Are they REALLY doing ‘good’?

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As I set to write on this topic, I would like to clarify that I’m not opposed to idea of (Corporate) Social Responsibility however it does have its lacunae. The soul seems to be missing.  I had a short term stint in the so called CSR sector; however the approach towards CSR was like any other business deal.

It has been a long journey from philanthropy to being termed as Social Responsibility.  The evolution of corporate social responsibility in India refers to changes over time in India of the cultural norms of corporations' engagement of corporate social responsibility (CSR), with CSR referring to way that businesses are managed to bring about an overall positive impact on the communities, cultures, societies and environments in which they operate.

(More can be read about it on the above link and by searching on Google.)

Many readers would outright disagree with me or get enraged with what I’m saying. Personally to me, CSR seems to be overrated. I’m not trying to implicate corporate with evil however it stands true some of the prominent corporations are no doubt making heavy profits each year and in comparison to which their CSR expenditure is zilch. It is only lately that the companies are even making an effort to integrate social responsibility (SR) in their work plans.

The company’s strategy on social responsibility is to identify some generic concerns of the areas where their factories are set-up. Namely fixing lamp posts (where there is no power supply), provide water pipeline (where there is no water supply), set-up medical camps (private doctors are hired for a day or two) and so on. I’m sure some of them are doing other activities however these are the ones which appear commonly.

Another interesting point to be noted is that companies constantly talk about sustainability. Their SR report sounds promising and instils faith that companies are here to do good in return of natural resources they’re exhausting endlessly. Are the natural resources getting restored at all under their SR practices? Well no, they’re simply buying time for themselves in garb of exploiting the resources. Who is the one getting sustained? The consumer to an extent is in dark, if at all the products they’re supplying in market are not harmful however the process of manufacturing is surely harming our eco-system (to which we have no replacement).

Companies should come up with innovative ideas to meet sustainability. How about taking an initiative to actually tap the movement of the wrappers, containers, bottles, plastic used in their products and collect them for recycling or disposing them in an eco-friendly manner? How about having a people friendly execution of SR activities?

India as a country has endless needs in terms of development (day to day needs). If a company can take up a large scale and cost intensive activity while coming up a new product range and its publicity, I’m sure the companies can also spend a part of that particular budget in doing something good for humanity.



Good article

A link

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