Work and Employment Community
Solution Exchange for the Work and Employment
Query: CSR Models for Livelihood Intervention - Experiences;
Compiled by Sumeeta Banerji, Resource Person and Arif Hussain, Research Associate
Issue Date: 31 July 2007
From Raj Jani, Rural Business Hubs, Ministry of Panchayati Raj-UNDP Cell,
Posted 27 June 2007
I am working with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj-UNDP Cell on Rural Business Hubs at New Delhi. During
the course of our work, we interact with several private businesses and corporate houses that are willing
to adopt the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) route to contribute to the society. Several middle size
corporate housed are increasingly getting interested in CSR activities, particularly in the area of livelihood
generation and enhancement.
One of the issues being faced by these mid size corporate houses is that they do not have clear ideas on
how to pursue a successful CSR initiative. Also given their small size of contribution they cannot take up
big CSR initiatives like some large corporate houses, and thus feel handicapped in their efforts.
We have been searching for examples and documents to guide and inspire new CSR initiatives,
specifically for mid size corporate houses.
We therefore, would like to request Solution Exchange Work and Employment Community members to:
Share experiences and examples of small and middle size CSR initiatives in livelihood promotion, and
the levels (designing, funding, execution etc.) at which support is being provided
Share resources and contacts, which can help in designing and implementing CSR-livelihood
initiatives of varied scales
Share experiences of different CSR models (e.g. direct implementation or through NGOs or just
technical/financial support etc.) and their relative strengths and limitations in terms of outcomes and
A compilation of the examples and the lessons learnt would enable the development of strategies that
can encourage greater CSR initiatives in livelihood promotion activities.
Responses were received, with thanks, from
1. Pranab R. Choudhury, Development Researcher, Bhubaneswar (Response 1; Response 2)
2. Medha Joshi, YASHADA, Pune
3. Madhukar Shukla, Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur
4. Aditi Thorat, Government of Rajasthan, Jaipur
5. Vighnesh N. Bhat, Foundation for Cultural and Media Studies, Shimoga
6. Lalit Kumar, Planning Commission, New Delhi
7. Chetan Sharma, Datamation Foundation Trust, New Delhi
8. Neera Burra, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), New Delhi
9. Pooja Gianchandani, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Gurgaon (Response 1;
Response 2; Response 3)
10. Josh Reiman, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Gurgaon
11. A. Prabaharan, Public Action, New Delhi
12. R. K. A. Subrahmanya, Social Security Association of India, Bangalore (Response 1;
13. Rajendra Joshi, Saath, Ahmedabad
14. Shashi Singh, Consortium of Women Entrepreneurs of India (CWEI), New Delhi
15. Bhushan Punani, Blind People's Association (India), Ahmedabad
16. G. V. Krishnagopal, Access Livelihoods Consulting India Private Limited, Hyderabad
17. S. J. Amalan, DGET-Apex Hi-tech Institute, Bangalore
18. Harshvardhan, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), New Delhi
19. Arunika Agarwal, Amity University, New Delhi
20. Pravash Mishra, Louis Berger Group Inc., Gurgaon
21. K. B. Jinan, Kumbham Murals, Nilambur
22. Smita Premchander, Sampark, Bangalore (Response 1; Response 2)
23. N. J. Lakshmi Narayan, Saint Gobain Glass India, Sriperumbudur
24. Pradeep Mohapatra, Udayama, Bhubaneswar
25. Ashwini Kulkarni, Pragati Abhiyan, Nashik
26. Gopesh Tewari, Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, Hyderabad
27. Mamta Chauhan, Gender Specialist, Lucknow
28. Sunayina Dadhwal, LabourNet, Bangalore
Further contributions are welcome!
Summary of Responses
Responses in Full
Summary of Responses
Members agreed that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives are more than an optional
philanthropic activity for companies; they are an opportunity for businesses to highlight their commitment
to the greater good and exhibit effective management principles through initiating and supporting
development activities. In response to the query on CSR models for livelihood interventions respondents
from 11 states shared their experiences with CSR initiatives, and deliberated on different perceptions of
CSR. They also listed useful contacts and reference material related to CSR and suggested steps to make
CSR initiatives more effective.
Participants highlighted number of instances of effective CSR interventions. They pointed out cases of
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that trained and employed socially and economically vulnerable
youth and people with physical disabilities to provide them livelihood and confidence.
Members shared an instance of a CSR initiative in Andhra Pradesh where corporate collaboration with a
large government program is making it more targeted and locally effective. Similarly, participants
provided information on a livelihood-training program in Maharashtra, which is providing poor youth
training-employment linkage opportunities at nominal fees.
Respondents also listed instances, where small enterprises, not in a position to initiate CSR interventions
themselves, are employing youth, trained through other CSR employment initiatives, and in Orissa,
where a corporation is supporting a broader development initiative, involving natural resource
management, livelihoods and agriculture.
Discussants brought to light initiatives from Karnataka, where corporate support is ensuring regular
health check ups, strengthening civil society and providing homes to the mentally ill.
As per participants, in Gujarat, small enterprises are recruiting youth from corporate led employment
Discussing the varied perceptions of CSR, participants highlighted types of “CSR initiatives” ranging
from organizations contributing to social and economic well-being of its workers and consumers to
corporations investing in the capacity building and skill development of people that will help the industry
in the future.
Respondents stressed that CSR models cannot be simply a “charity”, the company must perceive it as an
opportunity. Moreover, just like any sustainable partnership, CSR initiatives need to be a win-win
situation for both the parties involved. If the company sees the initiative as good for business, the
initiative will be sustainable, not just a one time event to save on taxes. Additionally, the motivation of
the corporation for undertaking the CSR initiative, its resource commitment and staff orientation are
other determining factors of the efficacy and sustainability of such initiatives. Discussants agreed that any
CSR initiative requires organizations to commit otherwise it could do more harm than good, therefore the
participating enterprise must be clear about the resource allocation for the initiative from the very
beginning. They also pointed out that since corporate profits “cost” society, CSR is truly a responsibility
and not a fringe activity.
Members suggested various models for CSR interventions and gave examples of specific cases.
Small organizations incapable of forming their own CSR division could form an association of likeminded
SMEs, pool their funds into a joint mechanism and possibly run joint CSR interventions. The popular
model suggested was companies funding NGOs already working on specific interventions. Collaborating
with government was a third model respondents mentioned. This approach allows small enterprises to
support government programs resulting in improved implementation and outcomes. Another model
recommended was skill development; members felt this is one of the most effective areas for CSR
involvement. Along with skill development, participants stressed corporations need to come forward with
CSR initiatives to provide backward and forward linkages to micro enterprises started and run by small
entrepreneurs and groups of women. They also suggested that CSR initiatives could contribute through
transfer of better management and financial practices to NGOs and development programs to increase
their effectiveness and improve delivery.
Finally, members recommended contact persons and organizations for designing and strategizing CSR
initiatives. They also shared resources including news articles, reports, project documents and portals
that could be useful for developing an understanding of CSR initiatives and learning from previous
Overall, the members opined it is necessary for a shift in the way CSR is understood to make initiatives
more meaningful and effective, Additionally, they felt the choice of models must be contingent on local
conditions and capabilities of the implementing organizations.
CSR Led Development, Koraput (from Pranab R. Choudhury, Development Researcher, Bhubaneswar)
Since September 2002, the BILT-Harsha Community Development Project has ben going on in the
peripheral villages of the Sewa paper Mill of Ballarpur Industries Limited (BILT). Based on the initial need
assessment study in selected intervention areas, the project initated micro-credit, health, edication and
livelihood activities. The project has expanded to 29 villages under five Gram Panachayats and efforts
have resulted in better integration with government programs and banks. Read more
Employment for the Differently Abled, Pune (from Medha Joshi, YASHADA, Pune)
Sharayu Precision Tools (SPT), a tool-manufacturing unit, employs more than 36 differently abled men
and women. Belying all the initial apprehensions and reservations about employing them, the company
found that these men and women are able to carry out all sorts of tasks ranging from riveting, drilling
and greasing to polishing and packing. Impressed by their performance and determination SPT is
planning to recruit more differently abled people to work for the organization. Read more
Employability training with Pride, Pune (from Aditi Thorat, Government of Rajasthan, Jaipur)
Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) as part of its CSR strategy has set up the Mahindra Pride School in Pune.
Naandi Foundation has facilitated M&M in setting up the school and is also running the school on behalf
of M&M. The selection process for students comprises of an aptitude test, a group discussion and an
interview. Currently the school offers courses in sales, hospitality and Information Technology Enabled
Services (ITES). The response has been good and another Pride School in Jaipur is being planned. Read
Incentives for Regular Medical Check-ups, Mysore (from Medha Joshi, YASHADA, Pune)
Karnataka Health Promotion Trust and Ashodaya Mahila Samannaya Samiti with support from the Gates
Foundation have issued smart cards (embedded with electronic chips) to 500 commercial sex workers
(CSWs). This card gives the CWS discounts on certain products and allows them to earn bonus points by
purchasing items at select outlets. To keep the card activated the CSW must receive a medical check-up
at least once every 3 months. The benefits are driving CSW to have regular medical checkups. Read more
Support for Village Synergy, Uttar Karnataka and Shimoga districts (from Vighnesh N. Bhat,
Foundation for Cultural and Media Studies, Shimoga)
The Foundation for Cultural and Media Studies with partial financial support from the Alliance Group of
Institutions is implementing a CSR project. Under this project a Rural Public Relations Officer (RPRO)- an
educated village youth- tries to create synergy between the villagers and various government
departments and also tries to connect different groups and communities within the village. This initiative
is resulting in better implementation of various programs in the villages.
Village for Mentally Ill, Mysore (from R. K. A. Subrahmanya, Social Security Association of India,
The Maanasa movement started by Dr. H. Dusheshwar, plans to build villages for mentally ill homeless
people. The first of village is coming up near Mysore. It will have a rehabilitation centre and vocational
training centre where they will be cared for, treated and taught to be self-reliant, so they do not end up
back on the streets. The funds for the initiative is coming from a corporation through a unique method of
contribution- each employee gives Rs. 90/month per employee in the organization. Read more
Children Healthcare Program, Hyderabad (from Medha Joshi, YASHADA, Pune)
The Naandi Foundation, a CSR initiative of a corporate house is supporting the government of Andhra
Pradesh to ensure regular medical check up of school going children. The initiative has had a very good
response, and is currently covering 60,000 students spread across 289 government schools in the state.
Training with "Hope,” Ahmedabad (from Rajendra Joshi, SAATH, Ahmedabad)
Since September 2005, the NGO SAATH has been training poor urban youth for employment in
Ahmedabad. The training program called UMEED (Hope) has so far trained and placed over 800 youth
living in the slums of Ahmedabad. The training is focussed on five major areas- retail, Information
Technology Enabled Services (ITES), hospitality, logistics and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).
Impressed by the success of the program, starting in February 2007 the Gujarat government has started
scaling up the prgram. Read more
Employment Training For Urban Poor (from Madhukar Shukla, XLRI, Jamshedpur and Harshvardhan,
UNDP, New Delhi)
The Livelihood Advancement Business School (LABS), supported by Dr. Reddy's Foundation provides
specific livelihood oriented training to poor youth from urban and peri-urban area. The low cost, short-
term trainings are provided at a common place in the vicinity of the trainees residence. Most of the LABS
trained students so far have been absorbed into the local service industry. Read more
From Madhukar Shukla, XLRI, Jamshedpur
ICICIOneSource Programme to Make Youth Employable
Newsarticle; by Ms. Anjali Prayag; The Hindu-Business Line, Chennai; January 25, 2006
Available at http://www.blonnet.com/2006/01/25/stories/2006012501611500.htm
Article elaborates upon the ICICIOneSource collaborative CSR initiative with Dr. Reddy
Foundation-LABS to train and employ urban youth in its BPO operations
Tatas, Dr Reddy's Foundation Join Hands
Media Report; The Hindu Business Line, Chennai; August 3, 2006
Available at http://tata.com/tata_sons/media/20060803_1.htm
Press release on Tata group's CSR collaboration with Dr. Reddy's Foundation to train and recruit
5,000 under privileged youth in different Tata businesses
A Livelihood Opportunity for the Vulverable Groups of the Society (from Medha Joshi, YASHADA,
Booklet; Saryu Precision Tools, Pune
Available at Saryu Precision Tools, C-56, Abhimanshree Society, N. C. L. Road, Pune 411008 Maharastha;
Tel: 91-20-27475299; Fax: 91-20-27470006; email@example.com
Document outlining the strategy being followed by Saryu Precision Tools to engage more
differently-abled people in its work, guide could used for similar CSR initiatives.
Employable Training for Rural Youth
Newsarticle; The Hindu, Chennai; December 9, 2006
Available at http://www.thehindu.com/2006/12/09/stories/2006120903570300.htm
Article giving details of an impending training programme for poor urban youth the Dr. Reddy
Foundation LABS in Madurai will be conducting as part of their CSR work
Project ‘SUVIDHA’: Comprehensive Endeavour to Empower the Masses - Sponsored by
Alliance Group of Institutions, Bangalore (from Vighnesh N. Bhat, Foundation for Cultural and
Media Studies, Shimoga)
Project Document; Foundation for Cultural and Media Studies, Shimoga
Available at http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/emp/cr/res27060701.doc (Word Size: 51 KB)
Document detailing the 'Suvidha' CSR initiative of FCMS, Shimoga, throwing light on various
aspects of project and the expected outcomes
From Chetan Sharma, Datamation Foundation Trust, New Delhi
Datamation's Train-and-Hire Program
Article; Datamation Foundation Trust, New Delhi
Available at http://www.digitaldividend.org/pubs/pubs_03_datamation.htm
Article delves into Datamation's approach to training and hiring semi-educated poor women,
outlining how it works as a bridge between companies and beneficiaries
Background Report on the “Chikankari” Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Software
Report; by Ms. Chetan Sharma; Datamation Foundation Trust, New Delhi
Available at http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/emp/cr/res27060702.doc (Word Size: 32 KB)
Report details the CSR initiative of using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software for Chikankari
embroidery in collaboration with IIT Kanpur and Media Lab Asia
From Pooja Gianchandani, CII, Gurgaon
Skills Development – Making CSR Deliverable
Paper; by Ms. Pooja Gianchandani; Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Gurgaon
Available at http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/emp/cr/res27060703.pdf (PDF Size: 40 KB)
Paper elaborates upon the importance and long-term utility of skill development as a CSR
CII Skills Development Initiative
Paper; Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Gurgaon
Available at http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/emp/cr/res27060704.pdf (PDF Size: 43 KB)
Paper discusses CII’s skill development initiative and approaches in the light of current
employment and skill paradigm in the country
Thought Piece on CSR: National Summit on CSR 2007 (from Josh Reiman, CII, Gurgaon)
Background paper; Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Gurgaon; June 2007
Available at http://ciionline.org/events/3042/CSR_Thought.pdf (PDF Size: 228 KB)
Piece outlines the motive for having the National Summit on CSR, talks about popular approaches
and way ahead for industry in terms of corporate social responsiblity.
Village for Destitutes to Come Up Near Mysore (from R. K. A. Subrahmanya, Social Security
Association of India, Bangalore)
Newsarticle; The Hindu, Bangalore; September 30, 2006
Available at http://www.hindu.com/2006/09/30/stories/2006093023010400.htm
Article talks about an initiative called Manaasa movement, which aims at providing housing and
training support to mentally ill through corporate support
From Sumeeta Banerji, Resource Person
Goldman Sachs SUSTAIN Focus List
Report; Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research (GSGIR), New York; June 22, 2007
Available at http://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/summit2007/gs_esg_embargoed_until030707pdf.pdf
(PDF Size: 4.4 MB )
GS SUSTAIN analyses the sustainability of corporate performance and shows that over the past
five years businesses involved in CSR initiatives have performed better than their competitors
Shaping the New Rules of Competition: UN Global Compact Participant Mirror
Report; by Jeremy Oppenheim, et. al.; McKinsey and Company, New York; July 2007
http://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/summit2007/mckinsey_embargoed_until020707.pdf (PDF Size:
Result of a survey of CEOs of world's leading companies, shows that more and more business
leaders are taking positively to CSR.
UN Global Compact: Annual Review 2007, Leaders Summit
Report; UN Global Compact Office, New York; June 2007
http://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/summit2007/gc_ar_embargoed_until_020707.pdf (PDF Size: 4.9
Review of the UN Global Compact, discusses various dimensions of current CSR trends and
perceptions in the corporate world today
Recommended Contacts and Experts
From Lalit Kumar, Planning Commission, New Delhi
Mr. Viraf Mehta, Partners In Change (PIC), New Delhi
C-75, South Extension, Part-II, New Delhi 110048; Tel: 91-11-41642348/49/50/51; Fax: 91-11-
Expert on CSR with vast experience working with various corporate houses on CSR initiatives,
with varying scale
Ms. Amita Joseph, Business and Community Foundation, New Delhi
C-9, (Basement), Lajpat Nagar-III, New Delhi 110024; Tel: 91-11-29840485, 32536392; Fax: 91-11-
29840485; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bcfindia.org
Experience working with Bajaj Auto, PWC, Nestle Corporation, etc. on their various CSR
Ms. Nirja Mattoo, Chairperson, Centre for Development of Corporate Citizenship (DOCC), S.
P. Jain Institute of Management Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai
Munshi Nagar, Dadabhai Road, Andheri West, Mumbai 400058 Maharashtra; Tel: 91-22-26237454/0396
/2401; Fax: 91-22-26237042; email@example.com; http://www.spjimr.org/centre_docc/docc_home.asp
Involved in various CSR initiatives at various levels, and has extensive experience and
information on CSR activities in India
Recommended Organizations and Programs
HARSHA-Trust, Bhubaneswar (from Pranab R. Choudhury, Development Researcher, Bhubaneswar)
Plot No. 217/B, Bayabaa Matha Lane, Unit-IX Flats, Bhubaneswar 751022 Orissa; Tel: 91-674-2540683;
firstname.lastname@example.org; http://harshatrust.org/csr/csrhome.html; Contact: Mr. Bismaya Mahapatra;
Trust with SBILT-Sewa paper mill in Jeypore, Orissa is running a natural resource management
based livelihood and empowerment project in 29 villages under five Gram Panchayats.
From Medha Joshi, YASHADA, Pune
Saryu Precision Tools, Pune
C-56, Abhimanshree Society, N. C. L. Road, Pune 411008 Maharashtra; Tel: 91-20-27475299; Fax: 91-
20-27470006; email@example.com; http://gatiman.com/
Almost 25% of Saryu Precision Tools workshops are differently-abled, an example of CSR led
Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, Bangalore
Rajajinagar IT/BT Park, # 1-4, Rajajinagar Industrial Area, Behind KSSIDC Administrative Office,
Rajajinagar, Bangalore 560044 Karnataka; Tel: 91-80-40400200; Fax: 91-80-40400300;
CSR Initiative of the Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society (KSAPS), it implements anti-HIV
projects in collaboration with various corporate houses
Centre for Good Governance (CGG), Hyderabad
Dr. MCR HRD IAP Campus, Road No. 25, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad 500033 Andhra Pradesh;
Set up by the Government of Andhra Pradesh to help in governance transformation, CGG also
coordinates various CSR initiatives for better outcomes, and has a reserve of experiences on CSR
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, United States
PO Box 23350 Seattle, WA 98102 U.S.A.; Tel: 01-206-709-3100;firstname.lastname@example.org
Foundation is the CSR arm of Microsoft Corporation, funding projects related to health, education
and livelihoods, contains a repository of experience on CSR interventions.
Dr. Reddy's Foundation-Livelihood Advancement Business School (LABS), Hyderabad (from
Madhukar Shukla, XLRI, Jamshedpur and Harshvardhan, UNDP, New Delhi)
Dr. Reddy's Foundation, 6-3-655/12, Somajiguda, Hyderabad 500082 Andhra Pradesh; Tel: 91-40-
65343424, 23304199/868; Fax: 91-40-23301085; email@example.com;
School trains poor youth from urban and peri-urban areas in various trades oriented towards
service sector employment, an employment oriented CSR initiative.
Naandi Foundation, Hyderabad (from Aditi Thorat, Government of Rajasthan, Jaipur)
502, Trendset Towers,Road No 2, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad 500034 Andhra Pradesh; Tel: 91-40-
23556491/92; Fax: 91-40-23556537 firstname.lastname@example.org ; http://www.naandi.org/home/default.asp
Foundation undertakes various development projects especially aimed at livelihoods and
employment generation, with support from corporate houses through CSR initiatives
Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), Hyderabad (from Neera Burra, United Nations
Development Programme, New Delhi)
4th Floor, Hermitage Office Complex, Door No. 5-10-192, Hill Fort Road, Hyderabad 500004 Andhra
Pradesh; Tel: 91- 40 -23298981; Fax: 91-40 -23211848;
World Bank funded livelihood project implemented by the government of Andhra Pradesh,
involves various stakeholders including industry and corporations to support project activities
Recommended Portals and Information Bases
Government of India-Information on Schemes (from Josh Reiman, CII, Gurgaon)
Portal gives links to various Government of India schemes, as per location, type of scheme,
beneficiary and benefits, including with CSR linkages
Books for Change (from Pooja Gianchandani, CII, Gurgaon)
Publishing and distribution initiative setup to support the communication needs of civil society
organizations; portal contains publications on CSR in India.
Global Compact (from Sumeeta Banerji, Resource Person)
World’s largest, global corporate citizenship initiative, the Global Compact is concerned with
exhibiting and building the social legitimacy of business and markets
Responses in Full
Pranab R. Choudhury, Development Researcher, Bhubaneswar (response 1)
HARSHA-TRUST is involved in promoting a successful CSR initiative for Ballarpur Industries Ltd in 29
villages (5 GPs) around their SEWA paper mill at Jeypore, Koraput, Orissa since 2002. This CSR model is
woven around livelihood promotion and they have taken up different NRM activities including a highly
successful poultry initiative through women groups.
You can learn more about them from www.harshatrust.org/, http://harshatrust.org/csr/csrhome.html and
can also contact its founder Bismay Mahapatra (email@example.com)
Medha Joshi, YASHADA, Pune
There are many models relating to the CSR query raised by Mr. Raj Jani. The ones, which immediately
come to my mind, are:
1. Sharayu Precision Tools (SPT), Pune
Almost 25% of Sharayu Precision Tool’s workforce is differently abled. Sharayu Precision Tools employs
over 36 mentally and physically challenged men and women who work at jobs ranging from riveting,
drilling and greasing to polishing and packing. For its exemplary work in the area of employment for the
differently abled. Sharayu Precision Tools, has also received the NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Award, 2003
instituted by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP)
A document on the initiative “A livelihood opportunity for the vulnerable groups of the society” is
available with SPT.
C – 56, Abhimanshree Society, N. C. L. Road, Pune 411 008
2. Bill and Melinda Gate's Foundation
Under a project facilitated by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and jointly implemented by
Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) and Ashodaya Mahila Samannaya Samity (AMSS), an
organization of sex workers in Karnataka, about 500 sex workers in Mysore have been issued chip-
embedded smart cards. The chip contains medical record of the sex worker, who has to compulsorily get
his or her health checked up at one of the designated clinics once in three months. The card becomes
inactive if the holder fails get her/himself medically checked up.
The sex workers are examined for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and treatment provided if
necessary. The smart card when presented during transactions at select shops, outlets and hotels help
them get discounts and earn them loyalty points that can be redeemed for discounts on later
transactions. Using IT solutions to get the sex workers interested in periodic health check ups for STDs is
a novel initiative. The economic benefit of the card prompts the cardholder to get periodic health check
ups, failing which the card is deactivated. For more information on the initiative, visit:
3. Children Healthcare Program by Government of Andhra Pradesh and Naandi Foundation
A Joint effort by Andhra Pradesh government and Naandi Foundation for the health check up of students
in Government schools. The initiative is covering 289 Government schools and 60,000 students. Detailed
information available at Centre for Good Governance, Hyderabad.
Centre for Good Governance (CGG),
Dr. MCR HRD IAP Campus, Road No. 25, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad-500033, Andhra Pradesh
Madhukar Shukla, Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur
One CSR initiative that I know of - and who actively promote and partner with other corporate sector
organizations - is the Livelihood Advancement Business School ( LABS) of Dr Reddy's Foundation.
The LABS program aims at equipping young adults between the ages of 18 to 30 who had to drop out
before class XII. They train them through 90 days courses and then get them placed in jobs such as a
floor boy/girl in departmental store, waiter in a hotels etc. The feedback from the industry/recruiters on
the trainees has been good
They are open to partner with other corporate sector organizations (to my knowledge, they have alliance
with about 30 medium and large scale companies).
You can find more information on the LABS initiative on:
Additionally, some news reports on CSR initiatives are available on following links:
Aditi Thorat, Government of Rajasthan, Jaipur
Another example on the lines of CSR- skill training is that of the Mahindra & Mahindra PRIDE school,
which is somewhat similar to Dr. Reddy's Livelihood Advancement Business School ( LABS).
The PRIDE school trains youth, specifically Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other
Backward Castes (OBC) youth in employability and other skills and places them with different companies
I think there is a PRIDE school already functioning in Pune and another one is going to be set up in
Vighnesh N. Bhat, Foundation for Cultural and Media Studies, Shimoga
We, in Foundation for Cultural and Media Studies (FCMS), Shimoga , are a group of educationists and
social workers engaged in rural development activities in the Western Ghats region of Karnataka for the
past 18 years.
In response to your query, please find enclosed (http://www.solutionexchange-
un.net.in/emp/cr/res27060701.doc) details of a mass empowerment project called ‘Suvidha’ in rural
Karnataka, implemented by FCMS. The project is partially funded by Alliance Group of Institutions,
Bangalore. The project model may be shared with other like-minded NGOs and we would be interested in
getting objective feed back.
Lalit Kumar, Planning Commission, New Delhi
Following contacts (who were members of the Steering Committee on Voluntary Sector for the Eleventh
Plan and helped in drafting the CSR part of the Report) may be consulted on the subject of designing &
implementing CSR-livelihood initiatives of varied scales:
1. Shri Viraf Mehta
Partners In Change (PIC)
C-75, South Extn., Part-II
Ph: 011-4164 2348/49/50/51, 9811333737(M)
Fax: 011-4164 2995
2. Ms. Amita Joseph
Business & Community Foundation
C-9, (Basement), Lajpat Nagar-III
New Delhi-110 024
Ph: 011-29840485, 32536392
3. Ms. Nirja Mattoo
Chairperson - DOCC
S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research
Munshi Nagar, Dadabhai Road, Andheri West
Mumbai - 400 058
Tel: +91-22-2623 7454 / 0396 / 2401, 09820129733(M)
Fax: +91-22-26237042 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chetan Sharma, Datamation Foundation Trust, New Delhi
Greetings! Datamation's partnerships with Community Organizations for the creation of livelihood
opportunities for the marginalized communities and women are well known. Please find more information
on the link http://www.digitaldividend.org/pubs/pubs_03_datamation.htm
In addition to the above, Datamation Foundation's deployment of Innovative Information &
Communication Technologies for enhancing livelihood opportunities for the `Chikankari' artisans is also
Neera Burra, United Nations Development Program, New Delhi
The Society for the Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) in Andhra Pradesh has a private sector
partnership for training rural youth for livelihoods. This is a World Bank supported initiative. You may like
to get in touch with Ms. Meera Shenoy who heads this CSR unit. Her email is
Pooja Gianchandani, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Gurgaon (response 1)
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is no more just a philanthropic contribution to the society. It is now
a strategy which is required to be adopted for the contributing towards the development of the country.
In particular, reference to your query I would like to share the following resources:
As a starting point one can go through the book, "The Business of Social Responsibility", published by
Action Aid - Books for Change. For a start it is an excellent publication talking about the best practices of
the Industry, models that can be utilized for India, etc.
British council some while ago had come up with a publication, wherein management students as
part of their project work had undertaken CSR case studies. This could be another publication which
shall help you in obtaining case studies from India.
CII has a few publications on CSR, especially on Corporate's contributing in education. You may like
to contact CII Publication group to order your copies.
Suggestions for a deliverable CSR strategy:
Looking at the current situation of social development, all kinds of organizations – Small, large, medium
sized can adopt a CSR strategy. It can be aligned to their core competency, area of influence, industrial
inclination, choice of sectors, geographical location etc. From my experience of working in this area, the
best strategy for any organization is to deliver CSR is to ensure sustainable development, i.e. to
capacitate the masses for being independent & preparing them to be self – entrepreneurs. I think if this
can be achieved many of the related social problems can be easily tackled.
In this light skills development is the most important tool. I am attaching for your reference a paper
which I had written (http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/emp/cr/res27060703.pdf), which talks about
how CSR can be best delivered through Skills Development. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
through the Skills Development Initiative (http://www.solutionexchange-
un.net.in/emp/cr/res27060704.pdf) is already assisting Industry to deliver their social responsibility. Our
project with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) is a grand success story.
There can be lots that can be said, but the need is to realize the responsibility of businesses for positively
affecting the lives of the communities and DELIVER.
Best of luck for your Endeavour's! Do contact me if you need more info.
Josh Reiman, CII, Gurgaon
I work with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and we believe that in terms of CSR interventions,
one of the answers for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is identifying strategic CSR measures that
are linked to their core business. CSR need not be a separate entity. We believe CSR is more sustainable
when it is an integrated part of a business’s plan and values and utilizes the business’s core competencies
to make a social impact, while improving their own competitive advantage.
An increasing number of businesses are actively engaging in livelihood promotion by forming Public-
Private-People Partnerships (P4) with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs – a preferred term to NGO) and
social entrepreneurs. They are also conducting social audits to identify work opportunities for
disadvantaged individuals and incorporating volunteerism into their core values. The key to these
different partnerships and CSR activities is recognizing what each stakeholder can bring to the table:
Businesses have certain resources, skills and organizational management to offer; Central and state
governments have various sponsored schemes that simply need an efficient, well-planned out delivery
mechanism (See the link: http://india.gov.in/govt/schemes.php); CSOs and social entrepreneurs often
have local networks and relationships, along with knowledge and expertise in “how things work” in a local
context. This collaboration of skills and knowledge between different stakeholders is paramount and
cannot be stressed enough.
Thus, businesses need not always feel that their only option to contribute to social development is
through funding of CSO’S. This traditional form of philanthropy, while admirable and still needed, has
many limitations, most notably, it’s not sustainable. It’s easy to not write a check. However, when certain
CSR measures or activities are an integrated part of how you do business (i.e. volunteerism, waste and
energy reduction measures, skill development), they are much more likely to scale parallel to the growth
of your business.
Attached is CII’s “Thought Piece on CSR”, (http://ciionline.org/events/3042/CSR_Thought.pdf) published
for our National Summit on CSR held in Chennai on 14-15 June 2007.
A. Prabaharan, Public Action, New Delhi
CSR is now an institutionalized phenomenon. With the involvement of UN agencies it has taken an
international turn. In India, private companies were involved in philanthropic activities for ages. Birlas
and Tatas work in the field of education and other community services are well known. Now with all the
hype about CSR, every company has instituted a cell to disburse a portion of its annual gains for social
cause. Yet this needs to be streamlined for better deliver and reach out to the truly needy people.
I am listing below the benefits received for our organization “Public Action” in its knowledge promotion
activities among the poor in urban and rural areas.
State Bank of India supports annually to conduct classes for slum children in New Delhi.
Life Insurance Corporation extended its helping hand for providing newspapers and magazines to the
Motilal Nehru Camp in south Delhi
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) sponsores health check up camps for children
belonging to deprived sections
Pooja Gianchandani, CII, Gurgaon (response 2)
For the publication from British Council I suggest you contact the British Library, Delhi. The other book
can be ordered through www.booksforchange.net.
I’ll come straight to the question that you have raised. Let me share with you a few thoughts on CSR:
CSR in India is a new concept. Though we find people lapping it up for the so called tax benefits, it is
still in infancy stage in India. It will take some time till you have strategic planning for it as a business
Next, you are raising this question because we are still viewing CSR as philanthropy, charity & cheque
book CSR. This mould needs to be broken. At the end of the day the “business of business is to do
business”. Unless you collate the CSR activity to returns it will continue in its present form
I personally believe that any arrangement/partnership (in this case between the corporate & the
community) has to be a win – win situation/mutually beneficial. If any industry on the pretext of CSR
is contributing to the society & in turn gaining some benefit, I think it’s fair enough. After all they are
investing their hard earned revenue towards a development cause. Some people might not agree to
this though of mine, but “charity can never have a strategy non tangibles”.
Next, I suggest we need to modify the idea of CSR as it is. Every activity has to be an opportunity.
Say for example through Skills Development, a company “invests” in the Skilling of people, in return
they get –certified, trained on globally benchmarked standards and locally available manpower. Thus
making it a win –win situation. The company delegates its social responsibility and also obtains
trained manpower. The community is benefited by the skilling and corporate exposure. Thus, it is no
more mere responsibility – it is an opportunity for both.
So, if you are clear on the objectives & tangibles desired from the initiative, CSR is more than tax benefit
or philanthropy. I think Corporate’s coming forward & accepting CSR as an important function is a
welcome step. I hope you shall agree!!!
Comments and suggestions of the members are welcome.
R. K. A. Subrahmanya, Social Security Association of India, Bangalore (response 1)
Recently I came across a report in the newspaper “The Hindu” about a movement called “Maanasa”
movement started by Dr. H. Dudershan (winner of the Alternative Noble prize) to provide homes to
mentally ill homeless people in the streets with corporate support. You can go through the article at:
http://www.hindu.com/2006/09/30/stories/2006093023010400.htm . This could be a good example of
Rajendra Joshi, SAATH, Ahmedabad
Saath (www.saath.org) has been training youth for employment in Ahmedabad since September 2005.
The training program, rechristened as UMEED) has been scaled up by the Gujarat Government since
February 2007. Saath imparts training in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, and 4 other towns in Gujarat.
Our experience of this training program has been very positive. We have trained and placed over 800
youth living in the slums of Ahmedabad. The training has been for retail, IT enabled services, hospitality,
logistics and BPO.
Fees of Rs 500 are charges to participants and the remaining costs are borne by the State Government,
Urban Local Bodies and donors.
Shashi Singh, Consortium of Women Entrepreneurs of India (CWEI), New Delhi
You are aware of the cluster development programs taken up by CWEI. We feel the corporate sector
plays a very important role in providing the most crucial backward - forward linkage. It makes clear
business sense to both partners, producer groups contributing to the supply chain, delivering the best
quality product at a competitive price.
In our Enterprise Building Module we invite corporate to join hands with us to promote clusters in
specialized products, monitor their designs, upgrade technological inputs and most of all provide the
market support under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.
In the bargain, the private sector needs to provide the financial resources, raw material supply, if
required and the skills training to the out sourced community.
It may be CSR in some cases but let it also be a healthy partnership!
Bio-Fuel, produced by farmers in the wasteland development bought back by Indian Oil is one such good
We all need each other and let that be the spirit and the responsibility of the corporate houses.
Bhushan Punani, Blind People's Association (India), Ahmedabad
Going by Mr. Prabaharan’s response, he seems to be very fortunate as his organization is receiving
support from a number of corporate entities. Still if you make an objective analysis, the present support
under CSR is provided by very few corporate bodies.
Secondly, such support depends upon interest and preference of the person who is handling CSR. Most
of corporate bodies do not have any very definite and consistent policy on CSR. Another issue is that
most of support under CSR is cornered by a few selected Urban based high profile NGOs. The grassroots
level NGOs are firstly not aware about such support and secondly do not have the capacity to write
I suggest that the lead NGOs should focus upon capacity building for such NGOs so that the demand for
support under CSR increases and corporate entities also head proper applications for support.
Pranab R. Choudhury, Development Researcher, Bhubaneswar (response 2)
This is in response to Pooja's recent reply and particularly on her thoughts about CSR.
While fully respecting her individual opinion, I beg to differ with her in the way she has tried to portray
The name itself suggests it is not 'charity' or ‘philanthropy’ rather it is a 'responsibility' that corporate
sector should perform.
It is a fact that most of the revenue of the Corporate sector comes with a cost to the society and
environment which may be direct or indirect and may/may not be accounted for with present
learning. While many corporate sectors get benefit from freebies or facilitations from Government
Policy (land, water, tax holidays etc.), many others’ profit comes with a cost to local community and
environment. Therefore, it becomes a duty/responsibility of Corporate Sector to share a burden of
societal and environmental development with the State and Civil Society. Therefore the fact that it
gets a tax benefits while performing its ‘responsibility’ may not be termed as ‘philanthropy’ for the
society, rather be viewed as an ‘incentive’ for the corporate to perform its responsibility more
genuinely and effectively.
The notion that it is fair for industry to garner benefits while contributing to the society on the
pretext of CSR completely negates the principle of ‘social responsibility’ by the corporate. Attitude of
"business of business is to do business" should be secondary to performing ‘responsibility’ towards
social welfare. It may be remembered too much of ‘business’ without ‘social welfare’ sometimes make
it difficult to continue ‘business’ with growing deprivations leading to extreme situations.
Further, viewing investments in ‘skill development’ of people to get ‘locally available manpower’ is no
doubt a win-win situation, but should never be camouflaged as ‘CSR’. It should rather be viewed as
company’s core and strategic investment on HR. But developing skills of people especially poor and
disadvantaged to earn their own livelihood from elsewhere, even enabling them to get engaged in
backward and forward sectors can be a CSR. Similarly providing employment or skill development
training to displaced people under R&R schemes must not viewed as CSR.
In the end, I also agree with Pooja when she says ‘CSR is more than tax benefit or philanthropy’ by
adding that it should primarily be viewed as the “Corporate’s Responsibility’. It is quite a welcome fact
that many corporate have started accepting this fact and coming forward to perform this ‘responsibility’
towards complete societal development.
G. V. Krishnagopal, Access Livelihoods Consulting India Private Limited, Hyderabad
These days, CSR is more often being referred to as the new way to address the needs of poor. There are
a few fundamental questions which need to be addressed first as part of designing the potential
programs for corporate participation. The choices against these questions will help in designing the right
models for development of a workable/pragmatic way to involve the corporate entities.
What are the stated and unstated reasons for venturing into the CSR?
There could be many as the current experiences would indicate- industries in rural areas work with the
fringe villages around simply to avoid any conflict situations likely to rise or as compensation to the loss
of land or pollution being created, then there are those who have established independent entities to
concentrate on different development issues, examples being Naandi Foundation, Byrraju Foundation, Dr
Reddy’s Foundation, Infosys Foundation and many others. Many have established entities in particular
areas of interest like education etc. There are others who have taken CSR initiatives for strengthening
their production base. So we first need to know the reasons for taking up CSR initiative.
What kind of resources is the entity likely to contribute?
Depending on the resource commitment there could be short term and long term program designed to
the poor. I am sure there are many examples for this across the country.
Is CSR being seen as a Human Resource (HR) practice to provide opportunities for staff/employees to
enrich their jobs?
In that case the work should be accessible to the employees of the organization...there are many cases
e.g. Alambana - Satyam initiative teaches computers to the poor and needy in Hyderabad.
So these are some of the key design issues which need to be clearly defined and then there could be
sufficient models for each of the case.
S. J. Amalan, DGET-Apex Hi-tech Institute, Bangalore
Through your response, you have hit the nail on the head.
Training a person in fish catching is a better CSR than giving a fish to the person.
Without any second thought, I could say that the responsibility of generating Skilled Personnel could
be the best Corporate Social Responsibility, since the bottom line of most good intentions should be
gainful-employment-generation for it is a win-win situation for all.
A few suggestions in this direction
1. Support a National Skill Recognition, Development and Certification System which should
be established and maintained by the Government of India for neutrality.
2. Encourage the Representatives of all Sectors/Clusters to be responsible for the Skill
Recognition and Development program in their own Sectors/Clusters
3. The Sectors/Clusters should evolve a skill map or a skill matrix of various Skills/business that
are under each sector so as to cover all the entry level and wealth creating skills to begin with.
4. Internet based Software to be accessible to all the stakeholders to provide complete
information on skills and it's availability.
I am working with Directorate General-Employment & Training (DGET) and we are working out strategies
to make the above recommendations a reality through initiatives such as Centers of Excellence and
Modular Employable Skills Program, etc.
Hope we will be able to evolve some consensus and directions for this aspect in the coming days.
Harshvardhan, UNDP, New Delhi
I am Harshvardhan Working with Human Development Resource Centre, United Nations Development
Program, New Delhi. You will appreciate that livelihood promotion requires effective and ongoing
exchange of mainly primary goods and services from poor to the market. Currently, the growing demand
for the workforce in the urban centers does require a substantial skilled/semi skilled manpower. The
Livelihood Advancement Business School (LABS) concept of Dr. Reddy’s Foundation has emerged as a
success story in many states. For the poor in urban and peri-urban areas these low cost (Rs 4,000 per
trainee) short-term (3-4 months) courses do provide a better employment opportunity. Most of the
students of LABS have been absorbed in the service industry and hence, for the big metros and tier two
cities, similar interventions should be preferred.
However, one has to be careful in case of rural poor and women as the above strategy may not work well
in case of rural areas. The job opportunity at urban centers will require heavy transaction cost of
relocation to the cities and the existing salary structure for these low skill jobs may not be very high to
secure a decent livelihood not withstanding problems associated with migration.
In the rural areas, the skill upgradation may have limited scope. There may be some opportunities in
some specific sectors like transportation industry. However, the focus should be more on being self
employed than a regular job. Hence, skill training as a strategy may be preferred more for the urban poor
and poor of surrounding big urban centers as an employment opportunity.
Referring to Aneel Karnani’s article Fortune at Bottom of the Pyramid: A Mirage, it is indeed true that
raising income through being effective producers will be significant for poverty alleviation. This can only
be done by making their production base strong, either by increasing production, either through micro
irrigation, extension services etc. or by realizing more value for their output and also both
The growth in non- farm sector is positively correlated with the growth in the farm sector and hence,
overall rural development and employability to a large extent will remain dependent on the primary
sector growth which may stimulate further growth in the non farm sector. This may also come as a
solution to the problem of employment for land less laborers.
Hence, the mid sized companies may partner with skill training institutes like Dr. Reddy’s Foundation and
with many similar interventions in the other part of the country to support skill development initiatives
which may become source for recruitment for them or support strengthening of supply chains in the rural
areas which are critical to their industry and be a source of competitive advantage for them. Of course,
any cheque book signing approach will not remain sustainable if it does not lead to institution building
and is not integral to the business of the organization. However, the severe market failure in the rural
market makes it imperative that in the incubation period investor must be willing to accept losses before
building competitive advantage.
Pooja Gianchandani, CII, Gurgaon (response3)
Dear Pranab, Thank you so much for your response. It is always a pleasure to know the thought process
of others and enhance understanding.
While what you say are valuable thoughts, your understanding of my views on Skills Development as a
CSR agenda needs some clarification.
When I speak of Skills Development here, I speak of targeting the poorest of the poor. In no way I am
concluding that the marginalized need to be trained and then necessarily be part of the organization’s
workforce, hence be part of HR strategy. What I am referring to here is that we need to capacitate them
by skill training – afterwards they take up employment within the organization or become entrepreneurs
is absolutely their choice. Which, even you have agreed in your response to be an example of CSR.
My only submission hence is that Skills is the need of the hour and for the corporation, it should be an
investment for the community – the stakeholders- and a CSR strategy.
Arunika Agarwal, Amity University, New Delhi
Today, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a buzz word common with most of the Multi National
Corporations and Trans-National Corporations and socially responsible investments by companies have
been growing continuously. One important issue is that CSR is thought to be something which can be
undertaken only by large corporations /companies, but I don't think this is true. Even smaller
organizations can practice CSR given that they believe in it are honestly interested in contributing.
Considering the computer training example for creating and enhancing livelihoods, many organizations
like HCL, TATA etc have set up computer training centers to train poor and unemployed boys and girls
and make them employable. They have separate training institutes and facilities for this purpose. Now
this model can also be adopted by small companies/organizations and educational institutions without
incurring huge expenses on additional infrastructure or facilities. As a way out time slots can be fixed by
these organizations/institutions after their office hours for training of poor unemployed youth. The
trainers can be from the staff on a voluntary basis. This way the idle office machines will be used for the
training at no extra cost to the organization and the employees will get a chance to contribute positively
to the society. Overall the organization will be contributing to the society without much financial
Another way for small organizations to contribute to the development of the society could be through the
Non-Governmental Organizations (or as it is called Civil Society Organizations). Contribution is never big
or small, a penny can change the life of a child. If all the small businesses who are willing to help
contribute just 1% of their revenue earned to the social causes, it will be a huge service to the nation
and its people.
Pravash Mishra, Louis Berger Group Inc., Gurgaon
I have been following the different replies to the query on CSR models by various
individuals/professionals and it is heartening to learn that Small and Medium size corporate houses are
getting into social causes, which is a necessity for our society. From your query I could gather that (1)
Small and Medium size corporate houses have no idea how to start a CSR initiative and they do not have
financial strength of big corporate giants (2) Availability of any CSR model for implementation.
Addressing the first point i.e. of how to start a CSR initiative, these corporate houses can have two
options, they form an association of their own to fund, implement their program or find out good
NGO/CBOs working in livelihood sector and support their initiatives. However, there is a catch in both the
options. In the first option, small and medium size corporate houses will have to come together and do
the work on their own and give adequate time for monitoring for valued result. In the second option, the
support the initiatives by financing but keeping track of money and spending demands more synergy
between the corporate houses and NGOs. I believe that for social cause more than money it is
willingness, dedication and attitude, which matters. Therefore, Small and Medium size corporate houses
should not bother about how much they are contributing but how sincerely they are supporting the
For the second point, there cannot be a definite method or model for implementing a livelihood program.
What is good for one group or area may not be fit for another group or region. Thus, lessons learned
from past program can be a guiding point and program should be planned as per the need of the people.
The livelihood promotion should not be limited to skill improvement but follow up support mechanism is a
must for its success.
It is not appealing to me that the small and medium size corporate houses have to look some where else
for implementing projects on livelihood. They should rather ask themselves very simple questions like,
how many workers are there in the company? Are they living in good condition? What else the company
can do for them? Why not support worker’s family members in livelihood programs?. I am sure the
workers in many small companies need support to improve their quality of life. The charity should begin
at home before venturing outside.
K. B. Jinan, Kumbham Mural, Nilambur, Kerala
I would like to propose craft making as a viable livelihood option and suggest areas where corporate/
private sector support can be beneficial.
I am a designer from National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, and have been working with artisan
communities since 1993. I have been living in a village of potters and dealing with various problems
confronting the artisan communities.
With out forming an NGO and not depending on permanent external funds I have assisted about 50 odd
artisans in design of new products, marketing etc. for a period of about 12 years. For details please see
the site www.kumbham.in
From my experience of 14 years I feel what is urgently needed is a set up to enable artisans to
understand the new customers and to respond to the new demands which means understanding the
market needs, developing new designs and learning new ways of communication etc.
The present scenario of depending on modern designers disables him in several ways. He no longer uses
his creativity and initiative. The artisan enabling centre must there for address these shortfalls. I am
trying to get private sector people/ institutions interested in this.
Do get back to me if this interests anyone. I can send in a larger write up later.
Smita Premchander, Sampark, Bangalore (response 1)
Thank you for sharing all these interesting ways of working together with the corporate sector, which
indeed opens up new ways of collaborating and being more effective in seeing the end of poverty in
India! I would like to share CSR experiences of Sampark with you which relates to corporate support in
livelihoods but also to other related interventions. Will be also sharing a though on the issue at the end.
We have been approached by many companies to make linkages. Primarily, these have been to:
1. Give us some money for specific work, and as the work priorities that Sampark had (crèches
for constructions workers' children, women's empowerment, micro credit fund) did not tally with those of
the company (selling materials, cards, participating in one-day exhibitions at the company etc.) no
linkages were made.
2. Send us some volunteers. The company people want to come in typically on weekends, Saturdays,
and Sundays, for half days, and different people each time... and for work that is non specific in nature,
like cleaning and dusting the office, organizing files, doing workshops with children in schools..... these
are difficult to organize and benefit from, and we have discouraged such contact, which gives an illusion
of being socially useful, but in fact given the lack of depth of association, it is more trouble to use such
3. Similar discussions with Infosys employees and of some other companies, however, have been
useful. Some youngsters have agreed to update our website on a regular basis, and some do English
editing for us. A student from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore does similar work, on a
regular basis. These youngsters take the work through internet, and send it by email too, and get in
touch from time to time. This has been an useful input.
4. Philips Bangalore has recently come forward to sponsor the first crèche for children of construction
workers. These kids just hang around on construction sites, where they face hazards, they are also open
to attacks from stray dogs, which have happened in Bangalore in the recent past. The crèche will help us
not only in providing the children a safe and learning environment (we will also provide nutritious food),
but will also give us access to the parents to help them get better working conditions, and we will
approach local schools to allow admission to children of migrant workers.
Sampark has invited the company employees to do a joint research project, whereby we find out the
number of such workers and nature of their problems, this kind of association over weekends will give all
of us joint learning and sensitivity towards the issues we need to address, and hope that it will also
deepen the association between the NGO and the Corporate involved.
So, we have found useful editing and web updating services, financial support for specific projects, and
have planned joint learning activities that will lead to joint projects.
During the past few years of approaches from companies for CSR, I have realized that it is important to
screen companies, just like it is important for them to screen NGOs. As companies look for 'reliable'
NGOs, we look for 'ethical' companies. For instance, Sampark stays away from companies that make
products that are harmful to health, or are known to operate in ways that are unfair to labor. I believe it
is very important to do your own business ethically and with good business practices, and once this is
achieved, CSR can be the icing on the cake. But if this base does not exist, then CSR cannot wash away
the grime of unethical profit making, just because a part is dedicated to the poor.
N. J. Lakshmi Narayan, Saint Gobain Glass India, Sriperumbudur
I work in a manufacturing industry near Chennai and have been working in the area of Corporate Social
Responsibility. To the points raised by our members on how to design CSR programs for the mid and
small sized businesses, I have a few points for the group to take it forward:
1) Skill Training for Employability
In today’s world there is huge shortage of skills and not necessarily only at the formal certification level
(Industrial Training Institutes, Polytechnics) but even at the entry level (Housekeeping, counter sales,
While attrition in all industries at all levels is there, the most hit are the Small and Medium Enterprises
The Small and Medium Entrepreneurs need to form common forums and reach out to the rural and the
marginalized community and pick up people from there for training on the job. This will help in enhancing
the employability of the people who could not pursue formal education and will also increase the pool of
skilled employable workforce.
2) Sustainable income generation programs
Self Help Groups needs to be directed towards self-sustainable projects like fruit bearing trees being
planted in the community and taken care of. The yield from them can be taken up for income-generating
activities through processing pickles, jams etc.
The saplings can be funded by the SME's and in turn contribute towards increasing the green
belt, recharging ground water etc.
3) Poultry farming
There are villages with vacant land not suitable for agriculture. In such areas, Day Old Chicks (DOC)
sourced from hatcheries can be distributed to women groups and after the period of 28-35 days can be
taken from them and sold to the poultry dealers in nearby market and profit shared with the women
This helps in supply chain management of the chick raising, less transportation and better management
through distributed management.
4) Sanitary napkin for rural schoolchildren and women
Self Help group's can be trained in sanitary napkin manufacturing and having a buy back tie up with the
Call Centers, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) organizations, Girls Schools, Women Hostels etc.
The product needs to be priced low and strategically priced, to make profits through volumes and not
through bigger margins.
While this can be funded by the SME's in setting up the units, where the cost is not more than 1 lakh the
Return on Investment and contribution to the health and hygiene of the women will be high.
The people in the rural areas are migrating to the urban and leaving behind a vacuum in future
generation leadership in many forms - family, community, change agents in the community etc.
The business should directly or indirectly through sustainable projects develop future leadership for
balance growth and filling up the vacuum created due to migration of the rural
Pradeep Mohapatra, Udayama, Bhubaneswar
The Global Compact is the world's largest voluntary Corporate Citizenship initiative with over 4'000
participants in over 100 countries. Its vision is to contribute to a sustainable and inclusive world
It is an opportunity to volunteer online for reviewing CSR initiatives internationally. This will lead to
broader understanding of CSR and recognition for the participant as well.
For more details follow the link: https://globalcompact.pbwiki.com/
Ashwini Kulkarni, Pragati Abhiyan, Nashik
I have been reading all interesting views on CSR.
I think that at least for Indian companies the first logical step towards CSR could be following labor
standards in totality i.e. as they pertain to conditions of work, minimum wages etc. for employees and by
being more transparent in their operations. Measures to monitor this can also be designed, and should be
taken up and operationalized as CSR initiatives
Secondly, corporate world has in some ways imbibed better, more efficient ways of management, using
Information Technology more meaningfully and are technically better, so they can share and use this
expertise in the filed of social change for better and quicker results.
Gopesh Tewari, Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, Hyderabad
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you for raising such an important issue.
Well, let me share some of Dr. Reddy’s Foundation (DRF's) experience and same time, I will try to
address issues raised in this query.
Dr. Reddy's Foundation (DRF www.drreddysfoundation.org), the non – profit partner of Dr. Reddy's acts
as a catalyst of change that fosters, develops and promotes initiatives at individual, group and
organization levels to achieve sustainable development. The Foundation innovates and tries out novel
concepts that are continuously refined and scaled up to cover larger groups of deprived populations. In
DRF, we are working on two main areas 1] Education (1997) and 2] Livelihoods (1999)
The programs under Livelihoods are Livelihood Advancement Business School (LABS, 1999) - a business
school exclusively for the marginalized youth of the age group of 18- 35 years, imparting market driven
new economy courses across India. Other initiatives include Micro Entrepreneurship Development Cell
(MEDC); Agro Facilitation Center (AFC) etc.
LABS is our flagship program and it promotes programs for youth from economically weakest sections
and enables them to gain access to opportunities for sustainable livelihoods. LABS has successfully
trained 1, 00,164 (31st May, 2007) youth across the country. There are about 120 LABS centers
operational across 12 states in India (Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu
&Kashmir, Goa, Maharashtra , Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgrah, Rajasthan, Haryana ) and soon we are
expecting our presence across country.
LABS has catalyzed stakeholder partnerships at multiple levels and different modes with Government
bodies/ agencies, NGOs, International NGOs, Corporate and the civil Society at large. DRF believes that
the need of the hour is not to replicate the costs and resources but to forge value-added partnerships
with like-minded organizations.
For some of the organizations/ cooperates, we are directly implementing programs, with some of the
organizations, we have partnership on Establish, Operate and Transfer (EOT) model and at some places,
we are working with Cooperate Consortia. So, as per our experience - for small and middle size CSR
initiatives - there could be different options like – a) Directly Implementation of program by some
trusted body, b) To have an Establish, Operate and Transfer (EOT) model, and c) Defining consortia of
like-minded organization and taking it further.
Smita Premchander, Sampark, Bangalore (response 2)
As we are describing different initiatives, I wish to add other initiatives that I missed out in my first
1. Vocational training and employment. Sampark has made a partnership with private business
units, factories, to place some youth for vocational training and employment. The jobs include work in
the factories, foundries, chemical production. The factories provide both training and employment, and
each of the four companies provide either overtime payments, food, or housing in addition to regular
2. Revival of crafts through ordering craft products Two companies that make and supply
corporate gifts have offered to order T-shirts and other products with Kasuthi, traditional embroidery
from Karnataka, which helps to revive these crafts.
3. Free support to the organization. HCL, as part of its corporate social responsibility for the year,
found out about Sampark and its work with women's empowerment. They then contributed an amount
of Rs. 2 lakhs, to use for any purpose that we feel will contribute to women's empowerment.
These are some other ways in which Corporate sector can engage with NGOs, in addition to the ones I
have stated earlier.
Sampark can also help other organizations forge good partnerships, based on good partnership principles
and mutual benefits.
Mamta Chauhan, Gender Specialist, Lucknow
It has really been very enriching experience going through views of multi-disciplinary professionals on
CSR. CSR is gradually gaining an important place in the agenda of corporate sector. They have made a
shift from Rehabilitation & Resettlement (R&R) approach to CSR, which is quite encouraging and has
enlarged the scope of their activities in this portfolio. National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Tata
Consultancy Services (TCS), Oracle, prominent banks, Hindalco are a few examples these days who are
doing meaningful interventions for the community.
R. K. A. Subrahmanya, Social Security Association of India, Bangalore (response 2)
I would like you to see some of the recent news reports about the super rich who are contributing to the
CSR models. This offers a different perspective to the question under discussion.
Richest one per cent owns 40 per cent of world's wealth
The World Institute for Development Economic Research (WIDER) of the United Nations conducted a
global study of the distribution of wealth of every country. This is the first such study. It included all the
most significant components of household wealth including financial assets and debts land buildings and
other tangible property. Together these constitute $125trillion globally. To see the news report click here:
Riches concentrated among 61,000 high net worth individuals
The 11th annual study of 71 countries conducted by investment bank Merrill Lynch and consultancy
firm Capgemini found that buoyant economic growth across the world pushed the richest high net
worth individuals up by a hefty 11.4 percent last year.
The dramatic increase took the total prosperity of the world to $37.2 trillion. HNWIs are those with $1
million to invest in financial assets excluding first homes. Ultra HNWIs have 30 million at their disposal.
To see the news report click here:
Where’s the super-rich’s social responsibility?
In the year 2006, 4500 people in the UK took home a bonus of more than $2million each. There are
some who got more -$20million, $40 million, and $100million. The total amount paid out in the form of
bonus last year was $42billion, about one third of Britain’s education budget.
Whatever you call it –silly money or serious money- it is undeniably big money, and the world has
never seen fortunes made so quickly by so many and so mysteriously. To see the news report click
Sunayina Dadhwal, LabourNet, Bangalore
As the discussion is on the CSR models for livelihood interventions, I would like to share LabourNet’s
experience of partnering with BOSCH to impart training to construction workers.
LabourNet, a livelihood program focusing on construction workers in Bangalore actively networks with the
key stakeholders to facilitate skill development for the construction workers.
LabourNet has partnered with BOSCH to impart trade specific training on usage and maintenance of
power tools and equipments to the registered workers of LabourNet. The training programs are being
organized on a regular basis and have received a very positive response from the workers who have
benefited a great deal not only in terms of knowledge enhancement about the new products and
technology but also about the right use of tools and equipments. Further, BOSCH has also facilitated
bank loans for the registered members of LabourNet who are interested in purchasing power tools of
BOSCH. Post training, while some of the members have bought BOSCH tools on their own, others have
utilized the facility of the bank loan to purchase these tools.
I think, such a partnership model defines CSR in the true spirit of it where CSR is not viewed as a ‘charity’
or philanthropy’ but a mutually beneficial partnership between the NGOs/ other organizations and
corporate houses to help in the skill development of the informal sector workers.
Many thanks to all who contributed to this query!
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