Most of the corporate business houses who are in to 'Corporate Social Responsibility'[C S R], are undertaking this more by compulsion than by conviction. Their interests rest mainly on expansion and profit in any venture. Any money spent should return with profits only. Philanthropy did say that a portion of your earnings be set aside for the welfare of the society. But who cares. Now even Gods are programmed to bless one self. Charity doesn't give them profits, but definitely it gives name and recognition in the society, which no story of any advertisement company can give. An advertisement spot can at best put the company on top of the world, but only till an another advertisement steals its glory. And invariably it happens through its competitor. But charity for the welfare of the society holds company high. This is not to emotionalize the subject or an 'advertisement for charity'
Though, 'corporate social responsibility' is a trend imported from the west, this was a time tested prescription and a blue print in India. Many corporate houses in India like, the Birlas, the Tatas have used this. Their endeavour of this "care for the society" are narrated more than their business achievements. With charity a part of their enterprise, they seldom fail to impress.
Does the society need this? Why should we indulge in? Can We change the society at all? These questions also haunt the corporate as all and sundry are either employed or are there strictly to business. If a promoter has a major role to play in that set up or the chief of that organization is inclined to social cause can bring in the change. But that should not be bench mark. Some organizations do indulge in welfare schemes around their work place out of compulsion or threat from the local leaders. Here, that "care for the society" doesn't exist.
The social welfare is definitely a responsibility of the government. And no government can do it effectively because of the nepotism and corruption which are the boon of Democracy. The schemes are really made in the interest of the poor, down trodden, rural folk, women and children.
But there is nothing wrong for the corporate organization to set up a school, build a hospital, adopt a village to improve the living of the people there. The major players in the industry too should lend a helping hand in making the aspirations of the government come true. Corporate body for all practical purposes is a legal person; it should also become humane, though Human tendency is self centered.
Industrialization has driven out rural masses to the cities and towns. Life style changed. Farmers are withdrawing from agricultural activities for a monthly salary. Lands are not utilized properly. Growing population erases greenery and hills around cities and towns. Ground water level is diminishing. Rivers and lakes are getting polluted. People thus are becoming more dependent than ever. On the other hand the cites too are congested, property rates are shooting up, potable water is scarce, power shed downs. Pollutions of different kinds, for all these, the corporate bodies and business houses are also responsible and have to share the fury of all these problems too. To overcome this, the corporate bodies should indulge in such activities that will ensure the rural masses improve their living standards by getting skilled and also keeping their agricultural or any other business continuing. They have expertise and resource to train people. Technical education is too costly and distant for a rural youth. Educating rural children and helping the people to have access to proper medical treatment are a noble venture. This will help these organizations to branch out to smaller towns which not only helps them but also the rural people immensely.
These activities done voluntarily give the corporate a status in the society, than strictly following the 'rules' and 'conditions' laid out by the government to reduce 'green house effect'.A light house standing tall can help a ship reach safely but should also keep a watch on erosion below.
Now I understand that ISO also seeks that participation of corporate houses to engage in CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY and this is welcome.
Accounts officer, Bhoruka Welfare Charitable Trust, 48, Lavelle Road, Bangalore-560001
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