CSR activities in India have been on the upswing for some time now. The trend highlights the impact of the Companies Act, 2013 that has made CSR a mandatory component of corporate operations. However, CSR is also a moral obligation for businesses to improve the environment and lives of people impacted by their activities. Big businesses and corporates owe a significant share of their success to society and as such have a bigger role to play in CSR activities in India.
India is still largely a rural and agrarian economy. While the share of Services and IT sector in GDP is more than that of agricultural activities, but vast majority of Indians still work in farms and labour intensive sectors. These people mostly live in underdeveloped rural and semi-urban areas and often live below poverty line. They earn a fraction of what their skilled and educated compatriots earn in cities. Some even live below poverty line. Owing to this, most of them don’t have access to basic services and suffer from poor quality of life. In spite of government policies and measures to bring about a positive difference, not much has been achieved on ground. In such a scenario, CSR activities in India have a acquired a new found importance.
The 2013 Act has mandated companies fulfilling a pre-defined criteria to develop a CSR Strategy and policy depending on the business model and area of operation. The companies can develop and implement programs to address the existing challenges in the aforementioned areas. Nevertheless, the implementation of any CSR initiative should be constantly monitored during the implementation phase. Post- execution, it should be evaluated to determine whether or not it was able to deliver the desired positive changes.
Villages are the most suitable locations to begin CSR activities in India. Most villages in India require special emphasis on education, healthcare, sanitation, skill development, and employment. There is immense scope for corporate houses to contemplate and undertake CSR ideas on ground. Nevertheless, what is required is the will at the corporates’ end to accomplish the same. Aligning the will and funds of corporates with the experience of professional CSOs, who have set various precedents and example of social responsibility, have the potential to yield remarkable results in present and future as well.
We, at Fiinovation, believe that CSR has an essential role to play in India’s growth story. As a company, we have not just facilitated the CSR projects of big conglomerates but have also assisted the SME sector companies undertake CSR activities in India. The company has also helped credible and reputed NGOs carry out activities for the public good and acquainted them with the best and innovative practices to enhance the impact of their projects.