningful and sustainable contributions to society and change the lives of millions of marginalised people.