Collaborate and innovate to bring about change – Governor

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NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Corporates, Governments and NGOs should innovate, collaborate and work in tandem towards a ‘common goal’ in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to bring about a positive change in the society, urged H. E. Prof Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor, Haryana, Punjab & Administrator, UT Chandigarh while addressing the CII CSR Conference organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at its Headquarters in Sector 31, here today.

Reiterating P.M Modi’s words of wisdom,” If everyone takes a step ahead, the nation will move 1.2 billion steps ahead”, he called upon the corporates to play the most significant role under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to support Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Skill India, & Beti Bachao – Beti Padao by interlinking National, State and District level interventions with the Corporate Social Responsibility of businesses.

“ CSR, being a noble initiative shouldn’t require penalty and strict rules to be enforced. The corporates should stand united in bringing CSR to its full-fledged frame. The spirit behind 2% profits towards CSR is more important than the 2% itself. The overall inclusion is necessary and will come only when last person in the queue gets everything”, he added.

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“It is high time, CSR came out of the back rooms into the board rooms of the corporates to make a strong difference in the lives of the Have-nots in a more focused manner”, he strongly emphasised.

Appreciating the role of SMEs and large corporates in providing jobs as well as pooling in money for Government funds for Social welfare through taxes, Governor said that there is still a lot of room for Research and creativity and each one of us should reflect upon the role one can play to eradicate poverty from the society. CSR Managers should critically analyse various issues and areas like drinking water, education, skilling, shelter, food etc and motivate their respective top managements to sincerely consider giving back to the society to sustain in the long run. He was also in favour of audits of CSR work done by corporates. Citing the example of Chandigarh, he lamented that 39 % of the school children are mal nourished in Chandigarh, which is one of the most prosperous cities, hence a lot needs to be done.

Dr. D.S Cheema, Hon’ble Minister of Education, Government of Punjab appreciated the commencement of conference on CSR. He was highly appreciative of the initiative taken by industry to approach Government for “Clean India: Skilled India”. Further adding on to agenda of discussion, he highlighted that Guru Nanak Dev Ji advocated the Social Responsibility. The philosophy of giving away 10% of your earnings to the needy has been preached by Guru Nanak Dev ji himself. All CSR initiatives demand 2% of earnings which is much less and can be done with in today’s time.

Talking about social ambience, he further said that Education and health are 2 areas which need support from all sectors. Punjab is already blessed with premier institutions all across –ISB Mohali, IIT Ropar and now IIM Amritsar.

Mr. D.S Cheema expressed his dissatisfaction on inefficiency of most important pillar of education- Primary Education. There are two classes of primary schools-Private Schools and Government Schools. The admission of a government school starts at 6 years of age whereas it starts at 3 years of age in private ones. This division is not appreciative at initial stage.

He highlighted on the government discussions for pre-primary schools at age of 3years.Anganvadi schools are being converted into play-ways for poor students. Mr. Cheema mentioned the name of Sant Baljinder Singh Randewala who has adopted 85 primary schools in Dist. Ludhiana. He urged every privileged citizen to take on this further by adopting more schools and making government schools more attractive to students.

With P.M Modi “Skill India” initiative, Punjab Government has also adopted many initiatives. Mr. Cheema mentioned the initiative of infusion of practical training from 9th standard in government schools. The subjects to be covered for training are to be linked to local industry. There is an ongoing effort in bridging the gap between education and industry.

“CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is not an option anymore. It is a necessary element of doing business these days. It is not just philanthropy, it’s something more than that”, expressed Dr Sudhir Kapur, Chairman, CII NR Committee on CSR.

He elaborated on the concept of CSR by saying that, while philanthropy was charity, CSR is a duty. “Today, if you want the whole country to prosper and not just a few sections, then it becomes imperative for corporate houses to contribute their bit for the betterment of society,” he said, adding that development has to be holistic (social, economic and environmental) for social harmony. The other aims of CSR should be reduction of poverty, improvement in education, creation of employment, social justice, access to healthcare and removal of systemic evils like corruption. The benefits of CSR will accrue to all – business, society, and all stakeholders, he added.

“Industry has always supported societal initiatives of the government as part of Corporate Social Responsibility. Today’s CII CSR Conference would go a long way in further inspiring and motivating corporates to align their CSR agenda with the Govt’s National Programmes. Besides, this conference also provided a platform for the government, industry and non-profit sector to deliberate and find solutions to address key social issues”, said Mr Ranjit Singh, Convener-CII CSR Conference 2015 & General Manager- CSR & Sustainability, Maruti Suzuki India Limited.

“Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is very much a corporate agenda and no more a voluntary role. The corporate sector treats it as an investment to organisational development, shared Mrs Minaakshi S Dass, Co-Chairperson CII NR Committee on CSR & Gender Equality & Chairperson, Pearey Lall & Sons (EP) Ltd.

“Girl Child Education under the “Beti Bachao – Beti Padao” campaign is the top priority of CII. Integration between all stakeholders i.e the govt, industry and society is required at the grassroots level  to achieve fundamental objective of equality and prosperity for all”.

Mr Pikender Pal Singh, Regional Director, CII Northern Region, shared, “CSR has become an essential element of corporate culture today. No corporate house can afford to ignore the social and environmental impact of their activities. CSR is not a donation or charity, it’s a necessity today.” In Northern Region, Ability placement fairs for differently abled candidates are also organised to promote their employment with participation of NGOs. CII will continue to play its role in driving the promotion of CSR in the Indian business environment towards making CSR a core part of their business strategy.”