Sunday, October 07, 2007

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility
It was heartening to note that Corporate Social Responsibility has indeed become Corporate Index.
At the Outset the corporate world must realize that Corporate Social Responsibility is about inclusive growth and not about charity.
The concept of all inclusive Growth has been well defined in Shanti mantra in our Kato Upanishad at least FOUR Millenniums back. The Mantra reads as:
Together may we be protected
Together may we be nourished
Together may we work with great energy
May our journey together be brilliant and effective
May there be no bad feelings between us
Peace, peace, peace
Mr. JRD Tata the visionary and industrialist, though much before CSR became a buzz word, observed “ In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stake holder in Business. But it’s in fact the very purpose of its existence.

No truer words have been said about CSR, though much before this acronym gained coinage and became a popular jargon. Unlike several other acronyms and jargons parroted this has to delivered with hard core fundamental work.

There is no particular definition of CSR. It has been defined by World Business Council for Sustainable Development a CEO led institution stated:-
“Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large"
Internationally CSR is the responsibility of the Corporate world towards its customers, workers, peripherals and several similar segments of the society. In India it would stand modified to principally cover the under privileged class of society as target beneficiary.
The Corporate World’s three primary considerations and in that order are Profit, People and Planet. Well Profit generation need not be elaborated upon. The third “P” i.e., Planet is covered under Pollution Control, Kyoto Protocol and several similar legal and quasi legal regulations. For the second and most important “P ” i.e., People there is no legal regulation. The CSR covers that second “P”.
Through Globalization the Corporate India has recorded a healthy 9.4% growth. Yet the Rural Bharat distinct from this Corporate India lives at or below subsistence level. Whereas Economic Capital has had a tremendous growth, the social capital is required to be nurtured through CSR.
The Vision 2020 of India becoming a super power by 2020 as perceived by our ex president Mr. Abdul Kalam is nearly impossible to achieve unless some hard core fundamental work is done amongst the under privileged class and they are brought into the mainstream and rendered productive and contributors to the GNP
India is a very large country with a mega population of 1.2 billion people. The Corporate world rarely has the infrastructure and professionalism to deliver quality and cost effective CSR projects.
There are several GENUIN NGO’s doing exemplary work in several fields. A marriage between these NGO’s and Corporate world could usher in a very different and vibrant India.
A 2001 survey showed that 80% of the Public believed that the ‘ The Public interest’ could be best served by NGO’s and only 67% believed the Corporate world could do so. Hence as per popular perception and common logic, delivery and execution by NGO’s and Corporate World’s participation in financing and supervision would be an ideal partnership.
The concept of sustained growth and vision 2020 could become a reality only trough this cohesive effort. Best Free Hit Counters
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