By Osman Akthar, Director- Legal & Compliance, RealPage India
A philosophy by which the organization gives back to the society is understood by the community activities which are measurable, sustainable and scalable. Corporate Social Responsibility in the present times is built into the mainstream areas of the businesses that thrive in an evolved form.
CSR initiatives in most organisations form one of the core value areas that get emphasized in the corporate culture. We have to believe that ‘Time’ and ‘Effort’ of employees is more valued than the monetary element of CSR activities. All employees must take pride in their CSR activities and contributions and as well as take every opportunity to celebrate the achievements both internally and externally.
The impact areas through which our people make a difference in the communities often resonate with the passion shown by everyone involved with those activities. Employees who drive the initiatives in the impact areas have more often inspire more people to make a difference in our communities.
Primary education is an impact area that needs transformation of school infrastructure with all the needed resources to improve government primary school’s condition and provide students with an environment conducive to better learning and growth. The best part of such initiatives is that every corporate employee contributes towards the transformation of the adopted schools by offering their efforts on the ground, be it teaching, organizing activities, infrastructure help to development of children. Another important aspect is to make activities sustainable by involving local communities in various ways.
It requires going an extra mile for employees to visit the school frequently as part of a time donation program. Employees could take up activities like painting the school and engage with students to arrange communication skill training—verbal and non-verbal skill development sessions aimed at improving their cognitive abilities.
As a result of such transformational work, the number of enrolments in the school would surely increase and attendance of students would improve significantly.
Support to special needs children: A good cause manifests through many thoughts and deeds. One such novel idea is an innovative double impact initiative themed ‘Quit Smoking and sponsor a specially-abled girl child’. Such initiatives connect directly with the heart and receive tremendous success with many people getting inspired to give up smoking and committing support to the needy children.
Supporting local health system: During times of pandemic the local health systems really require a lot of support and help from the society and this where corporates could step in to provide hospital beds in these are unprecedented times where we live under a threat of a Pandemic and in such circumstances, there was specific need to step up to support the health system with resources that would augment the work of the health professionals. The acute shortage of ICU hospital beds needs to be instantly met by corporates, where we could come together to support the health system with the critical resources that save lives. There can’t be a better impact made when we learn that we can effectively save lives of people with initiatives that matter the most at the right time.
Flood Relief: Hyderabad City residents’ lives were impacted due to very heavy unprecedented rains during the month of October 2020, we as corporate organisations need to extend support with needed groceries, blankets, utensils, hygiene kits, gas stoves to families and houses that need reconstruction.
Donation of used Computers: as the pandemic forced learning in schools and colleges through digital devices there are many such children who cannot access the digital platform, as a Corporate we could donate the assets to orphaned children, for their education.
Higher education: as a Corporate we could support meritorious engineering studies of girls students to be self reliant and gain meaningful employment.
Animal care : We share the environment with animals as well and in India it’s common sight to find stray animals in almost all places where people inhabit. These animals too need food and care such as medical support and ambulatory support. Initiatives driven in this direction go a long way in saving these lives. Corporate initiatives in this direction recognize the fact that these are a part of human values to care for the lives of animals as well.
Farmer support: The backbone of our country is agriculture and this sector is run by millions of farmers with small land holdings which often do not generate a decent livelihood. As we know many farmers across the country are burdened with debt even to sustain their profession each year. Coming together in support of the farmer would be one of the best ways to give back to the farming community that feeds us. Corporate employees need to stand shoulder to shoulder with the farmers by giving support in their livelihood needs, support for their mental and financial well-being.
Solidarity with our nation’s armed forces: The defense forces are the organizations that keeps us safe and secured. They surely need the support of their fellow country people in the form of moral support. Civilian organizations can also come together to support the defense personnel financially. Our initiatives must explore various ways to support our armed forces in a small way, however these deeds can touch the lives of many brave hearts. This is surely much needed encouragement to our security forces who risk their lives for our safety.
Recognizing the people that make an impact:
While working for this CSR initiatives, we often interact with various other volunteering individuals and organizations. There are many others in the society who are working full-time for similar causes, to alleviate underprivileged people in terms of health, education, shelter and standards of living. These people were in no way being paid for their contributions and we could create a platform for appreciating them by recognizing them as ‘Heroes’ of the society. We could also talk about their contributions to the society and give them a large arena to garner more attention, thus helping them to increase the quantum of their work.
There are many other areas where corporates work on CSR initiatives, however these are some of the areas which are highlighted as they hold potential for success and in some cases the impact that it could create would surely generate a lot of interest from employees, government and other organizations that are involved in the community impact space.
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