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Dr. Bhamy V. Shenoy
Chief Editor

Ms. Bharati Kalasapudi

An insight into the complex Mr. Nasy Sankagiri
Ms. Aarti Iyer
problems of development and an Mr. Lakshman Kalasapudi
attempt to provide solutions Ms. Padmaja Ayyagari
Mr. Rajesh Satyavolu

Dr. Srinivasa Rao (Editor)

Advisory Board
Dr. Thomas Abraham
Dr. Nirupam Bajpai
To present people, ideas, news and views periodically to Dr. Suri Sehgal
readers to promote networking among NGOs; Mr. M. Chittaranjan
Dr. Rao V.B.J. Chelikani
To publish peer reviewed professional articles on the NGO movement
that can promote sustainable development and best practices; Editorial Board
Dr. Abraham George
To disseminate information on the NGO movement to improve
communication that can, in turn, catalyze human development;
Dr. Ratnam Chitturi
To provide a platform for all concerned with sustainable
development to catalyze the process of human development.
Mr. Anil Chug

Mr. Ram Krishnan

Published by: Mr. Balbir Mathur
Dr. Vasundhara D. Kalasapudi
Bharati Seva Sadan Mr. Yogi Patel
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Dr. Viral Acharya


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Catalyst For Human Development provides a platform for those people who have a concern for sustainable
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 Scalingup Primary Education Services in Rural India
 Healthcare in India
 Water Management in 21st Century - Policy and Planning
 Food and Nutrition Through Value Addition to Agri Resources
 Scaling up Primary Health Services in Rural India
 Cross-Fertilization Needed Between Universities & Scientific Labs
 Balasakhi - A Village Voice
 NRI Pioneers - Catalytic Agents for Development


 Agenda For the Nation: An Approach
 Economic Reforms in India - The Unfinished Agenda
 A Villager's Agenda For a Healthy India
 Consumer Movement - An Agenda
 India's Development - Agenda for NRIs
 Stop Child Poverty
 Could Our Classrooms Shape India's Destiny
 Unscrupulous NGOs are Denting Movement


Scaling up Primary Education Services in Rural India
 Healthcare in India
 Water Management in 21st Century - Policy and Planning
 Food and Nutrition Through Value Addition to Agri Resources
 Scaling up Primary Health Services in Rural India
 Cross-Fertilization Needed Between Universities & Scientific Labs
 Balasakhi - A Village Voice
 NRI Pioneers - Catalytic Agents for Development


 Non-Resident Indians' contributions - Answering a Call to Action
 Eliminating Elephantiasis and Waterborne Diseases
 Association for India's Development - Improving Literacy in Rural India
 Leading India toward Millennium Development Goals
 How NRIs Can Help in Poverty Alleviation
 Is Mega Philanthropy Going to Make a Difference?
 Nobel Peace Prize 2006 - Muhammad Yunus
 Indian National Development Congress


Safe Drinking Water in Villages: A Step Towards Rural Transformation
 Water Wars: National Problems from a Regional Perspective
 Rain Centre in Chennai, India
 Get real, Coke: Water Rights Protest
 Promoting Effective Waste Management: The Clean Himalaya Initiative
 Examples of Social Contribution from IIT Madras Alumni
 Gravity Head Ensures a Green Plant and Sustainability: A Case Study of Gangtok City
 Sustasinable Rural Water Management - A Replicable Case Study


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Preface: Dr. Bhamy V. Shenoy ... 8

A Better Understanding of CSR : Ruby Thapar ... 9
Magic School Bus :
Evolving a CSR Model - The Bilt Forging Successful
Experience : Yashashree Gurjar ...11 Partnerships:
Toward CSR : Prabhudev Konana ... 15 Alison Adnitt 13

Inclusive Development As
Self-sustaining Business: P.V. Indiresan ...19

2007 CSR: Interesting Revelations

from a Survey ... 22 CSR to Society’s Advantage
or Corporates’ ?:
CSR: Two Exemplary Rajen Varada 17
Corporations: Sandhya Rawal ... 23
CSR: The Other Point Of View: Gurucharan Das ... 24
But...Tata Lays the Path ... 25
PM’s Word of Advice to Corporates ... 27 Corporate-backed
China Late in Joining World of CSR : Sha Yu ... 28 Community Enterprises
Unending Debate on CSR: A UNDP Report ... 29 Flourish in Southern India:
Muthu Velayudham 31
CSR Contact Database Grows Further ... 33
CSR Initiatives and Examples ... 34
Zulieben’s Success Story: Jayant Shroff ... 38

Non-Functioning MPs, Indifferent

Citizens: C.V . Madhukar ... 42 Yamuna River
Cleanup Effort ... :
Karmayog Plays Crucial Role In Resolving Subijoy Dutta 40
People’s Problems: Vinay Somani ... 43

Thanks to Infrasys
Kottapalayam is Out of the Dark: Murthy Sudhakar ... 45
FEC Initiative Building
Resource Alliance Helping NGOs in Business-Social
Developing Countries ... 48 Partnerships:
Venkatesh Raghavendra &
Unfortunate Fall of an NGO Titan: Malini Sekhar 46
Lessons to learn: Dr. Bhamy V. Shenoy ... 49
Pledge 2007 - An Evening for Child Rights ... 52
Premji a Crusader for Humane Society ... 54
Book Review ... 55
2007 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship ... 56 Rural Innovations:
Biodiversity for Development: Dr. K. Srinivasa Rao ... 58 A shining Example 51

HILE working on this issue of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), it became obvious
from the beginning that there is considerable variance in its interpretations and, as a re-
sult, in its implementation. While almost all the large Indian corporations and MNCs have
well defined CSR activities, medium and small companies have yet to imbibe the true spirit of CSR.
This is both because of the misunderstanding of CSR concept and their daily grind to survive in the
corruption–ridden inspection Raj.

There are some who think that merely generating maximum returns to the shareholders, while
complying with all the rules and regulations of the government, is the ultimate in fulfilling the
needs of responsible CSR activities. They think that applying corporate assets for solving social
problems rather than maximizing shareholder value is an act of irresponsibility. There are others
who think that private companies also have the responsibility of taking care of the poor and down-
trodden in their areas as well as protecting the environment while practising sustainable production
strategies. Who is right in the long term? Can we learn from the lessons of Shell in Nigeria or oil
companies in Bolivia who failed to observe the true spirit of CSR?

To a large extent, most of the CSR activities, whether by MNCs or domestic companies in India,
are influenced today by their counterparts in the developed world. This raises the fundamental
question of why they have failed to see the vastly different situation in India.

It is stating the obvious that when poverty, and that too grinding poverty, is the norm in India de-
spite all the sound bites on “India Shining”, can corporations be oblivious to this stark and unpleas-
ant fact. In the developed world, for most part, the system works with good governance and
reasonable level of public participation. But, in India we are a long way from good governance. De-
spite all the hype of vibrant democracy, it is only the tiny minority of the political class that take
part in solving the civic problems and that too for their own selfish ends. Under this widely different
scenario, why do companies with vast management resources and better knowledge of the system
dynamics simply ape the CSR paradigm of the developed countries?

Those companies, who want to contribute to India’s development through their investment in
highly controversial SEZs, are often perceived as ignoring the needs of the poor whose lands they
have taken over. Does paying market rates to their lands absolve them of the responsibility? Why
can’t they carry them as shareholders so that they can also be partners like other investors (in fact
they have risked their livelihood) and share their prosperity? A correct interpretation of CSR would
have helped these companies to adopt such a strategy to win over the poor.

When millions in India still remain functionally illiterate because of dysfunctional education system,
can companies pat themselves by announcing that they have contributed to starting some schools
or gave crores of rupees for scholarships or trained hundreds of teachers or donated thousands of
books? What we need is a revolutionary systemic change so that every child irrespective of accident
of birth has equal opportunity to have good schooling. An enlightened CSR should attempt to fol-
low the principle of teaching how to fish rather than just giving out a fish to overcome the imme-
diate hunger.

CSR should go beyond mere philanthropy especially in a country like India where people living
in below poverty level are more than 50%. It is not just spending some percentage of profits for
a social cause. Just like an individual living in a society cannot be concerned only with his self–in-
terest as described in Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, corporations cannot be indifferent to so-
cietal problems as suggested by Milton Friedman.
Dr. Bhamy V. Shenoy

A Better Understanding of
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility is not a subsidiary responsibility of a corporate body or an
option. Indeed it is very much a complementary responsibility or rather a compulsion of
any corporate body that aims to add value to it’s operations.

ORPORATE Social Responsibility, or CSR, as it is

C commonly referred to these days is rapidly becom-

ing a jargon. The phrase is on the brink of losing
the sheen of its nobility. Increasingly the oft-used-and-
Ruby Thapar earned her Masters
Degree in Child/Human Development
from the SNDT University, Mumbai
abused phrase CSR is being commoditised, not just in its and subsequently PG Diploma in
meaning but also in its concept. Business Management from XLRI,
Jamshedpur. Ruby Thapar is now the
What exactly is corporate social responsibility? Is it a pa- Group Head, CSR, at Vedanta
tronising way to salve a corporate guilt? Or is it a bejew- Resources plc. Prior to joining
eled crown that corporate houses need to wear for vanity? Vedanta Resources, Ruby worked in the arena of CSR
in academic capacity as a lecturer, as an implementing
Or is it truly a responsibility that is as indispensable for a
partner with an NGO and as strategic thinker with
corporate body as its responsibility to its shareholders?

A widely quoted definition by the World Business Council

for Sustainable Development states that "Corporate social
responsibility (CSR) is the continuing commitment by busi- about meeting the target of installing 5 tube wells or
ness to behave ethically and contribute to economic devel- cleaning the drains, it is about sustenance and growth. It
opment while improving the quality of life of the is as much about social responsibility as it is about making
workforce and their families as well as of the local com- a company more efficient. CSR is about improving the bot-
munity and society at large." tomline and maximizing returns to the stakeholders.

Community work A well-planned CSR programme, even with a short-term

It is important to distinguish CSR from charitable dona- impact, can have direct co-relations with the following op-
tions, "good works" and philanthropy. Corporations have erational aspects of an organisation.
often, in the past, spent money on community projects,
the endowment of scholarships, and the establishment of Human resources
foundations. They have also often encouraged their em- A CSR programme can be seen as an aid to recruitment
ployees to volunteer to take part in community work and and retention, particularly within the competitive graduate
thereby create goodwill in the community, which will di- student market. Potential recruits are increasingly likely to
rectly enhance the reputation of the company and ask about a firm's CSR policy during an interview and hav-
strengthen its brand. ing a comprehensive policy can give an advantage. CSR
can also help to build a "feel good" atmosphere among ex-
CSR goes beyond charity and requires that a responsible isting staff, particularly when they can become involved.
company take into full account its impact on all stakehold-
ers and on the environment when making decisions. This Brand differentiation: CSR can play a role in building cus-
requires the company to balance the needs of all stake- tomer loyalty based on distinctive ethical values. Several
holders with its need to make a profit and reward share- major brands, such as The Co-operative Group and The
holders adequately. Body Shop are built on ethical values. Closer home, the en-
tire Amul Story crafted by Dr. Kurien is a prime example of
In today’s networked corporate arena, Corporate Social corporate social responsibility that evolved into a profitable
Responsibility is not an option, it’s a compulsion. It is not business venture.
10 CSR

License to operate: Corporations are often set at a supranational level like the
keen to avoid interference in their busi- Kyoto Protocol. Some investors and in-
ness through taxation or regulations. By vestment fund managers have begun to
taking substantive voluntary steps they take account of a corporation’s CSR policy
can persuade governments and the in making investment decisions (so-called
wider public that they are taking current ethical investing).
issues like health and safety, diversity or
the environment seriously and so avoid Having said this, it is not something that
intervention. can be accomplished alone by any corpo-
ration. The need of the hour is neutral
Complimentary resposibility platforms of collaborations, interactions
The definition of CSR used within an and task-orientedness among NGOs, the
organisation can vary from the strict "stakeholder impacts" civil society, the government and the corporations to hasten
to include charitable efforts and volunteering. CSR may be the pace of social development in line with the economic
based within the human resources, business development reforms.
or PR departments of an organisation, or may be given a
What needs to be kept in mind about CSR is that it is not
separate unit reporting to the CEO or in some cases directly
a subsidiary responsibility of a corporate body. Indeed it is
to the board. Some companies may implement CSR-type
very much a complementary responsibility of any corporate
values without a clearly defined team or programme.
body that aims to add value to its operations. 
Today’s heightened interest in the role of businesses in
society has been promoted by increased sensitivity to and
awareness of environmental and ethical issues. In some (The views expressed here are of the author
countries government regulation regarding environmental and do not represent the views of
and social issues has increased. Standards and laws are Vedanta Resources plc)

Hyundai Motors India is Deeply Committed

to Corporate Social Responsibility
YUNDAI Motors India last year gifted 100 cars Elementary School and Government High School at

H to Chennai City Police. The company is now

donating furniture to needy schools across Tamil
Nadu as part of its community development pro-
Irungattukottai near Kanchipuram. To cover all schools
in the state, the company plans to distribute 10,000
furniture sets per year.
The Korean company, which has a manufacturing fa-
A study conducted recently by the Hyundai Motors cility in Irigattukottai for the past 10 years, has emerged
India Foundation has found as the country's second largest
that most schools in rural Tamil car manufacturer. To mark the
Nadu lacked good furniture. In success, the company dedicated
some schools, they found that Rs 100 per car sold for social
students sat on the floor for welfare programmes.
lack of furniture.
Hyundai is also undertaking
Hyundai Motors India pre- repair works of schools in a six
sented 350 desks and benches kilo meter radius of the Irigat-
in June, 2007 to the Panchayat tukottai plant. 
CSR 11

Evolving a Corporate Social Responsibility

Model - The Bilt Experience
Ballarpur Industries Limited (Bilt) CSR programmes reach out to 150 remote villages and 50
urban slums in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Mahrashtra and Haryana states, impacting the lives
of 2,00,000 people. Bilt partners with 12 local NGOs as implementers of the projects.
The programmes focus on the issue of livelihood creation with communities.

S the world moves towards globalization, companies

A worldwide are under pressure to ensure that their

products and process have minimum negative impact
on environment and people. Responsibly managing the com-
Yashashree Gurjar holds a
Masters Degree in Sociology, a Post
Graduate Diploma in Education,
both from Pune University, and an
pany’s manufacturing process, the back–end, the supply Executive MBA from the Asian
chain, and the front–end, marketing, is becoming increasingly Institute of Management in Manila,
important. Companies are not only putting such systems in Philippines.
place but they are auditing and reporting such activities vol- She started her career in the social development field in
untarily. Awareness is also on the rise within various stake- 1988 and worked ever since with the Government and a
holder groups about a company’s products and how they number of NGOs mainly in the areas of education, child
impact the environment and societies. rights and advocacy. In 1993, she joined Reliance
Industries Limited and initiated the CSR activities there.
Innovative contribution Later on she joined Rio Tinto India Ltd, a Multi-National
In India this trend is quickly catching up as demonstrated by mining company, and worked on rehabilitation and
re-settlement issues on their projects in Maharashtra,
many of the large companies beginning to include Corporate
Orissa and Rajasthan. She currently heads the CSR
Social Responsibility (CSR) in their business agenda. Industry
initiatives of Bilt as the Chief General Manager.
associations like CII and FICCI have also included CSR as
part of their agendas. There is increasing evidence to show
that companies that are high on such responsible behaviour The nineties brought in the era of economic liberalization.
are also high on the list of the most respected companies in Opening up the economy resulted in a number of opportu-
India. CSR is understood differently by different companies in nities, seen in the accelerated industrial and economic growth
India. Some perceive it as periodic donations to charity, others of the last decade. However, the focus on a market–driven
look at it as a strategic long term support to issues. Whatever economy has also contributed to the widening of the income,
definitions companies may use, the important underlying knowledge, and opportunity divides, pushing some sections
concern is the need to contribute to the vast development of people deeper into the abyss of poverty. One of the main
challenges that the country faces. reasons for this downward spiral is that the benefits of this ac-
celerated pace of development can not be accessed by every-
one equally.

In a vast country like India where large numbers still live

below one dollar per day, this problem is compounded by
the inability of the government systems to ensure reach of its
development programmes to the most marginalized living in
the remote areas of the country. This increasing divide is not
good news for the corporate sector simply because the larger
the number of people that get left out of development the
stronger the backward pull manifesting itself as shrinking
markets in future for the goods and services that the com-
panies produce, community unrest and aggression, inability
to get skilled labour etc.
12 CSR

The CSR agenda as outlined by the developed North does the correct people to do so as we did not have the adequate
not include these unique challenges. The global framework competencies required to handle development. We developed
and standards of CSR will therefore need to be continuously a model that included partnering with local NGOs to imple-
fine–tuned by CSR practioners in India to make them more ment long term projects based on the identified needs of the
relevant to the Indian context. The immense challenges that communities in the area.
the country faces vis-à-vis development impacts the way CSR
is perceived and implemented by companies in India. Issues Farm-based activities
like poverty, inadequate livelihood options, lack of quality ed- Some of the programmes that we have taken up to make
ucation and illiteracy and the challenges arising from these is- these people economically productive are vocational and skill
sues are what most companies have to deal with as part of training, providing loans to youth to set up micro enterprises
their daily operations. like carpentry units, motorcycle repairing units and units for
products outsourced from the company. The projects also con-
Therefore, CSR in India cannot be limited to being viewed centrate on expanding the scope of traditional farm-based ac-
as a way of doing good business or managing business tivities to those without education, to include commercial
processes well. It needs to go much be- vegetable farming, floriculture, provid-
yond business, to actively participate in ing improved variety of seeds and
helping resolve some of the above men- technical know how. Loans are also
tioned issues. Majority of the companies provided for off farm activities like
that include CSR in their agendas em- poultry, goat rearing, dairy and pisicul-
phasize addressing these issues through ture etc. These programmes gave the
their CSR programmes and practices. community a financial hold over their
The Indian CSR model has evolved over lives. Health and education are also an
the last few decades to give rise to some extremely important component of
innovative ways to address develop- the poverty alleviation programme in
ment issues. the pursuit of livelihood. The outreach
programme on health has reached
Partnership with NGOs more than 50,000 people in this year alone. Availability of
Ballarpur Industries Ltd (Bilt) is one of India’s leading paper health care at their doorstep lead to improved health status es-
companies in India and the market leader in the manufacture pecially among women and children. Trained health workers
of writing and printing paper. As a manufacturing company are now available in each village with basic medicine kits and
located in some of the most remote parts of the country Bilt safe delivery kits available with them all the time.
is faced with many of the previously mentioned challenges.
The communities living around these locations are poor and Informal education and bridge courses are provided to chil-
marginalized and have had limited access to opportunities for dren out of schools in the community. Bilt provides training to
development. In most cases Bilt is one of the only, business selected youth from a village to conduct these classes. Today,
entities in the area. Bilt as part of CSR is empowering local communities so that
they can play a constructive role in their own development
In remote areas the avenues for income generation are lim- thus decreasing their dependence on the company. It also en-
ited and the focus of people becomes industry related em- courages employee prevention volunteerism. Through
ployment. Expectations from people all around are generally HIV/Aids prevention activities and other health interventions
high; however since a company cannot fulfil all these expec- it tries to create a healthy workplace. Internal monitoring and
tations, even some of the positive social impacts of it being in reporting mechanisms are in place and are an important part
the area, like availability of jobs, get diluted due to the limited of this process. Bilt also developed a participatory monitoring
numbers in which they are generated and the vast majority of system wherein the participating stakeholders are part of the
people desirous of accessing them. This results in dissatisfac- review systems.
tion among people in the area and a worsening of the rela-
tionship with communities. These efforts lead to the development of a holistic CSR
model that is based on a win-win partnership. It is working for
Over the last few years Bilt realised that sporadic inputs in Bilt and is bringing returns in terms of better relations with
an area are not adequate to address the issues brought about communities, governments, NGO’s and civil societies besides
by decades of it being left out of the mainstream develop- meeting the needs of the stakeholders in a sustainable
ment. Although we decided to address the issue in a system- manner. 
atic way with a long term focus, we realised that we were not
CSR 13

Magic School Bus:

Forging Successful Partnerships
For Magic Bus, raising awareness in privileged communities of the potential of
our children is extremely important for the social inclusion element of our work.
Corporate social responsibility is certainly not just about writing a cheque.

CSR and beyond…

I remember meeting one of the senior members of Nike’s Alison Adnitt joined Magic Bus
philanthropy team last year who said to me – he never from Christie’s Fine Art
wants to receive another funding proposal that arrives on Auctioneers, where she worked for
his desk with a cover page that reads: Just do it….. six years as a senior specialist in
with….(a very worthy community based children’s project British and Anglo-Indian Art.
no doubt)……I made a mental note to self: ‘change cover She has an MA Joint Honours in
page of pending Magic Bus proposal to Nike…..’ History of Art and German from
Edinburgh University and Berlin
Admittedly, it is a little obvious…. “Think global, act local Freie Universität. Before moving to India, she
– the HSBC Magic Bus partnership”, “Where vision gets volunteered for Magic Bus as a fundraiser in the UK
built: the Lehman Brothers Magic Bus partnership”, but and has worked as Operations Director in Mumbai
what it stands for is an aligning of vision. The intention to since October 2002 before moving into her
current role looking at partnerships and strategic
enter into a partnership with the business, where risk and
development. She has just completed a post-graduate
benefits are shared, rather than an old fashioned
diploma at Cambridge University in Cross-Sector
donor/charity relationship. The gesture of reiterating a Partnerships and has worked on a number of CSR
companies’ strap line on the front of your proposal is per- relationships with leading MNCs, such as Lehman
haps a little obvious, but researching a potential partner and Brothers, KPMG, GE and HSBC.
understanding how your project can benefit their business
objectives is very important and makes for a far more suc-
cessful project. to forge lasting partnerships where a company’s financial
commitment is matched by us with a commitment to deliver
Resource requirements a rewarding staff engagement programme and communica-
Since its inception, mobilising local funding has been tion strategy.
Magic Bus’s objective and we have seen the engagement
with local businesses rather than trusts, as providing us with A typical Magic Bus partnership with a business involves
the most sustainable solution to our resource requirements. a commitment to sponsor a particular group of children,
Admittedly, we school or institution. Over the year, staff from that company
sourced fund- would join for sports days, events, learning and develop-
ing overseas to ment camps at our centre and in staff-organised fundraising
meet the initial drives such as running in the Mumbai marathon. Managers
demand of our and HR teams have reported to us that their staff have ben-
setup costs, efited from what they have learnt alongside our children in
curriculum de- terms of leadership, communication skills and general out-
velopment look on life. There is no doubt that a highly engaging com-
phase and cap- munity project delivers a business benefit in terms of staff
ital investment. development, reward and retention.
But from the
beginning we Magic Bus has always seen its corporate donors as
worked hard partners, even if in the early days the feeling wasn’t
14 CSR

mutual ! Our long standing partners, Indian Advisory Corporate training

Partners, GE, HSBC, JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, and But this is not where it ends. Imagine if you could
Deutsche Bank are, however, certainly of the opinion that know that your company is supporting a child develop-
they have benefited from the communication to the ment programme through the purchase of something
community and their stakeholders of the partnership and you already have in your annual HR budget? The Magic
most importantly a vibrant staff engagement programme Bus partnership with businesses is going one step further
with our children. and our philanthropy partners will also become our
clients. In a social enterprise model, Magic Bus set up an
Community youth organisation-owned revenue project to offer corporate
This model will always remain important to us. How- training to its partners. Over the last 4 years we raised
ever, in the future it will be community youth coming in the funds to buy over 20 acres of land in the hills outside
to renew the annual partnership rather than the fundrais- Mumbai built a state–of–the–art outdoor learning and
ing director, as Magic Bus turns over the responsibility of development centre complete with an international chal-
its programme to the graduates from each community. lenge course, water sports facilities, football pitch, and
Imagine when Pooja, a 21 year old rescued street girl, obstacle course. The centre is packed with Magic Bus
children during
certain seasons of
the year. But
even when the
children are
there, the centre
is so expansive
that we can offer
an extremely
high quality of
corporate team
building and
leadership devel-
opment pro-
g r a m m e s

With the cur-

rent shining
economy in India,
The 9% GDP
growth last year
and the opening
and now a Magic Bus coach, comes in to ask for a grant up of international investment, companies’ greatest
of $6,000 to deliver her programme to over 300 children, problems lie in the recruitment and retention of staff. As
I am convinced that community affairs managers will find a result, the training market is thriving and is yet not
it difficult to say no. Whereas saying no to one of a long very sophisticated. Corporate Social Responsibility has
line of fundraising directors like me, is much easier! never been so key, with companies required not to just
comply with environmental, human resource and com-
Magic Bus seeks social sustainability for its pro- munity development best practices but to exceed it in
grammes and hence the project has to become commu- the competition to offer the best to customers and at-
nity-owned. A Magic Bus coach might decide to fund tract the best staff.
his or her programme through an affordable joining fee
from the children or from conducting private coaching in For us the growing desire of the business community
the evenings for a local corporate partners’ children. to excel at corporate social responsibility is a major con-
Whatever happens, it will be community-driven and lo- tributor to our sustainability and long may it last. 
cally supported, and our partnerships with businesses
will remain crucial.
CSR 15

Toward Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR has much broader implications for the nation as a whole. It reduces dependency on
the government for social change. Most governmental programmes quickly become
embroiled in political, administrative, and communal wrangles. There is a need for
public-private partnership for the best use of the available resources.

ARIVEDA Solutions in Dallas, Texas, USA is a firm

P that takes corporate social responsibility seriously.

One of my students and a current hire for the com-
pany, steven Huan, writes as follows:
Prabhudev Konana is a
Distinguished Teaching Professor
at the University of Texas at
Austin. He received his PhD in
Information Management from the
"Pariveda is a three–year–old company that prides itself University of Arizona. He has
on team work and helping one another out. In fact, that published over 70 articles in
even the lowest paid employees in the company are within journals, magazines, conferences
the top 1% of wage-earners on the planet teaches us how and newspapers. His articles on economic and social
important it is to share what we have with everyone else. issues have appeared in The Hindu. He has numerous
Service to the community is not an option but rather a re- teaching and research awards including the NSF
CAREER Award. He is one of the co-founders of Pragathi,
quirement of the company and there is a direct relationship
a non-profit organization to support elementary
between salary (or more directly location on the organisa-
education in India.
tional ladder) and the amount of service hours required.
Therefore, the senior partners have to do the most amount
of service. and Dr. Reddy's Laboratory, have taken a keen interest in
corporate activism to improve healthcare, education, and
Corporate activism living conditions, and reduce poverty. These foundations
“I went to meet my company executives and new co- support numerous government primary schools and have
workers as part of Habitat for Humanity build day developed processes and methodologies for effective
event...I realised that I hadn't seen the president of the change. They support hundreds of non-governmental or-
company since I got there. Eventually I found him, in the ganisations and have built orphanages, hospitals, and
rafters of the house, hammering away, drenched in sweat. schools.
This 50+year old person wasn't telling anybody what to
do. He took the initiative and, without saying a word, had Challenges
people working with him because he was working harder However, the challenges in India are enormous. Social
than anyone else around him. This was a man who people responsibility should not be limited to large successful cor-
wanted to work with.” porations; there should be greater participation from most
small, medium, and large businesses. The goodwill that
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organisation of vol- firms can generate from acts of social responsibility may, in
unteers engaged in building affordable housing for the fact, be worth far more to the businesses than the amounts
needy. This e-mail articulates the need for corporate so- they give. Corporations collectively can make India a better
cial responsibility (CSR), even while the firm's main ob- place to live.
jective is to increase shareholder value. The Pariveda
executives are great role models for the new recruits. This Corporate social responsibility is about tradition and cul-
corporate activism is acceptable, sustainable, and valuable ture. Firms can institutionalise voluntarism among employ-
as a change agent, particularly in the context of India. So- ees through appropriate incentives and recognition.
cial reforms driven by the community will bring people Internal performance evaluation of employees could
together, turn the attention of the masses to tasks that recognise community work. Community work can be of
benefit society, and reinforce peace and harmony. many forms: teaching in government schools, supporting
NGOs financially, empowering women, cleaning parks,
In recent times, a number of foundations set up by planting trees, volunteering in orphanages, protecting the
leading Indian firms, including Infosys, Wipro, Tatas, TVS, abused. Many corporations in America allow employees
16 CSR

to write about their community service as part of their an- Inculcating corporate social responsibility is also about
nual evaluation report. Even if companies do not reward training young minds and helping future generations or-
community activities, at least, the idea that the company ganise themselves for greater good. Social responsibility
cares will have a positive impact. needs to be deeply ingrained from childhood. In America,
increasingly admission to elite private and public universities
Creating Demand is not only based on academic grades, but also participation
Corporate social responsibility can be much more than in community activities and leadership roles. Social respon-
charity. An innovative way to contribute socially is for sibility is about leadership, respect for fellow human beings,
firms to spend in towns and villages, and to buy products and checks and balances. It is not uncommon to find high
from millions of artisans who are at the bottom of the school students volunteering in community work. Scholar-
economic pyramid. ‘Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyra- ships are awarded to those who show community leader-
mid’ (Author: C. K. Prahalad) calls for corporations to ship and academic performance.
design products/services for the enormous population at
the bottom of the pyramid. The basic assumption is that Change needed
this population segment has some disposable income and Unfortunately, in India, admissions to even some of the
firms can still make profits on large volume. Why not best institutions are purely based on performance in en-
consider creating wealth at the bottom of the pyramid, trance exams. Worse, entering the civil services is also
which can increase disposable in- about securing high grades in ac-
come and buying power? ademic subjects. Thus, parents
and young minds are focussed in-
For example, firms can give arti- tently on examinations and exam-
sans' products as corporate gifts inations alone. Obviously, the next
or use them for interior decora- generation is groomed likewise. To
tion, which may have socially break this cycle, there needs to be
more redeemable value than cur- a radical change in the incentive
rent methods. If there are quality structure in the educational sys-
issues, then corporations can use tem, and admission and hiring
their resources to increase quality process. Consideration must be
awareness among artisans. Un- given not only to grades, but also
fortunately, the above roles to create demand and im- to leadership roles and societal impact; these may have
prove quality rest on the government and the resources greater value to corporations and society.
spent for such activity hardly reach the intended benefi-
ciaries. Throughout my schooling not once did I engage in social
or charity activity. There were hardly any role models at the
Building facilities faculty level or friends to look beyond classroom/books.
Further, corporate spending outside large cities can My engineering institution in India never promoted societal
help spread wealth. Large corporations can exploit hun- responsibilities. Contrast this with the UT-Austin, which ac-
dreds of historical places in rural towns and villages for tively supports and nurtures over 900-plus student-led or-
corporate training, conferences, and getaways. Of ganisations under the "Student Activities and Leadership
course, innovative ways are needed to create decent Development" (SALD) programme. Likewise, high schools
hotels, restaurants, and basic amenities outside major engage with a large number of student-led organisations.
cities. The Indian Government has championed building While not all these organisations are about social work,
hotels to promote tourism. However, the initiatives are many explicitly create awareness of leadership qualities and
riddled with inefficiencies, poor service, and wasted re- social responsibility.
sources. Private entities with support from several cor-
porations can collectively build facilities on a Every country should embrace the remarkable concept
time-sharing basis that will help invigorate economic of individuals and businesses forming a partnership to sup-
activity. It is necessary to create jobs and economic ac- port social causes. In the context of India, such a partner-
tivity in rural communities to uplift the masses. Unless ship has enormous potential for strengthening society. 
wealthy corporations and individuals spend on goods
and services that touch the masses (like artisans' prod-
ucts), economic prosperity for most of the population
will remain a dream. (The article was originally published in The Hindu)
CSR 17

Corporate Social Responsibility to

Society’s Advantage or Corporates’?
Seemingly good corporates have claimed that the work of an NGO has
been because of their support.
HERE are two sides to the Corporate Social Responsi-

T bility (CSR) coin. Many corporate companies see CSR

as an opportunity to boost the brand image of their
companies, The attitude is, let us partner with an NGO and
Rajen Varada is the founding member of Technology
For The People (TFTP), an NGO based in south India,
that works towards providing IT based livelihood
options for deprived and marginalized communities.
use the partnership to build the image of the company. In
Prior to dedicating himself fully to TFTP, he was an ICT
this endeavour, they spend more time on promotional activ-
consultant to UNICEF, Hyderabad, India. He has
ities which are well publicised. The company’s commitment
designed and managed the development of the ICT
starts and ends at that.
package for health called “Sisu Samrakshak”, which
won the 2005 Manthan award and the World Summit
There are cases where companies have promised comput- award in e-health. He has also designed modules on
ers, the NGO discovered that they have been palmed off HIV/AIDS using ICT for Indian rural communities.
with e-waste; a very smart move where the company is con-
cerned as they build brand image while getting rid of their
waste. The NGO is then stuck with the costs of trying to sides of the CSR coin and decided not to be a part of the CSR
make the computers work. There are many such stories and projects at all. So how can NGOs work with the corporate
I feel if a study is done, a lot of dirt would be dug up and sector?
many large companies will find holes in the citadels of their
character. TFTP looks at developing business partnerships with com-
panies so that programs are more sustainable. This involves
Adding values studying companies’ work flows and if the communities we
On the other side, there are companies who have real com- work with can be trained to fit into those work spaces. We
mitment and look beyond the CSR idea to add value to soci- jointly develop training programs so that the community
ety. They support blood donation camps, eye testing camps, meets industry standards and further partners with the com-
etc. However these are all limited to the extent of the budget pany to see if the work flows can be outsourced into the com-
available to the CSR unit. munity itself. In this process we have developed an “Industry
Mapping Method” where we can now map the industry re-
Technology For The People (TFTP) has experienced both quirements and the skills available with the community.

The following is a case study of our intervention in the old city

of Hyderabad where such an exercise has been undertaken.

We are now partnering with other companies who have seen
what can be done and are looking for a win-win situation.

This kind of partnerships between NGOs and companies, I

believe, is the way CSR should evolve, enabling ways which
can help industry address problems of attrition and work
flows will go a long way in making the community initiatives
more sustainable. Companies, in turn, will gain with more
loyal work forces and resource pools of persons from the
18 CSR

Collaboration with Industry: a Crucial Link dard exams along with livelihood training in animation.
In the animation industry, while the investment in Students with different grades of skills are identified and
human resources is high, turnover of trained personnel is TFTP, in liaison with Star Features, conducts a training
also high, which affects business plans of the firms. Cre- module on animation to suit their levels of learning. The
ating skilled artists is advantages as they can serve as a course starts with basic drawing skills and progresses to
reserve pool of personnel with more stability in employ- converting the hand movement techniques from mehendi
ment. to animation.

TFTP partnered with Star Features Studio to develop After completing the six months course, internships are
the training methodology for conversion of the traditional organised in Star Features as an extension of the regular
craftspeople into animation artists. Star Features is an In- classes, so that a smooth transfer to the new employment
dian Firm involved in developing animation series in the is facilitated. Inputs on personality development, commu-
area of education. While this collaboration will address nication, and spoken English are also incorporated in the
the issue of high turnover of artists, trained people from curriculum so that the students are empowered for this
this initiative will be employed in the existing market by transition in their lives.
the studio. Towards this, the studio is willing to outsource
its work to young trained people. Adolescent girls, who dropped out of school and earn a
meagre income by way of helping their mothers in hand-
TFTP established resource centres in five locations in embroidery and mehendi-designing during wedding sea-
parts of the old city of Hyderabad to provide education sons, are now full time graphic and animation artists for
and livelihood alternatives for adolescent girls who are Star Features, an animation studio in the city of Hyder-
vulnerable to early marriages and other exploitative forms abad. 
of labour. Students are prepared to appear for the X Stan-

Bharti Group To open

1,000 Schools In 5 Yrs
HE Bharti Foundation and its associates will soon open

T 1,000 primary schools in villages across India with an in-

vestment of Rs 200 crore. According to Rakesh Bharti
Mittal, vice-chairman and managing director of Bharti group,
the aim is to help the needy children who drop out of school
without completing their school education due to family cir-

The group already opened 200 primary schools under the

banner of "Satya Bharti School" in different states in the coun-
try.The target is to establish 1,000 schools in 5 years. The
Bharti Foundation is running eight schools in Ludhiana district,
in association with the Punjab School Education Board. Mittal
said that Nehru Siddhant Kendra Trust, Ludhiana, will finance
the entire schooling of 10 percent students at the Sat Paul Mit-
tal School, so that meritorious students of low and medium
income groups may get the opportunity to study in a good
public school. 
CSR 19

Inclusive Development as
Self-sustaining Business

Inclusive development model should interest businesses for their schemes of

corporate social responsibility: Instead of providing charity, businesses could
support no-loss, no-profit exercises of far larger magnitude, and enjoy
greater goodwill than through smaller charities.

number of hospitals in India, starting with the ven-

A erable Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore,

offer highly expensive services, like heart opera-
tions, free to poor patients. Inclusion of the poor, irrespec-
Professor P.V. Indiresan has
taught in the IITs for forty years.
He has been Director of IIT
Madras and was also the Past
tive of their origin, demonstrated by hospitals like CMC, President of the Indian National
Vellore, Narayana Hridayalaya in Bangalore and Kolkata, L Academy of Engineering, and also
of the Institution of Electronics
V Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad (to name a few) pro-
and Telecommunication
vides the basis for devising a generalised model of inclu- Engineers. He is one of the
sive development. two-dozen Honorary Members of
the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers,
This model should interest businesses for their schemes USA, among whom a dozen are Nobel Prize winners. He
has been awarded the Padma Bhushan and his students
of corporate social responsibility. Instead of providing have built a hostel in his name at IIT Delhi. He writes on
charity, businesses could support no-loss, no-profit exer- alternate Mondays in the Hindu Businessline.
cises of far larger magnitude, and enjoy greater goodwill
than smaller charities will. These schemes will also en-
hance the economic status of the community, increase That person is not going to give us the money. So we tell
purchasing power and indirectly enhance their main busi- him that we are going to operate on this child and offer
ness. our services free. Can you help us do it? This has worked.
A lot of people have given money.
In an interview, Dr. Devi Shetty of Narayana Hridayalaya
emphasised the salient philosophy of his inclusive move- Dr Devi Shetty’s hospital, with 75, or even 50% treat-
ment: ment devoted to the poor, is an extreme case. The CMC
boasts of three classes of services that may be roughly de-
If I am given a choice I would like to treat only the poor scribed as cost-plus, cost-equal and cost-minus categories.
patients. But unfortunately the economic reality will not The cost-plus category offers luxurious non-medical facil-
allow me to do that. So instead what we do is, offer 25% ities like special wards and cross subsidises poor patients
of the beds for the rich people and 75% we leave for the who get lower non-medical facilities (general wards) but
poor. (In the new 5000-bed hospital he is constructing in same medical treatment.
Kolkata, share of the poor is 50%.)
Different services
Intermediary job We may generalise the idea by postulating a hospital
In this society there are a large number of people who that operates as a non-profit company and provides four
need help but do not know where help will be available. classes of service:
And there are a good number of people with money with (a) The poorest who get all treatment free
the intention to help but don't know who requires it. We (b) The less poor who pay only for medicines
do that intermediary job. We are the brokers between those (c) The normal group who pay both for medicines
who need and those who have. If we tell people that we are and labour costs
going to charge one-and-a half lakh rupees for an opera- (d) The rich who are charged interest and deprecia
tion, can you give us Rs 30,000? Does it make any sense? tion costs also. In addition, they make a
20 CSR

contribution to a Charity Fund run by a separate trust. or as a non-profit company. When run as a society, the
management runs the risk of being captured by pressure
The Charity Trust (which may receive contributions from groups. Several societies, which started with noble inten-
non-patients too) meets the costs of treating the poor and tions, are known to have been politicised. Operating as a
subsidises the treatment of the second category. Those trust, the institution faces less risk of take-over but can
contributions will enjoy tax benefits. To the extent the suffer from inbreeding. Functioning as a non-profit com-
state offers tax rebates, it shares the cost of treating the pany has two advantages: One, power is distributed ac-
poor in a private hospital. cording to the financial contribution made. Two, its
accounting standards will be high and transparent.
As a non-profit company, the hospital may be allowed to
issue bonds that get the same tax benefits as infrastructure This process may be extended to education, public
bonds enjoy. Such tax rebates are better than either gov- transport and even dwellings. In the case of schools, we
can consider three classes:
Full fees in regular hours;
marginal fees in evening
classes and free tuition
over weekends. Alter-
nately, we can ask (or es-
timate) at the time of
admission what each stu-
dent will be willing to pay.
An admission test is then
held on a need-blind
basis. The merit list and
the fees list can then be
combined to meet the re-
quired income to run the
school with a maximum of
meritorious students.
Harvard operates its ad-
missions in this manner
and has been able to
maintain high standards
of admission for over a
century. The system also
attracts charitable endowments.
ernment subsidies or the government itself operating the
facilities: One, subsidies are subject to political whims of In the case of public transport, we can have, in every
the moment; they are not always objective. Two, when vehicle, a section with standing passengers only where
the government itself runs the institutions, more often fares are nominal or even free. Alternately, no fares may
than not, efficiency suffers. It also becomes difficult to at- be charged during off-peak hours and the number of serv-
tract charity. ices that can be operated during peak hours may be deter-
mined by the number of services operated free during
Tax rebates off-peak hours.
Tax rebates avoid these problems. The sacrifice the gov-
ernment makes in tax collections will be a fraction of the Supply in excess
costs it would have incurred if it had provided the same In the case of dwellings, cost of land is the primary prob-
social services, which, normally is its duty. In other words, lem, not the cost of construction. Typically, the poor oc-
these tax rebates formalise the financial shares of a Pub- cupy a third of the average space. The bottom 30 per cent
lic-Private Partnership in a transparent, non-selective man- needs only ten per cent of the total dwelling space, at the-
ner. most 15 per cent. Many town planners do make such a
provision and yet slums proliferate. It happens because
In general, the hospital can be run as a society, as a trust supply is kept less than the demand.
CSR 21

India will need another 200 million dwellings. In- rich will go elsewhere taking their surplus and their
stead of waiting for shortages to develop, and then, charities with them. Politicians rarely appreciate the
organising residential plots, suppose the supply is al- importance of maintaining quality. When money is
ways kept in excess of demand. Then, the poor will scarce, they should improve quality; they should start
not be short-changed so long as their due share of 10- attracting more and more paying customers. Unfor-
15 per cent space is kept open for them. tunately, those who talk of inclusive development al-
most never appreciate this counter-intuitive argument.
Basically, all these systems operate with separate Come budget crunch, they sacrifice quality, lose pay-
supply-demand schedules for different categories of ing customers and set off an unstoppable downward
customers. They operate with one schedule where full spiral. It is no accident that all self-supporting institu-
costs are charged, and a separate one at the lower tions that help the poor, like the CMC, Narayana Hri-
marginal cost. They are effective where economy of dayaylaya, or Harvard University, offer world class
scale applies but not after the Law of Diminishing Re- service.
turns sets in. In brief, inclusive development is not charity; it is
self-sustaining business. 
It is not obvious, but vital, that institutions of this
type must offer world-class service: If they do not, the

The Indian media is surely one of the biggest and most comprehensive of any in the world. The print media
alone consists of over 2,00,000 newspapers and magazines, published in a wide range of Indian languages
and in English. The rise of the regional media matches the economic growth of some of the key regions.

INEPNEXT, the only news agency focusing on EU-India relations, has chosen to work with a media company
based in Kolkata, home to some of the country’s oldest English and Indian language newspapers.
INEPNEXT is a joint venture between the India News in Europe Programme (INEP) and the Kolkata-based
'Brand Next" media organisation. Its aim is to provide detailed information and analysis of EU-India relations
on trade, the economy, science and technology, culture or politics. from Brussels, the home of key EU
institutions and the world's largest news centre.
INEPNEXT aims, in short, to raise the profile of two of the world’s leading soft powers – India and the 27-
nation European Union.
INEPNEXT prepares regular news reports, interviews and analyses for Indian news outlets; it will also
disseminate news and information from India for news outlets in Europe.
INEPNEXT will also be looking at the EU's ties with India’s neighbours : Bangladesh, Pakistan , Nepal and
Sri Lanka and regularly reporting on the activities of the Indian Diaspora in Europe.

For further information, and for a two-week free subscription, please contact:

Brussels office: Kolkata office:

IPC, Residence Palace, Block C, Room Nr. 02256 FD-121, Salt Lake CityRue de la Loi, 155
1040 Brussels, Belgium Kolkata-700091, West Bengal, India
Tel : 00322-235 22 13 Tel : 009133 - 64175987
www.inepnext. com
22 CSR

2007 Corporate Social Responsibility:

Interesting Revelations from a Survey
On CSR, an analytical study was made by ten professional survey groups of global fame
in seven countries including India and China. A Pilot Study revealed variations in
the sizes of participation between countries, some following informal
CSR policies, and others not having any policy at all.
N Corporate Social Responsibility, an analytical izations (69%) to participate in corporate social

O study was made by ten professional survey

groups on global fame in seven countries includ-
ing India and China. Called “A Pilot Study”, it brought
responsibility practices.

Organisations that participated in corporate social re-

out some interesting revelations, such as vast variations sponsibility demonstrated their commitment to such
in the sizes of participation between countries, some fol- practices to their stakeholders. About two out of three
lowing informal CSR policies, and others not having any HR professionals across each of the surveyed countries
policy at all. reported that their organisations documented corporate
social responsibility efforts in their newsletters and/or
Although four out of five human resource (HR) profes- other publications. Additionally, more than one-half of
sionals across seven countries including India and China, HR professionals from each of the seven countries that
reported that their organizations partici- participated in the pilot study indicated
pated in practices that could be consid- that their organizations’ commitment to
ered as corporate social responsibility, corporate social responsibility was inte-
smaller proportions from each of the grated with their organisational business
countries reported that their organiza- strategy through inclusion in the organi-
tions had either formal or informal cor- sations’ goals and/or mission.
porate social responsibility policies.
Different practices
Most organizations without corporate HR professionals employed by
social responsibility policies did not in- medium organizations (94%) in
tend to create them. The exception, China were more likely than those
among other nations, was China’s plan employed by small organizations
to create corporate social responsibility (59%) to report that their organiza-
policies. tions participated in practices that
could be considered as corporate so-
Participation cial responsibility.
The proportions of HR professionals
who reported that their organisations participated in se- There are a number of possible explanations for why
lected corporate social responsibility practices and activ- rates of participation in corporate social responsibility
ities varied greatly. Participation in select corporate social practices differ among countries, including availability
responsibility practices was found to vary within countries of financial resources, issues of work/ life balance and
according to organizational staff size, indicating that cultural factors. However, despite the differences in re-
availability of resources may affect the types of corporate ported participation percentages, it is worth noting
social responsibility practices in which organisations en- that the two most frequently reported corporate social
gage. responsibility practices—donating/collecting money
for local charities and donating/collecting money for
According to respondents in India, large organi- natural disasters—were the same for five out of seven
zations (96%) were more likely than small organ- countries. 

(The ten survey groups which carried out the study were SHRM, AHRI, NHRDN,
CSR 23

Corporate Social Responsibility:

Two Exemplary Corporations
CEMEX and GE proved beyond doubt that it is possible to run profitable companies while being
accountable to the community and environment.

ORPORATE Social Responsibility (CSR) is the concept

C that points to organizations having an obligation to

shareholders, customers, employees, communities,
and ecology in every aspect of the operation. It covers all as-
Sandhya Rawal is a rising
senior at the Bergen County
Academies in the Global
Leadership Exchange, a
pects of an organization’s operations and can be divided into program focusing on leadership
daily operations – diversity, community relations, litigation, and biotechnology. Sandhya
moral righteousness, diversity, patriotism, environmental sus- plans to pursue these interests
in college. She enjoys writing,
tainability, and much more. reading, bioresearch, volunteer
work, and dance.
A few accreditation groups came together to form the In-
ternational Social and Environmental Accreditation and La-
beling (ISEAL), which sets voluntary international standards do-it-yourself home building business that dominated Mex-
and ensures that these social and environmental standards ico. The company sent a team of managers to live in the
are widely recognized. neighborhoods where the build-it-yourself approach was
ISEAL Members follow the ISEAL Code of Good Practice popular, in order to take a walk in the shoes of the potential
for Setting Social and Environmental Standards. The groups customers. This exchange resulted in Patrimonio Hoy, a
include the Social Accountability International (SAI), the For- CEMEX program that makes credit and materials available to
est Stewardship Council, the International Federation of Or- poor, while also offering their expertise to optimize space,
ganic Agriculture, the Dutch Max Havelaar Foundation, and build safely, efficiently, and with little waste or harm done.
FairTrade. There has been an attempt by the United Nations The members of CEMEX took less than a third of the time
to make CSR a global phenomenon by launching The Global the average homebuilder in their area takes. The members
Compact in July 2000. The principles of the Global Compact also used materials more efficiently due to the advice they
address human rights, labor standards, environmental re- received from the program.
sponsibility and corruption include:
A current and pressing environmental
 Businesses should support and respect the protection of issue is global warming. In 2005, Gen-
internationally proclaimed human rights eral Electric announced its greenhouse
 They should make sure that they are not complicit in gas and energy use goals in an agree-
human rights abuses ment with the U.S. Environmental Pro-
 They should uphold the elimination of all forms of forced tection Agency (EPA). The 2002 decision
and compulsory labor to remove PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls)-containing sed-
 They should uphold the effective abolition of child labor iments, a major contributor to toxic waste, from the Upper
 They should uphold the elimination of discrimination in Hudson River was the motivation for the deal. In this man-
respect to employment and occupation ner, General Electric (GE) achieved the best performance on
 Businesses should support a precautionary approach to air exceedances ever. (An air exceedance is overstepping the
environmental challenges limit on air pollutants emitted without a required permit.) In
 Businesses should work against all forms of corruption, in- 2004 and 2005, GE reduced more than 250,000 tons of
cluding extortion and bribery green house gas emissions, the equivalent of removing
nearly 50,000 cars from the road, resulting in US $14 million
CEMEX is one of the world’s in annual energy cost savings. 
largest cement companies.
CEMEX decided to study the
24 CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility:

The Other Point of View
Glib talk about CSR reflects our prejudice against business... A company’s social responsibility
is to make profits legally...Companies should focus single-mindedly on their competence,
providing better goods and services than their competitors.

MUCH admired lady, who was raising funds for

A her NGO, once asked me what I did for a living. I

told her that I worked for a company. “Oh, but
what do you really do—I mean for society?” she said. I
Gurcharan Das is an author and
management consultant.
In 1995, after a 30-year career in
6 countries, he took an early
became defensive and began to recount some of our phil- retirement to become a full-time
anthropic activities. ‘Is that all!’ thundered the eminence writer. He writes a regular Sunday
grise. CSR has become a buzz word these days, and one column for the “Times of India” and
newspaper even has a CSR reporter. But why is it that “Dainik Bhaskar” and occasional
something so worthy and high-minded leaves me uneasy? guest columns for the “Wall Street Journal,” “Financial
Times” and “Time” magazine. He graduated with honors
I think it is because companies have no business engaging
from Harvard University in Philosophy and Politics.
in philanthropy and businessmen don’t value more what
they do.
ceived from Tata companies. CSR should thus be relabelled
“The social responsibility of business is to make a profit,” ISR, Individual Social Responsibility, and each of us ought
famously said Milton Friedman, a Nobel Prize winner. He to feel the need to give back.
explained that in making a profit a company creates thou- This is fine in theory, but the reality is that few Indians
sands of jobs, both directly and indirectly through suppli- feel the philanthropic urge, which emerges it seems at a
ers, distributors and retailers. It imparts valuable skills to its later stage of capitalism. In order that the few sources of
employees. It pays crores in taxes. It improves the lives of present funding don’t dry up, we cannot allow corporate
millions of satisfied customers with its products and serv- funding to cease. We can ensure its legitimacy if companies
ices. This is an enormous service to society. If some share- fix rigorous criteria for giving. Corporate philanthropy must
holders get rich along the way, so what? Companies enhance company profits, strengthening the brand or pro-
should focus single-mindedly on their competence, pro- moting goodwill in the community.
viding goods and services better than their competitors,
and not get distracted by extraneous activity. A company’s Glib talk about CSR reflects our prejudice against busi-
social responsibility is to make profits legally, not to harm ness. Adam Smith wrote in his Theory of Moral Senti-
nature, and uphold the highest standards of governance. ments that he didn’t much care for those who spent their
lives chasing “baubles and trinkets”, but he was “im-
Promoting goodwill mensely grateful that such creatures abounded for
Yet, I intensely admire individuals who engage the whole of civilisation, and the welfare of all
in philanthropy. I was deeply moved by Warren societies depended on people’s desire and
Buffet’s selfless gesture when he gave away all ability to accumulate unneeded capital
his wealth to the Bill Gates’ foundation. I agree and show off their wealth. Indeed, it…first
with Andrew Carnegie that to die rich is to die prompted men to cultivate the ground, to
disgraced. If it is immoral to spend the company’s build houses, to found cities and common-
money, it is businessmen’s duty to spend their own wealths and to invent all the sciences and arts
money on charity (from after-tax profits). It is a theft which ennoble and embellish human life.” I think busi-
against Reliance’s shareholders if Reliance Indus- nessmen, in particular, need to understand this and
tries builds a hospital, but it is Mukesh Ambani’s not get defensive about what they do. 
duty to do so. Hence, Tatas do their charity
work through their trusts, from dividends re-
CSR 25

But...Tata Lays The Path

The Tata Group’s Jamshedpur social experiment is a laudable example of corporate social
responsibility . Tata Steel pays full health and education expenses for all employees
and runs schools and a 1000-bed hospital in, and around the steel town.

ATA is a window into the M.B.A.s, have all read about Welch, and dismiss many of

T rise of India. While that

rise is often traced to free-
market reforms that began in
his American tactics-from mass layoffs to hostile
takeovers-as violations of the Tata way.

the early '90s, Tata executives Ratan Tata says his company is not driven to grow
emphasize that even now, the "over everybody's dead bodies." Some 66 percent of the
company grows despite obsta- profits of its investment arm, Tata Sons, go to charity,
cles thrown up by red tape and and executives make clear they have no intention of re-
special interests. Unlike China's linquishing control to Wall Street. At Tata, "corporate so-
boom, which was orchestrated cial responsibility," to use the Western buzzword, has
by the state, India's is primarily the story of an enterpris- real money behind it.
ing private sector.
However far-flung Tata’s markets are, they are near in
In recent years, as Tata began listing some of its affil- spirit to the social experiment of Jamshedpur, the steel
iates on Wall Street, Americans often compared Tata to town with a population of 8,00,000 Tata carved from
the model-conglomerate they know best: General Elec- the jungle a century ago. It still pays full health and ed-
tric. But CEO Ratan Tata, 67, is no Jack Welch. "Certainly ucation expenses for all employees, and runs the schools
not," he says. Tata executives, many armed with Western and a 1,000-bed hospital. 

Karmayog Wants to Know from Corporates:

 What Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives does your company undertake?

 Do you need any active help or input from NGOs or volunteers or experts to execute /
improve / expand your CSR activities? If so, is there some format in which they can
send their information to you?

 Are there any documented learnings on CSR that you can share?

 Your inputs and contributions (send to would be valuable to us in

providing information on CSR initiatives and activities.

 CSR activities of many companies are listed in provides a comprehensive online resource of services,

organisations, people, etc so as to help connect those who are providing services
and resources, etc., with those NGOs and concerned persons who need them.
CSR 27

PM’s Word of Advice to Corporates

“IF those who are better off do not act in a more socially Four, resist excessive remuneration to promoters and senior
responsible manner, our growth process may be at risk, executives and discourage conspicuous consumption. In a
our polity may become anarchic and our society may get country with extreme poverty, industry needs to be moderate
further divided...I invite corporate India to be a partner in in its emolument levels. Rising income and wealth inequalities
making ours a more humane and just society”. can lead to social unrest. The electronic media carries the
— Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh lifestyles of the rich and famous into every village and every
slum. Ostentatious expenditure on weddings and other fam-
On May 24 Prime Minister ily events, for example, plants resentment in the minds of the
Manmohan Singh addressed have-nots.
the inaugural session of the Five, invest in people and in their skills. Offer scholarships
Confederation of Indian In- to promising young people. High rates of growth mean noth-
dustry’s Annual Summit 2007 ing for those who are unable to find employment. We must
at New Delhi. Dr Singh struck invest in skill-building and education to make our youth em-
a note of caution for the cap- ployable. Here too, I appreciate the CII's initiative in upgrading
tains of industry ITIs. This is a very good beginning, as I said, but there is more
vis-a-vis their social responsi- to be done.
bilities. The following are ex- Six, desist from non-competitive behaviour. The operation
cerpts from the Prime of cartels by groups of companies to keep prices high must
Minister’s speech. end. Even profit maximisation should be within the bounds
In a modern, democratic so- of decency and greed. The private sector should show some
ciety, business must realise its self-restraint in this regard.
wider social responsibility. The time has come for the better- Seven, invest in environment-friendly technologies. India's
off sections of our society to understand the need to make growth must be enhanced and, yet, our ecology must be
our growth process more inclusive-to eschew conspicuous safeguarded for our future generations. Our track record in
consumption, to save more and waste less, to care for those resource use is good, but must improve further. Conspicuous
who are less privileged, to be role models of probity, moder- consumption must be reduced not just because it is socially
ation and charity. Indian industry must, therefore, rise to the undesirable at our level of development, but also because it
challenge of making our growth processes both efficient and is environmentally unsustainable.
inclusive. Eight, promote enterprise and innovation, within your firms
We need a new Partnership for Inclusive Growth based on and outside. If our industry has to make the leap to the next
what I describe as a Ten-Point Social Charter. stage of development, it must be far more innovative and en-
One, have healthy respect for your workers and invest in terprising. It must try to maintain its competitive edge by in-
their welfare. Unless workers feel they are cared for at work, vesting in R&D and innovation and promotion of enterprise.
we can never evolve a national consensus in favour of much- Nine, fight corruption at all levels. The cancer of corruption
needed more flexible labour laws aimed at ensuring that our is eating into the vitals of our body politic. Corruption need
firms remain globally competitive. not be the grease that oils the wheels of progress. There are
Two, corporate social responsibility must not be defined by many successful companies today that have refused to yield
tax planning strategies alone. Rather, it should be defined to this temptation. I commend them, and I urge others to fol-
within the framework of a corporate philosophy which factors low.
the needs of the community and the regions in which a cor- Ten, promote socially responsible media and finance socially
porate entity functions. This is part of our cultural heritage. responsible advertising. Through your advertisement budgets
Mahatma Gandhi called it trusteeship. and your investments in media, you can encourage socially
Three, industry must be proactive in offering employment responsible media to grow and flourish. You can promote so-
to the less privileged, at all levels of the job ladder. The rep- cially relevant messages and causes.
resentation companies give to SC/STs, OBCs, minorities and This is not an exhaustive list. You may wish to add to it, and
women in their workforce must increase. You must show sen- adopt your own Social Charter for inclusive growth. We
sitivity to those who are physically less-abled, in providing a must end forever the debate whether our country's
workplace conducive to their employment. You must employ march of progress has benefited India and not Bharat. India
retired members of our gallant Armed Forces. is Bharat. 
28 CSR

China Late in Joining World of

Corporate Social Responsibility
With regard to corporate social responsibility, India and China, the two largest developing
countries in the world, have different approaches and priorities. For China, CSR is a new
concept introduced just a decade ago and recognized in the last two or three years.
NDIAN companies pay a good amount of attention to

I Corporate Social Responsibility. They devote to such

basic social issues as water, health care, education,
livelihood and so on with a sense of commitment. For in-
Sha Yu is an intern working with the
Byrraju Foundation to learn the best
practices in water management, to
go back to China and implement
stance, Satyam Computer Services Ltd. initiated two them.
foundations in different areas; Satyam Foundation fo-
cuses on urban area while Byrraju Foundation works on
rural area. Chinese companies look inward to improve as an example, their brand marketing department focused
labor conditions, and employees’ welfare. The impetus on China’s most serious ongoing problem – rural migra-
to CSR development is also greatly different between the tion. They sponsored a school for children of these fami-
two countries. In China, government took over the role lies, providing them with facilities and helping them learn.
while in India companies do it.
However, when we talk about CSR, companies are not
CSR in China developed in three stages. The multina- the only stakeholders. The mass media, government, ac-
tional corporations (MNCs) initiated CSR campaigns in ademic institutions, and even the public take responsibil-
the mid-1990s. Aligned with their central office, they ex- ity to supervise, motivate, and stimulate the companies
posed China to certain requirements in consumer and re- to discharge their responsibilities.
tail sectors. Most of Chinese companies received this idea
passively for business cooperation. Survey
In 2006, the first CSR survey was conducted by China
Chinese pay attention Central Television (CCTV), China Entrepreneur magazine,
In the following years, international organisations and Global Entrepreneur magazine and Peking University. The
non-governmental organizations worked to further de- survey reached the following conclusions, which depicted
velop and introduce CSR in China.World Wildlife Fund the general state of CSR in China.
(WWF) in China, for example, organises corporate meet-
ing annually, providing an opportunity for the companies Most MNCs factor CSR into their companies’ strate-
to gain exposure to the idea. These international organ- gies, but the Chinese companies as such seldom do this.
izations and multinational corporations, to some extent, The manufacturing sector, which comparatively has
might link trade opportunities with labour conditions. more capital and assets, practices better CSR. On the
Consequently, the Chinese government and companies other hand, the manufacturing sector utilizes more social
began to pay attention to CSR. Groups such as the Min- and natural resources, and therefore, has wide range of
istry of Labor, the Ministry of Commerce, and the Chi- stakeholders. This attracts more attention from civil so-
nese Enterprise Confederation (CEC) all created CSR ciety, which puts greater pressure on implementing CSR.
investigation committees.1 Classified by ownership, state-owned enterprises pay
more attention to CSR in various aspects, while MNCs
Local or state-owned companies just started to under- focus more on environmental impact which local pri-
stand CSR in the last two or three years. Steadily, they vate companies ignore. Meanwhile, the public under-
switched their roles from passive reaction to active par- standing of CSR was focused on environmental
ticipation. protection, employee’s interests, product quality, and
after-sale service. 
At this stage, multinational companies started paying
closer attention to China’s real problems. Take Nike China 1
CSR 29

Unending Debate on Corporate Social

Responsibility: A UNDP Report
Whatever the interpretations advanced are and the debate that goes on in India about corporate
social responsibility, ultimately, as Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has rightly said at a
recent CII meeting, corporates should “share their benefits with the poor”.
OCIAL responsibility, as has been widely India and the role that companies define for them-

S stated, is not the exclusive domain of govern-

ments and “passive philanthropy” alone can
no longer constitute CSR. Once this is accepted, a
selves. Some 1000 companies were contacted for
responses and of them 102 responded.

definition should emerge and CSR agenda is possi- Principal Barriers to CSR
ble to be globally frozen. The Survey identified some of the “principal barriers
and threats” to adopting CSR and the most impor-
But, as elsewhere in the world, the exercise of in- tant of them was lack of an enabling environment
terpretation of what Corporate Social Responsibility (hindering the process). Absence of a clear linkage
is, continues to be diverse and deliberated no end in between CSR and financial success is another bar-
India, notwithstanding the fact that CSR has come rier. This is not to speak of the lack of mechanisms
to be talked about in the country since three to measure, monitor, evaluate and report impact of
decades or more. “There are several definitions of CSR initiatives.
CSR, several perceptions and approaches (adopted
in the country),” says a United Nations Develop- Many companies see a great future for earning
ment Programme (UNDP) study. Though conducted profits through ethical conduct of business, compli-
in 2002, along with Price Water House and the ance with regulatory requirements, with emphasis
British Council, the UNDP Survey report is still con- on protection to environment, and employee health
sidered the latest and the conclusions, by far, hold and safety. A majority of the respondents claimed
good even today. that a desire to be a good corporate citizen and im-
proved brand image drive CSR.
What is CSR for Indian Companies ?
The UNDP Survey says: “Several models have been
advanced that attempt to describe how companies Who determines the
relate to the society. What responsibilities compa-
nies are willing to assume, and what are the societal CSR Strategy?
expectations from them? The principal underlying
tenets driving the debate are globally uniform but 94% of the respondents stated (in the Survey) that
assume local flavour, based on local socio-economic management determines the CSR strategy. Over
and cultural context. In the contemporary era of 80% of the respondents attribute the CSR strategy
global integration, the local flavour in the debate is as being determined by the Board or employees.
increasingly subsumed by the global debate”. Local communities (67% of the respondents) and
shareholders (61% of the respondents) are also
considered to be important stakeholders for strat-
The diversity in definition of CSR is amply re-
egy determination. Which stakeholders have an
flected in the responses received from companies on
interest in the companies CSR performance ? It is
their perception of CSR. A striking feature of the re- indicated that nearly 75%, 66% and 59% of re-
sponses is that the respondents are in near unanim- spondents believe that employees, customers and
ity that CSR is very much included in the domain of the local community factor in a companies CSR
corporate action and that ‘passive philanthropy’ is performance while making their assessment of the
no longer sufficient in the realm of CSR. company. Accordingly, one clearly sees the imprint
of these stakeholder interests in the determination
The Principal Objective of the UNDP Survey was of a company’s CSR strategy.
to ascertain the predominant perceptions on CSR in
30 CSR

value. Corporate India within the context of

Salient CSR initiatives taken the above perceptions has set for itself a
minimalist agenda for CSR evidenced in the
by some companies emphasis on ethical conduct of business,
transparency in operations and compliance
 Focus on employee welfare in 16 hours away with laws of the land.
from work at Tata Steel & Orchid
The Survey says CSR is fully integrated
 Focus on reduction of infact mortality rate, with business at ICICI. “As one of the largest
education, micro-finance and leveraging financial institutions in India, ICICI’s overall
technology by ICICI Bank & Tata Steel mission has been to build the capacities of
commercial entities and, thereby, enable
 Focus on employee and family health & welfare them to become agents of economic change.
at BILT We believe that building the capacities of the
poorest of the poor to participate in the
 Conduct of Environmental Impact Assessment economy and society is a natural extension
and Public Consultation for its pipeline projects of this role. With this in mind, ICICI has been
in the planning phase demonstrates GSPLs contributing to the social sector for nearly 30
commitment to integrate environment & safety years, mainly by financing and advising or-
concerns from the outset ganisations working in the development sec-
tor” says ICICI Bank.
 Supplementing government initiatives in
education, rural infrastructure, health (mobile Paradigm shift
Take the case of the Aditya Birla Group.
health clinic) and empowerment at Tata Steel
G.D. Birla, the group’s founder brought ‘suc-
& Orchid
cour to the suffering’ through extensive
charitable work. The late Aditya Birla initi-
 Adoption of villages to make them fully self ated a paradigm shift when he stated that
reliant and replication of such model villages charity alone cannot be a long term solution.
across India –– Aditya Birla Group companies Instead, he said, “We should help people in
a way that they are able to stand on their
own feet and earn money continuously. In
CSR in Corporate Strategy this way their livelihood is never at stake”.
Almost all companies include social respon-
sibility in corporate strategy. The four sec- His philosophy is best articulated in his fol-
tions that influence CSR strategy in a lowing statement “If you give a hungry man
company are, management Board and em- fish one day, he will eat it and the next day
ployees, shareholders, and local communi- he will be starving again. Instead, if you
ties. A sizable number of companies teach him to fish, he will never go hungry
earmarked resources for CSR as priority. during his lifetime.” The group believed in
the trusteeship concept of management,
More than 90% expect to be more trans- which entails ploughing back part of its
parent in reporting financial information, profit into community.
63% in non-financial information. They be-
lieve managers of future may be imparted Kumaramangalam Birla, has enlarged the
appropriate skills and sensitivities in main- group’s CSR commitment by adopting a
streaming of CSR in business schools to help ‘Triple Bottom Line’ approach to management
evolve an agenda for CSR. where “accountability lies at the heart of the
concept as it involves factoring holistically the
CSR Enhances Stakeholder Value interests of all stakeholders – shareholders,
A significant proportion recognised CSR as customers, employees and the community at
the means to enhance long term stakeholder large”. 
CSR 31

Corporate-backed Community
Enterprises Flourish in Southern India

Promotion of corporate-backed community enterprises for value addition and marketing of farm
produce is an alternative approach. Community enterprises in food, health and energy sectors in Tamil
Nadu, promoted by an NGO, are doing well. This model may be replicated gradually in other states.

ORPORATE Social Responsibility (CSR) was ini-

C tially conceived as a charity to care for the disad-

vantaged social segments of the population.
Today, it is different and may be divided into 3 cate-
Muthu Velayudham
A professionally trained social
worker, Muthu Velayudham is in
the field of social service for last
gories, as follows. 19 years. He is the founder
President of the Covenant Centre
1.Corporate sponsorship to meet social needs such as for Development (CCD) and served
religious places, hospitals or gardens, disaster relief, as the Executive Director /
Secretary of the organisation
and uplift of weaker sections ;
since 1989. Muthu Velayudham
has a Bachelors Degree in Rural Development Sciences
2.Good business practices with futuristic markets in – B.Sc., and a Masters Degree in Social Work and is an
mind, such as fair trade-labeled products, and eco– active member of and contributor in many of the local
friendly or green-labeled products; and and National NGO Networks and Companies. His
Covenant Centre for Development (CCD) is a
decentralized organization, which revitalizes local
3.Merging business interests with societal needs
economies to impact migration, livelihoods, poverty
through the public - private partnerships (PPP). alleviation, primary healthcare, nutrition and ultimately
developmental infrastructure.
Grocery, clothes, medicines, vehicles, fuel, communi-
cation gadgets etc. are increasingly bought by the rural
masses but are produced and marketed in cities. Selling ing more than rural incomes, causing indebtedness that
consumer goods to the villagers generates employment haunts 55% of the rural families. Thus, more than 50%
for the sales agents. However, consumer costs keep ris- of the farmers abandon farming and flee to cities for
jobs. Such urban migration causes con-
gestion, pollution, slums, crime and inse-
curity in cities.

An alternative approach demonstrated

here is promoting community enterprises
for value addition and marketing of farm
produce. Narrated here is the experience
of 3 Community Enterprises in food,
health and energy sectors in Tamil Nadu,
promoted by the NGO, Covenant Centre
for Development (CCD).

Community Enterprise Model

CCD uses community-based financial
institutions (CBFI) savings as working
capital. CSR grants from such
32 CSR

as Tata and Ford Foundations are used for building and sand) stoves were sold in the 2nd half of 2006 with Rs.
machinery purchase. CCD project grants are used to- 8 million turnover, including fuel pellets from agri-
wards transport and marketing communication ex- waste, enriching the farmers. Thus, communities and
penses, and for expert training fees. CCD also helps corporates “co-created” a business model to tap the
companies to register with community members as di- “fortune at the bottom of the pyramid”. The Next Prac-
rectors and for the initial 2-3 years. CCD staff provides tices (TNP) company that mooted this notion guided BP
professional services on a fee basis. Thus external con- & CCD.
tribution is 4–fold: (a) technology, (b) institution, (c) fi-
nance and (d) market. Aharam company
CCD is also promoting the SHG network to procure
Pro-sumer Model and market good quality food products at low prices,
Gram Moolige (village herbs) Company Limited since 2004, under the banner of Aharam, meaning
(GMCL, was the first enterprise food. It sells Rs. 500/- worth grocery (pulses, oil, spices,
CCD promoted in the year 2001, to sell raw Fast moving consumer goods) each to 1,000
drugs collected by poor women from families with 2 months credit and 90%
fallow farms and wastelands in the recovery by the 3rd month. Its
lean, non-agricultural, dry season. turnover is Rs. 3 million a year.
Since 2003, GMCL also pro- Procurement from farmers and
duces and markets over–the– processing and sales by SHGs
counter medicines, based on employ about 100 commu-
local traditional herbal nity members.
remedies in the “Siddha”
system. Today, GMCL CCD will replicate this
turnover is Rs. 9 million, model in 6 other states dur-
80% derived from selling ing 2008-2010, with CSR
raw drugs after grading, grants. CCD registered
cleaning, and packing. It sea- Aharam as a “traditional crop
sonally employs 1,300 women to producers company” in Decem-
gather raw drugs, as well as 100 ber 2005 under the Companies Act
farmers. 30 women SHGs invested Rs. (2001 amendment) with VAT and export
1.50 lakh in 2001, won a dividend of Rs. 3.5 code. Farmers’ SHG federations own shares and
lakh and possessed a net share capital of Rs. 5 lakh. more federations or SHGs can obtain membership. Its
SHGs decide the company’s policies, prices and insur- routine business is managed by professional staff.
ance etc.
For profitability, Aharam sold 25 tons of mango at Rs.
Co-creation Model 1 million in 2006 and has orders for Rs. 4 million from
GMCL’s success motivated British Petroleum (BP) to Mumbai and Cochin buyers. It also started exports with
partner with CCD and SHGs to tap rural energy mar- “organic” labeled cotton and “fair trade” labeled
kets. Thus, CCD established Adharam, an energy com- mango, with 30-50% premium over the normal market
pany, in 2005. Adharam ( price. It will soon export “blue labeled” smoked tuna
sold 3,000 smokeless stoves in drylands around Madu- fish from Lakshadweep islands to SriLanka. The Birla re-
rai in the second semester of 2007 and 4 times more in tail chain being set up in metros may procure from
Marathwada drylands in Maharashtra state, where Aharam spices, fruits and vegetables.
SHGs linked to a partner NGO, SSP, (
provided the marketing channel. BP and CCD termed Aharam markets dryland, small farmer products such
this business as “co-creation” model. The community as maize, mango, tamarind, pulses, honey, forest pro-
was involved at each development stage viz. concep- duce including herbal products, and fishery products,
tualization, product design and testing, sales planning including shell crafts of the Tsunami victims. National
and pricing. This gave community the ownership, and Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) schemes for em-
marketing vigor. BP offered to sell LPG kits which the ployment in backward rural areas should invest in these
community disapproved, and promote smokeless stove models. 
sales. BP bought its patented technology from the In-
dian Institute of Science (IISc) and 15,000 (fifteen thou-
CSR 33

Corporate Social Responsibility:

Contact Database Grows Further
SR Directory now presents more than 2,000 organisations have been added while the existing

C organisations worldwide. The directory, titled

"Resources for Promoting Global Business
Principles and Best Practices," is a resource
contacts and listings were being continually updated.

CSR wire is a leading source of Corporate Social

guide to organisations working on all Responsibility and sustainability, press releases,
aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility reports and news. CSRwire members are
in more than 95 countries. The directory is companies, NGOs, agencies and organisations
located at interested in communicating their corporate
and is managed and edited pro bono by citizenship, sustainability, and socially responsible
Michael Kane. CSRwire provides free public initiatives to a global audience through CSRwire's
access to this important resource as part of its syndication network and weekly News Alerts.
work to assist global CSR initiatives. CSRwire and the SRI World Group technical team have
developed this searchable, online version of the CSR Directory
The CSR Directory is an interactive, web-based tool as a free service to the CSR community. 
that includes contact information for the senior leaders
and websites for each organisation. Searchable by For more information, contact CSRwire at
organisation and key contact, the directory provides, Greg Schneider, Director,
cross-referenced entries in 35 categories and a listing of CSRwire, 802.251.0110x1108
all organisations by country. Since the online launch of, and Michael Kane,
the directory in September of 2003, over 1,300 Managing Editor, CSR Directory

Fighting Corruption in Karnataka: a New Style

s Jayashree, wife of M.N. Vijaya Kumar, an IAS solute integrity in civil services and protection to the whis-

M officer of principal secretary cadre in

Karnataka state, writes:
tle-blowers. Recently after taking charge as Regional Com-
missioner, Bangalore he introduced a system under the
Right to Information Act to enable public see files, without
My husband is fighting corruption in the making any application, on second and fourth Tues-
administrative system of the state. As he day of every month and planned web viewing of
is facing harassment for exposing the cor- the files. Public may visit the related
rupt practices of the senior officers, and <> and
as the harassment is being silently <> for
watched (or possibly supported) by the more information.
head of the bureaucracy, I decided to
take up his causes and extensively used The objectives of the website include pro-
RTI Act to expose dereliction of duty on the viding a platform for public to fight corrup-
part of the topmost bureaucrat in handling cor- tion, create awareness to initiate a
ruption cases. movement for corruption–free ad-
ministration, and share the experi-
From September 2006 to February 2007 my husband ences of using the Right To Information Act in fighting
has been transferred six times in six months for the stand corrupt practices. 
he has taken. Without caring for the harassment, he in- J. N. Jayashree Kumar
formed the Chief Secretary that he would approach the E-mail:
CAT and other authorities to ensure requirement of ab-
34 CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility:

Initiatives and Examples
Anand Corporate Services Limited presence, has played an extensive and sustained role in
Anand has a longstanding commitment to addressing encouraging and fostering education throughout the
the needs of the society, in view of its belief that for any country since inception.
economic development to be meaningful, the benefits
from the business must trickle down to the society at As a global player with complete solutions-providing ca-
large. pability, Aptech has a long history of participating in com-
munity activities. It has, in association with leading NGOs,
Anand is of the firm view that the corporate goals must provided computers at schools, education to the under-
be aligned with the larger societal goals. 25 years ago, the privileged and conducted training and awareness-camps.
SNS Foundation, an expression of Anand’s corporate so- Aptech students donated part of the proceeds from the
cial responsibility, was born. The objective of SNS founda- sale of their art work to NGOs. To propagate education
tion was comprehensive community development. The among all sections of the society throughout the country,
Foundation has created programs in the fields of health, especially the underprivileged, Aptech fosters tie-ups with
education, natural resource management and life skills leading NGOs throughout the country, including the Bar-
training, only to make sure that fellow humans could rackpur-based NGO, Udayan, a residential school for chil-
breathe easy. dren of leprosy patients in Barrackpur, established in 1970.

The long term goal of Anand CSR is to implement con- The company strongly believes that education is an in-
cepts like ‘Zero Tolerance Zone for Child Labour’, ‘Zero tegral part of the country’s social fabric and works towards
Waste Zone’ using strategies like Reduce, Recycle and supporting basic education and basic computer literacy
Reuse not only at Anand/SNSF locations but extend to amongst the underprivileged children in India.
Anand residential areas.
Avon Cycle Limited
Aptech Limited The poor and ignorant of India’s rural population turn
Aptech Limited, a leading education player with a global to nearest towns and cities for healthcare. They face in-
difference and exploitation. Hope gives way to despair.
This gave inspiration to AVON for locating MATA

Mr. Sohan Lal Pahwa, AVON's Chairman and Principal

Trustee of the hospital, spent a good part of his working
life devoted to philanthropy. The hospital, in its 5th year
of inception, has risen to serve a model healthcare facility
boasting of some bold experiments in its very early years
of existence. It’s support since inception has been of the
order of Rs. 3 crore to date and it continues uninter-

Reaching out to the needy farther afield, the hospital

holds regular camps in surrounding villages to propagate
scientific approach to healthcare. Recently the hospital
took the social responsibility concept a step further and
formulated a scheme titled 'Celebrated Female Child' to
enable and inspire positive and enduring environment for
society's all–consuming passion for 'sons only' to end.
CSR 35

CISCO System Inc. volunteers on community development projects.

Philanthropy at Cisco is about building strong and
productive global communities - communities in which Infosys leadership has set examples in the area of cor-
every individual has the means to live, the opportunity porate citizenship and has involved itself actively in key
to learn, and the chance to give back. The company pur- national bodies. They have taken initiatives to work in
sues a strong “triple bottom line” which is described as the areas of Research and Education, Community Serv-
profits, people and presence. The company promotes a ice, Rural Reach Programme, Employment, Welfare ac-
culture of charitable giving and connects employees to tivities undertaken by the Infosys Foundation,
nonprofit organizations serving the communities where Healthcare for the poor, Education and Arts & Culture.
they live. Cisco invests its best-in-class networking
equipment to those nonprofit organizations that best ITC Limited
put it to work for their communities, eventuating in pos- ITC partnered the Indian farmer for close to a century.
itive global impact. It takes its responsibility seriously as ITC is now engaged in elevating this partnership to a
a global citizen. Education is a top corporate priority for new paradigm by leveraging information technology
Cisco, as it is the key to prosperity and opportunity. through its trailblazing 'e-Choupal' initiative.

ICICI Bank Ltd

The Social Initiatives Group (SIG) of ICICI Bank Ltd
works with a mission to build the capacities of the poor-
est of the poor to participate in the larger economy.

The group identifies and supports initiatives designed

to break the intergenerational cycle of poor health and
nutrition, ensure essential early childhood education and
schooling as well as access to basic financial services.
Thus, by promoting early child health, catalyzing uni-
versal elementary education and maximizing access to
micro financial services, ICICI Bank believes that it can ITC is significantly widening its farmer partnerships to
build the capacities of India’s poor to participate in embrace a host of value-adding activities: creating liveli-
larger socio-economic processes and thereby spur the hoods by helping poor tribals make their wastelands
overall development of the country. productive; investing in rainwater harvesting to bring
much-needed irrigation to parched drylands; empow-
The SIG works by understanding the status of existing ering rural women by helping them evolve into entre-
systems of service delivery and identifying critical knowl- preneurs; and providing infrastructural support to make
edge and practice gaps in their functioning. It locates schools exciting for village children.
cost effective and scalable initiatives and approaches
that have the potential to address these gaps and sup- Through these rural partnerships, ITC touches the lives
ports research to understand their impact. This is under- of nearly 3 million villagers across India.
taken in collaboration with research agencies, non-
governmental organisations (NGOs), companies, gov- Mahindra & Mahindra
ernment departments, local stakeholders and interna- The K. C. Mahindra Education Trust was established in
tional organisations. 1953 by late Mr. K. C. Mahindra with an objective to
promote education. Its vision is to transform the lives of
Infosys Technologies Limited people in India through education, financial assistance
Infosys is actively involved in various community de- and recognition to them, across age groups and across
velopment programs. income strata. The K. C. Mahindra Education Trust un-
dertakes a number of education initiatives, which make
Infosys promoted, in 1996, the Infosys Foundation as a difference to the lives of deserving students.
a not-for-profit trust to which it contributes up to 1%
PAT every year. Additionally, the Education and Research The Trust has provided more than Rs. 7.5 Crore in the
Department (E&R) at Infosys also works with employee form of grants, scholarships and loans. It promotes
36 CSR

education mainly by the way of scholarships. The Nanhi bore well.

Kali project has over 3,300 children under it. We aim to  Water tanks to store the water.
increase the number of Nanhi Kalis (children) to 10,000  Rain and seepage water is harvested in the quarries
in the next 2 years, by reaching out to the underprivi- of the company is pumped into a tank and supplied
leged children especially in rural areas. to inhabitants.

Satyam Computer Services Limited 44,000 trees were planted and nurtured over a period
Alambana (support) is the corporate social responsi- of eight years. The presence of large trees and vast
bility arm of Satyam Computer Services Limited, formed greenery has considerably improved the ecology in the
to support and strengthen the vulnerable and under- area.
privileged sections in urban India.
DCM Shriram Consolidated Limited
Registered as Satyam Alambana Trust in 2000, Alam- Shriram Fertilisers and Chemicals, is a unit of DSCL,
bana aims at transforming the quality of life among located at Kota, 475 kms. Over the last 3 decades, var-
urban population. Alambana's services are directed pri- ious initiatives have been undertaken by the unit, in the
marily at the disadvantaged sections in all the cities that Hadoti region (Kota, Bundi, Jhalawar districts) in ICU,
Satyam has offices in. Volunteers from among Satyam ambulances, family planning, medical assistance;
associates and their family members lead the services schools, scholarships, emphasis on girl child education;
and perform the required tasks. water to people and infrastructure.

Tata Consultancy Services Goodearth Education Foundation (GEF)

The Adult Literacy Program (ALP) was conceived and Work of GEF was initiated in 1996 with a project in
set up by Dr. F C Kohli along with Prof. P N Murthy and the Rai Bareilly district in Uttar Pradesh. The four-year
Prof. Kesav Nori of Tata Consultancy Services in May project covered 63 government schools and benefited
2000 to address the problem of illiteracy. 15,000 children. GEF is currently implementing projects
in Thane district, Maharashtra (in 56 schools & bal-
ALP believes illiteracy is a major social concern affect- wadis), Alwar District, Rajasthan (this Project is being
ing a third of the Indian population comprising old and implemented in partnership with the NGO Bodh Shik-
young adults. To accelerate the rate of learning, it uses sha Samiti, covering 71 schools & balwadis) and Solan
a TCS-designed Computer–Based Functional Literacy district, Himachal Pradesh (10 Balwadis).
Method (CBFL), an innovative teaching strategy that
uses multimedia software to teach adults to read within GEF Objectives include providing equal opportunities
about 40 learning hours. in pre-primary& primary education to all children, and
quality of education by ensuring that it is relevant, ef-
Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited fective and activity based.
The water source for the villages in and around the
Dalmia Cement factory is dependent on rains. During Hindustan Construction Company (HCC)
summer months, the villagers, particularly women folk, HCC plays an active role in CSR initiatives in the fields
travel long distances to fetch water for drinking and of Health, Education, Disaster Management, and Envi-
other purposes. Considering the difficulties and hard- ronment.
ship faced by the people, the company, after discussing
with the village elders and concerned Government au- Disaster Resource Network DRN is a worldwide initia-
thorities, took the initiative of making water available tive, promoted by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
by: Trained volunteers and equipment resources from Engi-
neering Construction & Logistics companies will com-
 Providing deep bore wells. So far, 45 bore wells have plement the existing efforts of Government, NGO's and
been provided in various villages, namely Kallakudi, International Organizations in disaster management.
Palanganathan, Malvoi, Elakkurichi, Muthuvathur,
Pullabmadi, Edayathankudi etc. Approximately, 300 It was during the WEF annual meet that the massive
to 400 people get adequate drinking water from each earthquake struck Gujarat in January 2001. The need
CSR 37

for a trained and effective participation from industry school goes much beyond just providing monetary sup-
was first felt there. The members of Engineering and Lo- port towards infrastructure and maintenance of school
gistics segment of WEF came together to establish this building.
network. The idea was further strengthened during the
9/11 incident where again the industry participated in Larsen & Toubro (L & T) Limited
the relief operations. DRN Worldwide was formally Considering that construction industry is the second
launched in New York in January 2002. And shortly largest employer in India after agriculture, employing
thereafter, DRN - India Initiative was launched. about 32 million-strong workforce, L&T set out to reg-
ulate and promote Construction Vocational Training
India Aluminium Company Limited (CVT) in India by establishing a Construction Skills Train-
The Women's Empowerment project was initiated by ing Institute (CSTI) on a 5.5 acre land, close to its Con-
Indal-Muri in Jharkhand where the Company operates struction Division Headquarters at Manapakkam,
an alumina refining plant. It was implemented in collab- Chennai. CSTI imparts, totally free of cost, basic training
oration with an NGO, CARE-Jharkhand. The central in formwork, carpentry, masonry, bar-bending, plumbing
problem this project has attempted to address is the very and sanitary, scaffolder and electrical wireman trades to
low socio-economic condition of the rural and tribal a wide spectrum of the rural poor.
population of Silli block caused by low agricultural pro-
ductivity, lack of or low cash income, unresponsive As a result of the good response it received in Chen-
health/ Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) nai, CSTI set up a branch at Panvel, Mumbai, initially of-
schemes. fering training in formwork, carpentry and masonry
trades. The Manapakkam and Panvel facilities together
The Project has helped set up around 100 Self Help provide training to about 300 candidates annually who
Groups so far, which are running successfully with mem- are inducted after a process of selection, the minimum
bers trained in various vocational income–generating qualification being tenth standard. Since inception, these
skills, agricultural methods for better yields and health two units have produced about 2,000 skilled workmen
care initiatives. About 2000 women have been brought in various trades, with about sixty percent of them being
into the fold of this activity helping to improve not just deployed to L&T’s jobsites spread across the country.
their own lives but the quality of life of their children and
families as well. The success of this training-initiative demonstrates
that adoption of systematic training techniques are
The Indal Women's Empowerment & Child Care proj- bound to yield efficient and skilled personnel in the
ect employed integrated package of strategies and in- shortest possible time, and in the power to convert the
terventions, such as: potential of the Rural Youth in Construction and upgrad-
 Establishment and Strengthening of Self Help ing Rura Economy in a small way. 
Groups (SHG) in 30 strategically selected villages;
 Promotion of Nutrition Gardens and improved land /
agricultural and natural resource management prac-
tices; and
 Creation of demand for improved ICDS/ health
services through Self Help Groups and strengthening
ICDS/ Health Department's service delivery

JCB India Ltd.

JCB India adopted a Government school, in the vicinity
of the company premises as its social responsibility. They
strongly believe that children are the foundation of our
nation and they could be helped, we could build a better
community and society tomorrow. The reason for adopt-
ing this particular school was the poor management of
the school in terms of infrastructure, resources and qual-
ity of education. The company’s commitment to the

Zulieben’s Success Story

Given proper support and encouragement, there are millions of women who can stand on
their feet. Share and Care Foundation’s women’s empowerment programme is
designed specifically for such a purpose. Zulieben is a shining example.

met Zulieben for the first time in 1999 in her hut out-

I side the city of Bhuj in Kutch. It was a simple dwelling

made of thatched walls, cow dung-coated mud floor
and a roof made out of palm leaves. This space included
Jayant Shroff is a successful,
retired telecommunication
executive with 35 years of
rewarding career. He worked in
the family sitting area and kitchen as well as the bedroom. such important fields as Research
and Development, Product
Management, Marketing, Sales,
Zulieben and her husband Kaasambhai have two chil- Manufacturing, Quality,
dren:10-year-old son, Anvar, and 8-year-old daughter, Performance Improvement and
Nabila. Both children go to a nearby municipal school in Process Management.
the village. They are first generation learners. Kaasambhai He has more than 25 years of
experience of managing a New
worked in an iron reclamation foundry while Zulieben Jersey-based charity with a mission to educate needy
managed the household, working odd domestic jobs when youth and empower unskilled women in rural India.
available. Neither Kaasanbhai nor Zulieben can read or A recipient of several patents, he has published
write. technical papers and has considerable corporate
management experience.

No livelihood
Kaasambhai was a good father but had a habit of drink- the future of millions of children like Anvar and Nabila.
ing. When drunk, he got into arguments with Zulieben
and abused her. The children were not happy with the sit- Share and Care Women’s Empowerment program is
uation but were helpless. Zulieben has no alternative but specifically designed to encourage the millions of
to tolerate Kaasambhai’s unacceptable behavior as she Zuliebens to either start their own small business or to ac-
could not leave him because she doesn’t have enough quire some skills to become economically independent
means to support her children. and stand their own ground. Our Women’s Empower-
ment programs are implemented in partnership with sev-
Because of the way in which Kaasambhai treated eral local NGOs.
Zulieben, she was not respected in her family and society.
Besides, Kassambhai wasted a lot of his earnings in drink- Self help
ing and smoking leaving very few funds for sustaining a Zulieben is a member of one such self-help group,
normal family life and providing proper nutrition and ed- AMBA. She got her first loan of Rs. 5000/- from AMBA
ucation for the children. Zulieben was illiterate but came in 1999 to start her business of making the bricks and
across as street smart with a lot of wisdom, ambition and selling them locally. When I re-visited Zulieben in 2001, I
initiative given proper encouragement. Given a loan, got a hearty welcome from her and Kaasambhai. During
Zulieben would like to start a business of making bricks. my first visit, I did not meet Kaasambhai, but I could see
“If I can earn some money, I will first take care of these that his behavior was completely changed from what I
children and then work towards normalizing our lives so had heard two years earlier. He now allowed Zulieben to
that we will not have to worry everyday about our next lead our conversation, supporting her occasionally.
meal,” she said.
Their dwelling had improved and I was told that both
Zulieben is not alone in her pitiable life saga. She repre- Anvar and Nabila were doing well in school and had been
sents an estimated 200 million village women in rural India reading books. They even joined extra classes to learn
whose talents are untapped. Share and Care Foundation English for computer education. In addition, they both
firmly believes that this talent not only needs our support aspired to pursue college education.
but it requires our focused attention to eliminate the gender
gap, utilize the talents, provide self-respect and improve The climax of this visit was when Zulieben talked about

her successes and future challenges. Even though she was own small business or form co-operatives and self-help
hugely successful in her business, she was not satisfied with groups for their own development and their rights. Share
this level of achievement. She talked about her plans to ex- and Care has already witnessed a phenomenal positive
pand the business in the next two years, explaining that due change in the lives of these women and their families. Based
to the construction boom in the area, she could not keep up on this experience and others like it, Share and Care has de-
with the demand under her current manufacturing capacity. cided to sharpen its focus on this program.

Success story Some 3,800 women of AMBA have gotten an initial loan
I was amazed at Zulieben’s understanding of maximizing of Rs. 5000/- to Rs 10,000/- to start their own business.
utilization of the fixed assets in order to improve the margin. These loans are given without any collateral and they carry
She was talking about improving the inventory turns with an interest rate that they could not get from the regular
the same level of fixed assets. Her personal story of success bank. The loans are recovered in monthly installments with
reinforced Share and Care’s resolve to encourage as many full recovery within 3 to 5 years. AMBA is now fully man-
Zuliebens as we can until we collectively reach the esti- aged by its members like Zulieben who also qualify new
mated 200 million women whose lives can be enriched loan seekers.
through self-empowerment.
Won’t you join us in this most cost effective program by
During the past 24 years of its operations, Share and Care pledging your support for 100, 50 or even 10 Zuliebens?. 
has realized this opportunity in contributing to India’s real
development. Women are learning computer skills, tailor- For more information about Share and Care
ing, embroidery work, stitching, masala-making and many Foundation and its program, please visit:
more skills to either acquire employable skills, start their

Malnutrition Matters Project

Winner of the World Bank
DM Competition
T a conference in Washington DC on May 23, ditional micro-nutrients, will provide daily nutrition sup-

A the MM project 'Rural Micro-Enterprise in

Orissa' was approved by the World Bank Devel-
opment Marketplace. It was one of twenty-two win-
plementation to about 16,000 poor children in rural
and village schools. The project will be developed over
a two-year period. With some already-approved, but
ners announced out of more than 2,800 original very modest government subsidy for the soymilk deliv-
submissions in the competition. MM Director, Hart ered (by bicycle) to the schools, the projects will be run
Jansson, the primary developer of the proposal, repre- by women's self help groups (SHG's) in micro-enter-
sented it at the conference. prises that will also provide employment and income to
the workers.
The project calls for 20 VitaGoat systems, as well as
two field-trial fruit and vegetable dryers, to be de- The project is a major extension of the current pilot
ployed in rural villages, run by women's self-help program in Orissa, India, supported by Child Haven In-
groups (SHGs). 75% of the capital cost of the equip- ternational with funding by Donner Canadian Founda-
ment is to be financed with 'mini-credit' from the micro- tion. Ongoing corporate sponsorship of Malnutrition
finance arm of BISWA, the local partner NGO in the Matters is provided by Alpro N.V. of Belgium, and ad-
proposal. ditional support is from WISHH (World Initiative for Soy
in Human Health). 
Soymilk produced with the VitaGoats, fortified by ad- Hart Jansson,

Yamuna River Cleanup Effort by Yamuna

Foundation for Blue Water
The growth in India’s population, followed by massive development in practically all major
cities and towns, calls for a stable water supply and sanitation system to avoid
major health problems and related outbreaks.

HIS voluntary project involves an actual cleanup ef-

T fort, on a demonstration scale in Phase I, to remedy

the massive pollution created by the overland flow
of sewer system effluent from the greater Delhi and Agra
Subijoy Dutta is an environmental
engineer working on solid waste
and water issues in India and the
US since the 1980s. He started the
area in to the Yamuna River in Northern India. A map Yamuna Foundation for Blue Water
showing Cities and Towns in the Yamuna River watershed in 2000 in Maryland to achieve the
is shown on Figure 1. goal of a Clean Yamuna. He is very
Why Cleanup active in Crofton, Maryland, and
Yamuna River? Silchar, India. He has helped in the
growth of the Ramakrishna Dispensary that is serving
A 48-kilome-
the poor in Silchar, Assam. He was awarded a
ter stretch of the Congressional Medal of Honor by the US Congress for
Yamuna River, his voluntary efforts to clean up the Yamuna River.
which flows
through New
Delhi, contains expected to bring the BOD to a level of about 5-10% of
7,500 coliform the current levels.
bacteria per 100
cc of water be- Chronology of Cleanup Effort:
fore entering the Since 1992, the Yamuna Foundation has been attempt-
capital. The Ya- ing to demonstrate various low–cost decentralized treat-
muna receives ment systems which utilize natural systems to clean up the
an estimated drains that bring polluted water into the Yamuna River. In
225 million gal- 2004, an opportunity to demonstrate such a low–cost sys-
lons of untreated tem was made available in Hyderabad by the Jawaharlal
sewage every Nehru Technological University on their campus.
day from the greater Delhi area and leaves New Delhi car-
rying an inconceivable 24 million coliform organisms per Deep Pond Treatment
100 cc or 240,000 coliform bacteria per cc. That same The project consists of an anaerobic, deep pond, which
stretch of Yamuna River picks up 5 million gallons of in- uses a digestion chamber for degrading various types of
dustrial effluents, including about 1,25,000 gallons of DDT sewage sludge and the solids from the influent wastewater
wastes every day. stream. This system has the potential to generate and cap-
ture methane gas for various beneficial uses if the influent
Objective: solids volumes are high.
Many of the expensive treatment plants built to treat
the sewage in Delhi are not removing the pollution load At present the volume of solids flowing into the system
reaching the Yamuna. Hence, our objective is to begin a is quite low and an insignificant amount of methane gas is
demonstration of various cost-effective, decentralized generated at the facility. The anaerobic digestion of the
treatment systems in the greater Yamuna river watershed, solids is expected to keep the solids level at or below 3 feet
for treatment and removal of biochemical oxygen demand from the bottom of the pond and is not expected to in-
(BOD) and coliform bacteria. The proposed systems are crease beyond the bottom 4 feet of the pond.

In similar systems in the U.S. no solids/sludge removal The system demonstrated reduction of greenhouse gas
was necessary for over twenty years of operation. The ef- (methane) emissions which would have otherwise been
fluent is planned to be used for irrigation of orchards near emitted from a conventional treatment plant (due to the
the treatment facility. sludge disposal from such plants). The installation of this
treatment system has resulted in the reduction of at least
Figure 2 shows the picture of Pond 1128 ft or 8,437 gallons of methane gas, which would
have otherwise been emitted from this
site per day.

Application Deep Pond System

The system is relatively simple to in-
stall and operate. It has only three mov-
ing parts which makes it a very low
maintenance system. Based upon the
available information from the Central
Pollution Control Board (CPCB 2000),
the estimated wastewater discharge to
the Yamuna River from the greater
Delhi area through the major drains is
2,723 Million liters/day (MLD) or 720
Million gallons per day (MGD).

There are about 17 drainage canals

The effluent wastewater from the student dormitories, which carry enormous volume of wastewater including
cafeteria, and the administrative buildings enter the Bi- raw sewage to the Yamuna River as she flows South
ological Treatment System pond by gravity flow. The from the Wazirabad Barrage to the Oklah Dam.
wastewater from the residential area to the south of the While considering potential treatment alternatives to
facility is pumped up from the south side of the Pond the treat these wastewater discharges from these drainage
by a grinder pump. canals, the Deep Pond treatment system (and other bi-
ological systems to supplement the Deep Pond) seems
Benefits to have great potential to remove the pollutants with-
The project met the objective of demonstrating a low- out incurring huge costs.
cost treatment alternative to wastewater by completing
the system construction, adjustments, and monitoring A proposal involving design, installation, and initial
within $82,800. The cost included some additional items operation and maintenance of a Wastewater Reclama-
such as fencing and high-end polishing for removal of tion System (WRS) at the Kotlah Drain site on the east
pathogens for agricultural reuse. central side of New Delhi has been submitted to the
Delhi Jal Board (DJB) by the Yamuna Foundation and
For a similar performance and capacity of 10,000 gal- others. The cost of the proposed project is estimated
lons/day in Andhra Pradesh, India, a standard waste- to be 10% of the installation cost of a conventional
water treatment system would cost a minimum of about wastewater reclamation system for a similar flow vol-
$450,000. Thus the proposed project has successfully ume (based on DJB costs for existing treatment
demonstrated a cost saving of more than 80% over con- plants).
ventional system by use of the innovative system.
Apart from a stable water supply and sanitation sys-
This project has demonstrated the use of effluent from tem, effective application of the low-cost biological
the polishing pond for irrigating the orchard next to the treatment system installed in Hyderabad on a demon-
treatment system. Because of the very low volume of stration basis also be considered for many other met-
solids at the intake, there is very little sludge digested at ropolitan cities and suburbs in India to meet their
the bottom of the pond. The modified design involved wastewater treatment and reuse needs. These steps
recirculation of aerated water from the aeration pond can help ward off many health problems. 
which provides a high oxygen level in the top part of the
first pond.

Non-functioning MPs, Indifferent Citizens

While the MPs have a job of "watching" the government, there is also a need for citizens to
watch how their MPs represent them in Parliament.
E V E LO P M E N T proper manner, the MP

D agencies in India
have not ade-
quately leveraged the
can exert pressure on the
government to do better.
If citizen groups can keep
power of engaging with the MP constantly up-
the legislature or the judi- dated on how government
ciary, except in rare in- schemes are being imple-
stances. A classic example mented in the con-
of work on the legislative stituency, the MP may be
side is the passage of the even better equipped to
Right To Information (RTI) Act. Without active and system- take up matters on behalf of his voters.
atic work on the legislative side, this landmark Act would not
have seen the light of day. Now, who can argue that the The Internet provides a useful tool to monitor the perform-
RTI Act is not about development? ance of your MP in Parliament. What issues has the MP
raised as Questions? Has the MP participated in important
Similarly, the Parliament recently passed the Food Safety debates? What stand is the MP taking on certain Bills?
and Standards Act. While it seeks to protect the interest of
the consumer, it also has important implications for food pro- For example, more than half of all MPs in Lok Sabha have
ducers - and this includes the organised food sector, restau- never uttered a single word in Parliament other than raising
rants, and street vendors of food. Of these, the Act has the Questions or adding their name to some debates. Parlia-
largest impact on the livelihoods of street food vendors. A ment spends less than a third of its time on legislation - in this
number of organisations in urban India are already working limited time, did the MPs give adequate time to discussing
with street food vendors on improving the opportunities for important Bills?
the vendors. However, many of these groups did not even
know that Parliament was enacting a piece of legislation that Tracking Parliament
would have a significant impact on their lives. Do these matters have an impact on development? It is
necessary for all citizens concerned with development to be
MPs functions concerned about Parliament. It is not enough to be sceptical
There is a Seeds Bill that is pending in Parliament. A num- about our MPs, as is fashionable to do, especially among the
ber of farmer groups have organised themselves and have educated class of the country. There are a number of MPs
started articulating their views on some clauses in the Bill. who are keen on development issues, and ultimately, it is
This has led the government to also left to the ingenuity of cit-
take their views seriously before C. V Madhukar is the Director of izens to creatively use all the
bringing the Bill for considera- PRS Legislative Research, which resources at their disposal - in-
is currently being incubated by
tion and passing in Parliament. cluding the MPs. In the next
the Centre for Policy Research.
Members of Parliament have His expertise lies in issue, I will explain how a Bill
four broad functions: legisla- Parliamentary Affairs, becomes an Act in India, and
tion, oversight, representation, Governance, Constitutional Law, how citizen groups can make
and approving budgets. MPs Political Management. He worked their voices heard at each
are expected to represent the at the World Bank in Washington stage. Until then, agree that
concerns of their voters in Par- DC with a group focused on parliamentary capacities tracking Parliament is one
in various countries. Madhukar was an Edward S.
liament. more valuable channel to
Mason Fellow at Harvard University, where he earned
a Master in Public Administration degree from the track development. 
Where the government is not John F. Kennedy School of Government.
implementing programmes in a

Karmayog Plays a Crucial Role in

Resolving People’s Problems
Many people today feel that once they write or send an e-mail to officials in Government
about problems they face, that is enough to get them addressed.
The reality is, however, far from this. Only external pressure, such as a Court directive or a
calamity-like situation can ensure compliance or immediate action.
HE Indian Government usually cannot and does not act

T on its own to change policies and procedures that have

been set down but which may be incorrect, inappro-
priate, unfair, obsolete and may not even be existing in the
Vinay Somani is a B.Tech. from
IIT, Bombay, and an MBA from
Harvard. He runs a portal for
Building Stone industry,
first place, unless there is some external impetus such as a
Court directive or a calamity / disaster situation that require Vinay R. Somani is the trustee of
compliance and immediate action. Many of us cannot under-, a website
stand why this happens, though we know that Government connecting citizens, civil society
organisations, media, corporates,
officials at sufficiently high levels are aware of and extremely
and government officials and organisations by online
capable of addressing the problem. and offline methods. It acts as a platform and a bridge
to all those Indians who wish to do their bit to improve
The reason for this is that the primary mandate to the Gov- their locality, city and country.
ernment officials is to implement what is already at hand and
deal with the many pressures and messes that occur along comparable levels of complexity.
the way and they are not to really think of policy changes
that need to be made. A corporate entity would have systems and procedures in
place; would make its employees accountable, by making
The mandate for making policy then falls on another them perform, or leave their jobs; would have fixed roles and
group of persons whose inputs are used by Government responsibilities for all its employees; would have Manage-
when policies are framed or changed, and this group includes ment Information Systems in place for tracking operations,
academicians, scholars and experts who are co-opted in com- and would be continually open to feedback and response
mittees that are set up for this purpose. Most of these inputs from its customers and service base.
and the members of such committees, even while represent-
ing the people, turn out to be having views that are often far Story of Karmayog
removed from reality, or that are sometimes 2-3 years behind A website was set up in June 2004 (in the name of Kar-
reality, or are with some vested interests, and most often do mayog) to support NGOs and connect them to those who
not present a complete picture or a true sense of the issues want to help or support their initiatives.
at hand, and thus the policies framed reflect this in their lop-
sided approaches and outcomes. Karmayog offers Resource Sections on over 100 issues and
causes; provides space for Focus Groups, for issue-specific
Fundamental difference groups to take up an issue in detail, and seek to find solutions
Even in the implementation of existing policies, some of and improve the situatioan; offers “Locality Sites” to enable
which are extremely good, the results are poor, despite the you to mobilise and stay connected with others in your local
best intentions of the Government officials at the top, be- area or community, and address its specific concerns; and en-
cause the people through whom the plans and policies are ables you to contact and connect with those who can offer
implemented are indifferent, lethargic, corrupt, and most you a solution, or to whom you can offer your help, and the
often, completely incompetent, with no fear of loss of their website is for free.
job due to non-performance. This is the fundamental differ- The idea behind Karmayog launch is not just to get to-
ence between a Government and a Corporate entity, ironi- gether to have a common opinion and voice, but rather to
cally, while delivering the same services and working at create a space and provide a platform for different voices to

be expressed and for different people to connect with and but who are isolated from ordinary people and who make
contact each other. contributions of value in the process of policy making, laying
down of procedures and awareness creation for issues that
Karmayog’s aim is also to connect those people in Govern- affect them. 
ment, who are in a position and interested to improve things

The Government
of India
provides various schemes and
grants for NGOs and NPOs
Example: Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana (PMRY)
The PMRY is aimed at providing self-employment to educated unemployed youth of
economically weaker sections and has been in operation since October 2, 1993. The
scheme assists eligible youth in setting up self-employment ventures in industry, service &
business sectors. The scheme covers urban and rural areas.

Details about other schemes and grants can be seen at the

Karmayog site at

Thanks to Infrasys,
Kottapalayam is Out of the Dark
Thanks to the social responsibility undertaken by the Bangalore-based InfraSys,
Kottapalayam is today a brightly lit village where women can confidently
walk back home even late night.

OTTAPALAYAM is a neat and tidy village of 50 houses

K laid out in a grid of unpaved roads. They are modest,

functional homes with simple architecture red tiled
roofs and brilliant white walls. It is one of the 10 hamlets of
Murthy Sudhakar’s exposure to
villages began at a young age,
when he accompanied his father
on many of his geological field
Vavipalayam panchayat and is reachable in an hour and half
trips. Later, E.F. Schumacher’s
by bus from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu’s second largest city. “Small is Beautiful”, introduced
him to J.C. Kumarappa and
When, I first visited Kottapalayam in 2004, sunbathed dur- together the two sparked his
ing the day, it was dark at night. Most villages in Tamil Nadu interest in economics,
development, technology and rural India, in particular.
are “electrified”, but being connected to the power grid and After years of reading (and listening to) statistics and
getting predictable power supply are two different things. theories, he has turned his frustrations into action and
Today, 10 photovoltaic (solar) powered street lights serve the founded infraSys, as a commercial enterprise, to work
village. They are owned by the Vavipalayam panchayat, on infrastructure development and income generation
in rural India.
which pays no electric bill for these- with a projected saving
of Rs 300,000/- over the next 20 years.

The process of how this came about is unique and interesting. The initiative for this project came from Sindhanai Sir-
pigal, a local NGO ( They introduced infraSys, the Bangalore based company which invests in rural
India, to Jeyabalakrishnan, an enthusiastic Project Officer of Coimbatore District Rural Development Agency (DRDA).

An understanding was reached and as per that,the Government of Tamil Nadu would
provide a grant for Rs100,000/- and InfraSys would invest an equal amount and re-
cover its investment with nominal returns in three years. Democratic process and trans-
parency required that this arrangement be approved by villagers and the panchayat.

On January 28th, 2004 the citizens of Vavipalayam in the Gram Sabha (Village as-
sembly) passed a resolution to enter into a contract with infraSys for the solar street
lights. This was finalized at the DRDA office in February and the financing was in place.
Under the DRDA’s guidance the lights were installed in May 2004.

I returned to Kottapalayam in February of 2005, to find the residents very proud of

their street lights. The women now feel confident of walking home from the bus stop
even late at night. What is all the more interesting is, these lights do not suffer from
power cuts.

InfraSys invests in small enterprises in rural India. It brings together necessary infrastructures – physical, know-how
and financial – without which such enterprises neither succeed nor be sustainable.
It seeks collaboration in creating livelihoods and infrastructure in rural areas.
For information visit and write to the author at

FEC Initiative Building

Business-Social Partnerships
There is an increasing trend toward businesses and citizen sector organizations finding ways
to work together. Ashoka has been at the forefront of this creative exploration.
Ashoka is working to create a more enabling environment for the two sectors to
come together and effectively address social challenges.

AN you imagine a roundtable discussion with the

C second largest bank in India and leading social entre-

preneurs intensely engaged in how to address chal-
lenges facing poor communities in rural India? What was
Venkatesh Raghavendra is the
Managing Director of Ashoka’s
Global Diaspora Initiative, leading
Ashoka’s efforts to engage
once a rare scenario is now becoming a promising reality. Diaspora communities in the
mission of Ashoka, with the goal
In a new strategic collaboration, ICICI Bank via its invest- of offering innovative social
ments in the IFMR Trust and Ashoka will together pave the entrepreneurial investment and
way for the creation of a network of innovative, large scale engagement opportunities. He
for-profit and non-profit enterprises dedicated to creating has also worked extensively with
Ashoka’s Asia program since
market linkages and improving the quality of life for low- 2000. Prior to this, he was Ashoka Representative for
income people. The partnership will also open new oppor- South India. He is the co-founder of The Adventurers,
tunities for ICICI Bank’s development banking initiatives. an outdoor and environmental organization working in
the rainforests of South Western India.

Exciting new ways Malini Sekhar is currently on

In recent years, the concept of social entrepreneurship assignment with Ashoka’s Global
has inspired a flurry of creative dialogue around how the Office working on the Global
Diaspora Initiative and Global
business and citizens sectors can do work together that is
Fellowship efforts. She just
mutually beneficial. This one-year pilot collaboration completed her Master of Arts in
through Ashoka’s Full Economic Citizenship (FEC) initiative Sustainable International
is a tangible example of the exciting new ways in which Development at the Heller School
for Social Policy and
Ashoka ( is working with businesses. Management with Brandeis
With over 1,800 leading social entrepreneurs working in
more than 60 countries, Ashoka is a global organization Full Economic Citizenship for all
dedicated to the vision of a world where everyone is a The Full Economic Citizenship (FEC) program was launched by
changemaker, where each individual has the freedom, con- Ashoka to find new solutions that would enable the two-thirds
fidence and support to address any social problem and of the world living in poverty to have the choice to participate
drive change. Over the past 26 years, Ashoka invested in in local and global economies and be full economic citizens.
leading social entrepreneurs who create significant social
impacts around the world. But Ashoka has come to realize To address the lack of access to financial services that 2 billion
that investing in these Fellows and their innovative ideas citizens in the world face, the FEC initiative has already begun
for social change is not enough. Social entrepreneurs must developing innovative business/social partnerships that are en-
have supportive networks and structures in society to help abling “win–win” situations in parts of Mexico. Two pilot proj-
their ideas spread and grow. Ashoka is expanding its pro- ects in the fields of small-scale irrigation and low income housing
gramming on the group and sector level to help make that have been launched in Mexico involving communities, leading
happen. Critical to these interventions are new and hybrid social entrepreneurs, and prominent companies in those fields,
methods to bring together the powerful tools and resources and working together to provide products and services to low-
of both the business and social sectors to address social income families. Through this model, companies gain entry into
challenges. new markets, communities now have access to lower cost

products and necessary complementary services, and social open sourcing model used by the software community to
entrepreneurs are able to further their social impact and develop new software solutions, to open source social so-
are provided new sources of funding for their social mis- lutions ™. Through Changemakers Collaborative Compe-
sions. titions online, innovative social change strategies are
improved, awarded and given global exposure. Competi-
New Financial Instruments for the Citizens Sector tion themes included addressing issues such as: health care
The creation of the Eye Fund I with the goal of reducing and disaster response. For example, a grassroots entry will
blindness around the world is another way in which attract the attention of a major industrial corporation or a
Ashoka is seeking new financial instruments for the citizens new donor; two other participants will form a partnership;
sector. Ashoka has partnered with Deutsche Bank, the In- another innovation will find volunteer support; and yet an-
ternational Association for the Prevention of Blindness, and other will draw thousands of semiliterate farmers to vote
nonprofit eye care intermediaries, to develop a unique in- in the competition, using a computer for the first time in
vestment opportunity to finance, the expansion of eye their lives.
care services in the developing world with near market re-
turns. Social Financial Services (SFS), an Ashoka initiative, Strategic Global Partnerships
seeks creative and strategic ways to improve access to fi- Ashoka’s strategic global partners in the private sector
nancing and sustaining capital in the citizens sector. Cur- have also enabled a dynamic exchange of talent and re-
rently, there are limited financial supports available for sources between the private and citizens sectors. These
citizen sector organizations to succeed and remain sustain- partnerships have provided Ashoka Fellows and Ashoka
able. This new program has been working with leading fi- access to first class management, marketing, and legal re-
nancial intermediaries to educate them about the immense sources. McKinsey & Company, the world’s leading man-
value inherent in the social sector and assists them to de- agement consulting firm, engages Ashoka Fellows all over
velop new products and services that will enable them to the world in activities such as: strengthening institutional
invest strategically in the sector. capacity and strategic business planning. Hill and Knowl-
ton, a distinguished global public relations firm, provides
An Open Source Platform for Social Solutions pro bono marketing and communication services to
Rather than simply “surf” the web, individuals and Ashoka and Ashoka Fellows. Another strategic partner for
groups can now exchange and develop exciting new Ashoka is the International Senior Lawyer’s Project (ISLP)
strategies to provide affordable housing and end corrup- which matches senior lawyers with social entrepreneurs in
tion around the world. The emergence of the online need of pro bono legal assistance to scale their work. In
medium as a tool for communication, learning and ex- turn, Ashoka shares its vast network and knowledge base
change, has given life to new ways to affect social change with these businesses and their staff which enabled expan-
and build business-social bridges. Changemakers sion and transformative experiences.
(, an Ashoka initiative, uses the
In his Nobel Peace Prize lecture,
Ashoka Global Academy member,
Mohammed Yunus said, “By
defining ‘entrepreneur’ in a
broader way we can change the
character of capitalism radically,
and solve many of the unresolved
social and economic problems
within the scope of the free mar-
ket.” There is a growing conver-
gence between the citizen and
business sectors that offers op-
portunities and resources to drive
social change. Ashoka will con-
tinue to be an enabling force and
strive to find new ways of bridg-
ing the two sectors.
48 NGOs

Resource Alliance Helping NGOs

in Developing Countries
Resource Alliance is a UK registered charity whose mission is to build the fundraising capabilities
of the non-profit sector worldwide, in order to mobilise support for the sector’s
causes and achieve greater financial sustainability.

T HE Resource Alliance aims to be at the forefront of the

development of resource mobilisation and fundraising
capacity throughout the world by:
In addition to the two main international events, the Re-
source Alliance also runs Regional Workshops together with
partner organisations in Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe
and Latin America. These Regional Workshops offer a broad
 Developing a worldwide network for sharing and devel- insight into many aspects of fundraising and local resource
oping skills, knowledge and experience ; mobilisation on a more local level, and also provide a unique
 Building fundraising capacity by providing, and increasing opportunity for fundraisers from the region to meet and learn
access to training, education, advice and other learning from each other.In response to a shortage of quality and sus-
opportunities ; and tained fundraising training in the developing world, Resource
 Advocating for an enabling environment to encourage Alliance in 2005 launched a number of foundation courses in
the growth of philanthropy and other forms of support fundraising for non-profits around the world.
to enable voluntary organisations to achieve their aims.
Resource Alliance currently has two types of courses on
Resource Alliance believes that offer: a 1-year part-time, post-grad-
strengthening civil society requires uate course for those already working
that voluntary organisations de- in the non-profit sector, taught
velop support by actively engaging through a combination of face-to-face
with, and being publicly account- learning and home-study, and
able to their communities. Effective also an advanced intensive course
communications and mobilisation aimed at those with non-profit sector
of support from a diverse range of experience, which is taught through
sources are vital links in this class-room work, presentations, group
process. work and case studies over 20 days.

To equip NGOs around the world In 2004, Resource Alliance launched

with the skills, knowledge and re- the Asia Pacific NGO Awards in part-
sources to mobilise local support, nership with Citigroup Asia Pacific, the
the organisation provides a variety only regional competition of its kind to
of services and activities. celebrate and reward the best NGOs/non-profit organisa-
tions. Following the success of the initial programme, the
International events Awards were run for a second year in 2005.
Resource Alliance runs two main international events: The
International Fundraising Congress is Resource Alliance’s In May 2006, Resource Alliance set up another Award
flagship event and began in 1981, growing year on year to programme in India, supported by the Nand & Jeet Khemka
a conference of up to 900 attendees from over 50 countries Foundation, which culminated in the announcement of the
worldwide. The event is held every year near Amsterdam in Award winners in New Delhi in March 2007.
The Netherlands. The International Workshop for Resource In 2006, Resource Alliance launched a unique consultancy
Mobilisation is an annual global forum, the second largest service for non-profit organisations seeking to build their
event organised by Resource Alliance in partnership with a long term financial sustainability, with a primary focus on or-
local organisation. These Workshops are particularly de- ganisations working in the developing world. 
signed for senior managers and directors of NGOs, interna-
tional NGOs and governmental agencies and civil society For more information about these activities,
organisations based in the developing economies. please visit website:

Unfortunate Fall of an NGO Titan:

Lessons to learn
It may be necessary for the founder managing trustee of an NGO to step down after ten or
fifteen years. There should also be a regular rotation of at least one-third of the trustees,
which will give continuity as well as bring in a new perspective.

HERE is not a single e-mail user who has not re-

T ceived offers of millions of dollars from total

strangers in Nigeria. At the same time it is difficult
to find any one who has fallen to such outright scams.
Dr. Bhamy V. Shenoy, an IIT
Madras graduate with a Ph.D in
business administration from
University of Houston, worked for
It was a shocking and equally sad news when NGOs Conoco in all phases of
learnt that one of the tall leaders in India’s consumer International Petroleum Industry
protection movement had fallen prey to such a fraud. for 21 years, from 1966 to 1987.
That leader is Manubhai Shah, founder and Managing He took early retirement in 1987
to return to India to get involved
Trustee of Consumer Education and Research Center
in India's development. He has been participating in
(CERC). Often Manubhai was compared to Ralph Nader various NGO activities involving consumer protection,
of the US who stood against the mighty General Motors. education and environment. He contested election
twice as an independent. From 1997 till 2003, he was
Manubhai, who used to go often to Nigeria when involved in energy sector reform in former Soviet
he worked for Arvaind Mills, got an offer from some Union countries. He is currently an honorary advisor to
one from Nigeria that he is eligible to claim a prop- the national oil company in Georgia.
erty left behind by one Justine Collins. However, to
process the claim it is necessary to invest about cheques one written in April, 2006 for Rs. 10 lakh
$1,00,000. It was to pay that amount, Manubhai had and the other for Rs. 22 lakh in June. It is claimed
taken Rs. 32 lakh from CERC in early part of 2006. by some that Manubhai wanted to contribute the
But trustees did not know about this until three NRI funds he secured from Nigerian property to CERC.
whistleblowers from the US, who were donors to Still it is difficult for many to believe in that expla-
CERC and also well wishers of Manubhai informed nation for Manubhai to have taken money from
them. It must have been a difficult decision for those CERC without getting a formal approval from the
NRIs. board. However, now Manubhai had returned all
the funds with interest and CERC has not lost any
Fraud money as a result.
The three NRI well wishers are Sanat Parikh from
Houston, Texas who had helped Manubhai to start a Wakeup call
sister organization in the US to raise funds for CERC This unfortunate incident involving the fall of a
and to promote INSIGHT magazine and the other titan of consumer NGO has many lessons. Today in
two are Vipin Pujara from Florida and Shrikumar Pod- India there are many successful NGOs similar to
dar from Michigan. When Manubhai contacted them CERC rendering yeoman service to India’s develop-
requesting for funds to be wired to Nigerians, they ment. Like CERC they are managed by the founders
learnt about the fraud to their utter shock. Some under the supervision of a board often consisting of
trustees received an alert from these NRIs and, as a members recruited by founders. How often will they
result, the board promptly took the difficult and, un- question and analyze dispassionately the strategy
pleasant task of removing Manubhai who had proposed by the founder in deference to his great
brought each and every one of them as Trustees. contribution? Even more importantly, what kind of
system or structure these NGOs have for them to
Later it was found out that it was two employees even monitor the key decisions taken by the
(one of them was a trustee) who had signed the two founders?

For example, the board of CERC, which has a large num- to force better governance. When an NGO has a less
ber of eminent members, did not have the slightest clue till democratic structure of a trust where few like-minded
it was brought to their attention by NRI donors that trustees are in charge, there is a need to have a special set
Manubhai was indulging in Nigerian fraud and had used up to hold them accountable. At least in the case of a
Trust funds for such an activity. From April till November registered society with a large membership, any member
of 2006, there was at least one meeting of the trustees. If has the right to question the management. The structure
they did not learn from that meeting that CERC has paid of a trust does not allow such a flexibility.
a huge amount of Rs.32 lakh from Trust accounts to
Manubhai’s personal accounts, it clearly shows that there Unfortunate
were no proper checks and balances in place. This also It is even more unfortunate that media, which looks
raises a question on the responsibility of other trustees re- for this kind of sensational news, has done very little to
garding implementing the appropriate monitoring system bring out all the facts. There have been some reports in-
and also their accountability. Can trustees absolve of them- forming the public about the bare details and that too in
selves by complaining that they were misled or not fully in- only some regions of India. CERC was known not just in
formed by the managing trustee? Isn’t that what other Gujarat, but all over India serving on various advisory
stakeholders like the government and donors expect from boards of the government of India. No Indian (major)
eminent board members? magazine has published an investigative article, which
could have helped other NGOs in similar circumstances
Mandatory to wake up. What has happened at CERC should be a
NGOs should make it mandatory for the signing of the wakeup call.
cheques by at least two trustees when it exceeds a certain
limit. At every trustee meeting there should be a report Manubhai, who started CERC in 1978 and put in 28
placed on the latest financial status. The trustees should years of work, is above 77 years, and did not show interest
ensure that an independent auditor is really independent to groom any one to take over the reins after him despite
and perhaps may even consider changing the auditor the frequent requests made. In this case also the whole
every three years in case of large NGOs. There should be board failed CERC not by forcing this issue on Manubhai
open communication between the trustees and employ- Shah. By the standards we have for our political leaders
ees so that employees can bring unusual or questionable who never retire and also never groom any other except-
activities to their attention. ing their own kith and kin, this may sound normal.

It is more than six months since Manubhai has been It may be necessary for a founder managing trustee to
removed from his post at CERC, but there is very little step down after an initial period of ten to fifteen years.
mention about it either on the web site of CERC or in the There should also be regular rotation of at least one-third
bimonthly Journal INSIGHT produced by CERC. This is of trustees which will give continuity as well as bring new
rather surprising. An NGO which expects government perspective. Every successful NGO, which is not a one-
bodies to be transparent and accountable, should have man operation, should have regular change in the top
given all the information it has on this unfortunate inci- management with clearly defined succession plans. This is
dent and also on corrective steps taken to restore credi- not at all easy, but it is something NGOs should attempt.
bility and confidence. Rotary and Lions have succeeded in implementing this
very efficiently. In the end every NGO should be trans-
Both Vipin Pujara and Sanat Parikh have attempted to parent and accountable to the rest of the society. 
find out the changes that have been brought about in
the CERC bye laws or the structure to prevent this kind
of situation in the future. They are still waiting to hear. The author wants to thank Sanat Parikh, Vipin
Most NGOs may not be fortunate in having such dedi- Pujara and Shrikumar Poddar for their valuable
cated and concerned donors who take time and interest suggestions while writing this article.

“If they (companies) believe they are in business to serve people, to help solve problems,
to use and employ the ingenuity of their workers, to improve the lives of people around
them by learning from the nature that gives us life, we have a chance.”
— Paul Hawken

Rural Innovations: A Shining example

JS Milker is an example of how mechanisation can change lives for the better.
It removed the tedium of manual milking as well as fetched Palanivel
family more income while helping maintain the quality of milk.

NDIA is the world’s largest producer of milk, with 70 mil- immediately, he paid the advance amount of Rs. 500/- and

I lion dairy farmers producing nearly 85 million tonnes of

milk each year. Many are typically landless. For such fam-
ilies, a couple of milch animals are the biggest asset. At the
booked a machine.

In a week's time, the company's representatives landed at

same time, this group also has dairy farmers who have land, their doorstep with a JS Milker. The team provided the couple
like A K Palanivel. training on how to use it. Initially, the couple was happy with
the Milker. It had relieved them of the tediousness in milking.
Palanivel's residence in Athanur village in Tamil Nadu’s Na- Easy to use, the Milker had given them new hope. They even
makkal district offers a beautiful view of the verdant hills that recommended it to many others. Nearly 20 JS Milkers were
surround it. At first sight, it seems quite refreshing and idyllic. acquired by others.
Probe and you will discover that livelihoods in Athanur have
not remained as pretty as their natural settings. With time, they got used to the Milker, though they noticed
aspects that were less satisfying and
Focus on dairying even frustrating. The Milker had a cen-
Palanivel has 10 acres of good land. But tral valve to be released after securing
over time, the decline in the availability of all the nipples on the udders. This
water has changed the cultivation pattern. turned out to be a new problem. Even
Five years ago, the declining water table as one was put in position and the oth-
forced Palanivel to switch to poultry. He set ers were being fixed, one of them
up a farm with 10,000 birds. In 3 years, the would come loose and then they would
water situation further forced him to give up have to start it all over again. They re-
poultry farming too. Then, Palanivel ferred this to the company and the
switched his focus to dairying. Starting with problem was rectified. Yet, while the
3 animals, Palanivel and his wife Amutha Milker was a good-looking machine,
found it worthwhile to increase the number the couple gave priority to sturdiness.
to 10. They felt the parts should not be so
fragile that you have to replace them
However, even as they were doing this, often.
Amutha Palanivel started facing the down-
side of dairying. Milking is quite a tedious and time-consuming Big leap
task. It takes 15 minutes of labour to milk a local breed. All the same, after getting accustomed to the Milker,
Amutha started experiencing health problems. When she Palanivel made a big leap. He modified it making it power
milked the cows, she experienced headaches and pain. They driven (with a 0.5 HP motor) ! Thus, there was no need for
could not look at a conventional power-driven milker because pumping the lever by hand and building up the required pres-
the cost was far too high and was justified only when one had sure ! Consequently, a good quality can, nipples and the elec-
20 to 25 cows or more. The situation became so grave that tric assembly cost just Rs. 10,000/-.
the couple started to look seriously at the option of selling off
the cows. But, dairying had become their bread and butter. And, the benefits remained. The Milker continued to be
The couple had 2 sons to educate. easy to use. Nearly two-thirds of their time is saved. The milk
is hygienic. And, they get a better price for their produce. Yes,
In the middle of this difficult situation, Palanivel chanced Palanivel records happily that, ever since they started using
upon the JS Milker. In 2003, he visited Agri Intex organized by the Milker, they have been getting 10-15 paise more per litre
CODISSIA in Coimbatore. There, he saw a machine that was of milk from the milk society. 40 litres of milk a day makes it
almost too good to be true. At a price of Rs. 7500/-, the JS 4 rupees of additional income every day. Isn’t that more than
Milker seemed to be just what Palanivel was in dire need of welcome ? 


CRY America’s first charity gala under its new name CRY - Child Rights And You America Inc.
RY America hosted its first benefit dinner ‘Pledge for granted – education, healthcare, protection from ex-

C 2007’ under its new name CRY- Child Rights and

You America Inc. in New York on May 2nd, 2007.
Fareed Zakaria, Editor, Newsweek International was the
ploitation and abuse. “Unless we address the root
causes of this situation – endemic poverty, gender bias,
class and caste divides and misgovernance – we will
keynote speaker, and the co-chairs for the evening were only be scratching the surface of the problem,” she
Meera Gandhi, Goodwill Ambassador for CISRI at the pointed out.
United Nations and Vikram Gandhi, Head of Global Bank-
ing at Credit Suisse. The main sponsor for the dinner was In his keynote address, Dr. Fareed Zakaria said that
Credit Suisse. Change in India could only come by getting the civic so-
ciety involved and pressing the government and ampli-
Success celebrations fying the voices like that of CRY.
The gala was attended by 200 people from the tri-state
area, Indians as well as Americans who came together to Shefali Sunderlal, President, CRY America, said that
celebrate the successes that CRY America, its partner events, such as Pledge 2006 offered to all the platform
NGOs at grassroots level and volunteers across India and on which “we can amplify our voice and support to the
the US have had in impacting the lives of thousands of cause of child rights.”
children thus far, and to make future achievements a real-
ity. An estimated $80,000 was raised at the dinner, re- CRY - Child Rights and You America Inc. is a
sources that will be directed towards funding several 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2002 that
initiatives that ensure irreversible change in the lives of works to restore the basic rights of survival, protection,
children. Ingrid Srinath, CEO of CRY, a leading child rights development and participation to underprivileged chil-
advocate in India, through her presentation on the status dren, especially in India. Believing that ‘each one of us
of children in India, explained the reason for CRY Amer- can make a difference’ it works towards creating a
ica’s name change, from Relief to Rights. movement that irrevocably changes children’s lives. 

According to her, millions of children across India are For information contact: CRY America,
excluded from the rights most American children can take Kreeanne Rabadi,

CRY America’s Executive

Committee members, who
attended the event, are:
(from left to right)
Vikram Gandhi, Head of
Global Banking at Credit
Suisse and co-chair for the
event, Meera Gandhi,
Co-chair for the event,
Nandan Maluste,
Treasurer, CRY, Mumbai,
Fareed Zakaria,
Editor of Newsweek
International and keynote
speaker at the event,
Ingrid Srinath, CEO of CRY
and Trustee of CRY America,
and Shefali Sunderlal,
President of CRY America

Development Gateway Foundation Photo Contest

Deveopment Gateway Foundation is launching a photo contest
open to all of at least 18 years of age.
We are looking for compelling photographs of
socio-economic development in developing countries
Following types of photographs will be accepted:
 The images may show information and communication plaining how that image is representative of devel-
technologies helping ordinary people opment. Images will be judged on technical excel-
 The images may reflect people making a product, selling lence, composition, overall impact, and artistic
wares, working in a field, constructing a building or in- merit. Each entrant may enter upto three photo-
frastructure, or acquiring knowledge graphs. Acceptable photo formats are TIFF, JPEG,
 The images could be abstract ones representing hope, GIF or BMP. Photo size must be no larger than
future, or capacity building 3 mb
 The photographs may also include images of original art-  The deadline to submit your photographs is Sep-
work from a developing country. Do not include photo- tember 21, 2007. The top 10 photographs will be
graphs of groups of people posing posted on the Development Gateway Foundation
 Each online entry must include a description ex- Website from October 1-8

Winner gets a prize of $ 500 which will be announced on October 9

All visitors to the site will be eligible to vote
Read complete information and enter Photo Contest at:
E-mail for the Photo Contest questions or inquiries is



(In Dollars) (In Dollars)

Donations: Editorial: 3,477

US Members: 8,726 Printing: 8,467
Indian Members: 1,000
Postage: 4,685
Advertisements: 234 Marketing 1,957
Office (US): 3,753
Travel: 632
Other Expenses: 1,903

Total Revenue: 9,960 Total Expenditure: 24,874

Deficit: 14,914

Premji a Crusader for Humane Society

ZIM Hashim Premji is the Chairman and CEO of The belief in Innovation was translated into institution-

A one of the largest software companies in India,

Wipro Technologies, head quartered at Banga-
lore. Worth $17.1 billion and rated as the richest Indian
alizing Innovation at Wipro, and complement the spark
of creativity with methodical, deliberate and sustainable
processes to drive and facilitate Innovation. Wipro was
from 1999 to 2005, and one of the the first Indian Company to embrace
50 richest people in the world from Six Sigma, the first Software Services
2001 to 2003 by Forbes, Premji was Company in the world. Wipro is also
rated in 2004 as one among the 100 the pioneer in applying Lean
most influential people in the world methodologies to Software develop-
by the Time magazine. He was born ment and maintenance with more
on 24 July 1945. than 300 lean projects.

At the age of 21, because of his fa- In the year 2001, the Azim Premji
ther’s sudden demise, Premji had to Foundation was set up with financial
discontinue studies at Stanford Uni- resources contributed by Premji him-
versity in order to take over the fam- self. It is a not-for-profit organization
ily business. However, he managed to with a vision of significantly con-
acquire his Bachelor’s Degree in Elec- tributing to quality primary education
trical Engineering through correspon- for every child, in order to build a just,
dence course from Stanford equitable and humane society. It aims
University, USA. at making a tangible impact on iden-
tified social issues by working in active partnership with
Premji started off in Wipro with a simple vision: to the Government and other related sections of the soci-
build an organization on a foundation of values. Al- ety. This Foundation is dedicated towards Universaliza-
though the company initially dealt in hydrogenated tion of Elementary Education in India as Premji strongly
cooking fats and consumer products, Premji transformed believes that education is the vital element in the devel-
it into a multinational computer software company. opment and progress of our nation. The Foundation’s
Under his chairmanship, the company’s annual revenues focus is on improving the quality of general education
grew up to 2.5 billion USD by 2007. Thus it became the in rural schools and developing world class human re-
world's largest independent Research and Development sources in the field of education. The current programs
Service Provider and the largest Business Process Out- of the Azim Premji Foundation engage 3.2 million chil-
sourcing company in dren in more than 17,000
India. Sathiraju Sankara Narayana schools across India. In Oc-
was born in 1936 at Narsapur, in tober 2006, the Economic
Premji firmly believes Andhra Pradesh, India, completed Times recognized him as the
that ordinary people are his Masters Degree in Economics Corporate Citizen of the
from Loyola College, Chennai and
capable of extraordinary year.
joined the services of All India
things. His fanatical belief Radio in 1963. After working in Premji is a member of the
in delivering value to the various capacities for 32 years, he Prime Minister's Advisory
customer through Innova- retired in 1995 as Station Director, Chennai.
Sankara Narayana hails from a family of artists. His
Committee for Information
tion and Leading-Edge
father was a very creative person and his elder Technology in India. In
Quality processes has led
brother, Bapu is one of the most eminent artists of 2005, he was awarded the
to the emergence of a sys- India and a well known Film Director. Sankara Padma Bhushan. 
tem termed as the “Wipro Narayana currently lives in Chennai, pursuing his
Way”. passion for drawing portraits.

IASPORA Indians — RY is recognised inter-

D On the Philanthropy
Fast-Track traces the ef-
forts of a fraction of the Indian
C nationally for innova-
tive fund-raising –
seventy percent of its money
Diaspora in the Far East, Middle comes from some hundred
East, United Kingdom and thousand donors, each of
United States to “reconnect” whom contributes modest
with their home country and be amounts of money and
participants in the social devel- sometimes labour and mate-
opment agenda. While the rial. A recent innovation is
focus of the book is on philan- the book “A Poem for
thropic contributions of the Diaspora, it would be im- CRY”, published by Penguin India and currently
possible to do so without tracing the history of the for sale only in the Indian Subcontinent and Sin-
movement of the Indian Diaspora. gapore. Royalties from sales go to CRY-Child
Unlike many other Diaspora communities, Indians Rights & You.
were never forced to leave, but rather were driven by In 2003, Avanti Maluste and Sudeep Doshi,
ambition and went abroad in search of opportunities: privileged kids then at leading high schools in
economic or academic. The story of the Indian Dias- Mumbai and London, had been volunteers with
pora is therefore one of grit and merit. It is the story CRY projects over a number of years. To support
of a people of immense courage, determination and CRY's fund-raising and awareness building, they
success. wrote to hundreds of well known Indians (inter-
Fascinating people who have constructed “imagi- preting the term broadly) around the world ask-
nary homelands”, and yet for whom the heartstrings ing each to say which was his or her favourite
of “Mother India” pull rather forcefully. From the taxi poem and why. One hundred and six responded
drivers at Heathrow and JFK, to the Maharajahs of ranging from President Abdul Kalam and Profes-
UK and the cyber lords of the Silicon Valley, the Indian sor Amartya Sen to Sonia Gandhi and (then Prime
commitment to the homeland stands out. The repa- Minister) Atal Behari Vajpayee, Amitabh
triation of resources ¾ human and capital ¾ and the Bachchan, H.H. the Dalai Lama, Sachin Tendulkar,
philanthropic connection is thus seen across conti- Nadir Godrej, Nandan Nilekani and Zubin Mehta.
nents, classes and categories of people. Why? One clue lies in the concentration of re-
The book has attempted to profile Non-Resident In- spondents in Mumbai and Delhi: Avanti,Sudeep,
dians (NRIs) and People of Indian Origin (PIOs) in their relatives and friends obviously badgered po-
these four regions in terms of geography, size and ori- tential contributors over the months and years.
gins, defining and mapping giving patterns of the Di- But also, surely, the mission of CRY resonated
aspora; it also profiles institutions and groups across with the contributors. Opportunity for all our
the world that are promoting organised Diaspora , as children is one goal all Indians shoot for.
well as case studies of leaders among philanthropists Amartya Sen writes in his thoughtful foreword,
who are visionaries. “This is a wonderful collection of poems. The
Diaspora Indians — On the Philanthropy Fast- poems are of interest not only for the merits of
Track also attempts to look at “issues” related to giv- the poems themselves, but also for telling us
ing back as highlighted by the Diaspora and offers some thing about the commitments and priorities
ideas and solutions to promote opportunities to in- of the selectors. We live not only by our own-
crease the participations of Indians everywhere in the thoughts but also by the ideas and phrases that
development of the country.Diaspora studies are rare resonate and move us”. So get this book. If you
¾ few and far between ¾ and this book hopes to fill enjoy poetry, the anthology represents almost
the knowledge gap about Indians that reside across every genre of poem; if you enjoy Indian celebri-
the globe and their philanthropic contributions. ties, here is a unique window into their minds. If
Gururaj Deshpande, in a thought-provoking Fore- neither, get “A Poem for CRY” to support child
word powerfully articulates the Diaspora mindset on rights and human development.. 

2007 Skoll Awards For Social Entrepreneurship

HE Skoll Foundation announced 2007 Skoll measure their role in depleting the world’s

T Foundation Awards for Social Entrepreneurship

for 10 Innovative Social Entrepreneurs. The
recipients, who will each receive three- year grants
ecological asests, a community activist who helps
villages in India run sustainable sanitation
and clean water facilities, a former accountant who
of $ 10,15,000, are organizations that address social is helping replenish
issues in need of urgent attention. the world’s
collapsing fish stocks
This year’s Skoll entrepreneurs include a with an international
former French businessman who is building seafood
networks to prevent abuse of street children, two eco-labeling and
longtime environmentalists whose “Ecological certification
Footprint”enables businesses and governments to program.

Since its creation in 1987, the 800 new Youth in Action groups that raise an addi-
Escuela Nueva Foundation has tional $1.5 million each year.

strengthened and promoted the

Escuela Nueva (New School) Since 1994, Friends-International
model in Colombia and abroad, has been running projects world-
demonstrating that with the wide for and with street children,
right educational approach, any attempting to reintegrate these chil-
child can achieve high academic dren into society and providing pos-
standards and permanently escape poverty. The Escuela itive alternatives to those who unwittingly or out of
Nueva model now reaches more than 5 million children economic necessity enable this phenomenon, such as
in 14 Latin American countries, Uganda and the Philip- taxis, Internet cafes, restaurants, hotels and tourists. Each
pines and the World Bank has recognized Escuela Nueva year 85,000 children benefit from programs operated by
as one of the most innovative educational programs in Friends-International and partner organizations in Cam-
the developing world. bodia, Laos, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Honduras,
Social Entrepreneur: Vicky Colbert France, Switzerland, the United States and Germany.
Headquarters: Bogota, Colombia Social Entrepreneur: Sebastien Marot
Grant Objective: To support the Escuela Nueva Foun- Headquarters: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
dation’s Smart Scaling Campaign to reach an addi- Grant Objective: To build a financially sustainable
tional 1.5 million children by 2010 through current global network of partners capable of helping
program expansion in Latin America and Uganda and 500,000 street children each year.
by launching new programs in India, Peru, Costa Rica
and Bolivia. To combat humanity’s
consumption of ecolog-
Free The Children – Free The Children ical resources beyond
recognizes the potential of young peo- sustainable limits,
ple to create positive social change. It Global Footprint Net-
works with schools throughout North work developed the Ecological Footprint, a science-
America to educate and empower based tool that graphically shows the depletion of
youths to act locally and globally as ecological assets and helps businesses and governments
agents of change for their peers track impacts and make ecologically sound decisions. The
around the world. More than 500,000 Ecological Footprint is used by Wales, Switzerland and
students have joined the organization’s Youth in Action Japan, and by hundreds of other cities, counties, busi-
groups in 1,000 schools across the U.S. and Canada. They nesses, intergovernmental bodies and educational insti-
have shipped $11 million in essential medical supplies and tutions.
have provided health care projects benefiting more than Social Entrepreneurs: Mathis Wackernagel and
505,000 people. Susan Burns
Social Entrepreneurs: Craig and Marc Kielburger Headquarters: Oakland, California
Headquarters: Toronto Grant Objective: To add 15 national and/or interna-
Grant Objective: To expand in the U.S. and establish tional government agencies using the Ecological
Footprint to the partner network by 2010.

Gram Vikas (Village Develop- eries are sold in 26 countries. Major companies such as
ment) has developed a holistic Whole Foods in the U.S. and Marks and Spencer and
approach to rural development Sainsbury in the U.K. have stocked MSC seafood, and in
in India that involves entire com- 2006 Wal-Mart announced that it would begin to source
munities, with water and sanitation as the starting point. all its fish from MSC-certified suppliers.
Founder Joe Madiath believes every home must have run- Social Entrepreneur: Rupert Howes
ning water and sanitation before villagers will collectively Headquarters: London
seek a better quality of life through education, job training Grant Objective: To increase market penetration in Eu-
and healthy practices. The program has been imple- rope, strengthen its U.S. presence, expand into the
mented in 289 villages, reaching 22,347 households and Asia/Pacific arena and certify at least eight more fish-
has successfully proven that the rural poor can and will eries by 2010.


pay for better sanitation and water facilities.
Social Entrepreneur: Joe Madiath Engaging workers in a solu-
Headquarters: Orissa, Ganjam, India tions-driven, participatory
Grant Objective: To bring water and sanitation to model, Verité partners with
100,000 families by 2010. hundreds of multinational
brands, sector leaders, fac-
Kashf is a microfinance institution that of- tories, nongovernmental organizations, institutional in-
fers women below the poverty line in Pak- vestors and governments to improve social and
istan a way out through access to financial environmental performance of global supply chains. Verité
services. Kashf began with 15 clients in 1996 currently operates in more than 60 countries in electronics,
and now assists 150,000 clients, with a re- apparel, footwear, food and beverage, and agriculture in-
covery rate of 99 percent. It delivers collat- dustries, among others, with a growing network of staff
eral-free microloans, savings and life and partners. By bringing practical auditing, training, ca-
insurance products through branches that become sus- pability building and research solutions to stakeholders of
tainable within 10 months. Thirty-five percent of its clients the global workplace, Verité improves the lives of global
move out of poverty within three years. factory workers, who often suffer from unhealthy, ex-
Social Entrepreneur: Roshaneh Zafar ploitive working conditions and typically have no leverage
Headquarters: Lahore, Pakistan to effect change. The organization has improved working
Grant Objective: To expand operations to 600,000 conditions directly and indirectly for millions of workers
clients by 2010 in Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh around the world, delivered training to thousands of fac-
provinces. tories, and improved policy and addressed labor issues
providing protections for millions of workers.
Through a nationally recog- Social Entrepreneur: Dan Viederman
nized model for arts education, Headquarters: Amherst, Massachusetts
vocational training and com- Grant Objective: To strengthen partnerships in dozens
munity development, Manchester Bidwell Corporation of countries and train 1,500 practitioners to replicate
(MBC) has brought higher graduation and college enroll- its model by 2010, with the potential to reach hun-
ment rates and has reduced unemployment for thousands dreds of thousands more workers worldwide.
of young people each year in impoverished urban environ-
ments across the U.S. Since 1984, MBC and its subsidiaries To create a positive
have operated art and recording studios, computer class- future for low-in-
rooms and industrial kitchens, among other facilities, come young people
demonstrating that an inspiring space and state-of-the- who left high school without a diploma, YouthBuild re-en-
art equipment lead to more motivated and engaged stu- rolls them in an alternative YouthBuild school where they
dents. complete high school and build affordable homes for their
Social Entrepreneur: William Strickland neighbors, while transforming their own lives and becom-
Headquarters: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ing responsible citizens and good parents with well-paying
Grant Objective: Support replication programs in six jobs. Each year, YouthBuild programs engage 8,000
cities that will serve 1,800 additional youths by 2009. youths in local programs supported by the national Youth-
Build USA organization in 42 states and produce afford-
Marine Stewardship Council - To able housing for 1,000 low-income or homeless families.
combat declining levels of wild fish Social Entrepreneur: Dorothy Stoneman
stock, Marine Stewardship Council Headquarters: Somerville, Massachusetts
(MSC) offers the world’s only interna- Grant Objective: To build a critical mass of role models
tional seafood eco-labeling and certi- and have 500 YouthBuild students communicate their
fication program, which uses market forces to support experience to audiences of millions, expand the pro-
sustainable fisheries and encourage eco-friendly products. gram and fund a re-entry program for adjudicated
Today 500 MSC-labeled products from 22 certified fish- youths in three states.

Biodiversity For Development

“It is now well recognized that poverty and the area of Environment and Sustainable Development by
biodiversity are intimately linked” United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The ap-
— KEMAL DERVIS, proaches taken by these five local communities to create
Administrator, UNDP livelihoods from the biodiversity in their surrounding envi-
ronments are evidence of the sustainable routes. They sug-
IODIVERSITY is defined as “the variability among

gest several opportunities that are available in developing
living organisms from all sources, including terres- communities.
trial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the
ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes * In Madagascar, the Village of Andavadoaka demon-
diversity within species, between species and of ecosys- strates how communities can organize to manage a valu-
tems”. India occupies 2.2% of the land, 16% of the pop- able resource, in this case the octopus fishery, so that it
ulation and approximately 8% of the biodiversity in the can provide benefits in the long-run.
world. India is one of the 12 mega * In Bangladesh, Shidulai Swarni-
diversity countries in the world. var Sangstha uses riverboat-based
Of the approximately 80,000 ed- educational resource centers
ible plants that have been used at throughout its Ganges river delta
one time in human history, only to deliver information on sustain-
about 150 have been cultivated able agricultural practices and
on a large scale. Today, a mere 10 market prices.
to 20 species provide 80%–90% * In Guatemala, the women of Al-
of the food requirements in the imentos Nutri-Naturales have re-
world. This trend puts much pres- instated the Maya nut as a staple
sure on the existence of the re- source of nutrition, thereby con-
maining species. Presently, at least serving the Maya Nut forests in
1,000 species are depleted every the buffer zone to the Maya Bios-
year around the world1. phere Reserve.
* In Kenya, Shompole Community
Poor people living in areas with Trust conserves the inimitable
low agricultural productivity, de- vastness and beauty of the grass-
pend heavily and directly on the lands and savannahs to fuel a ro-
forests to support their liveli- bust profit driven ecotourism
hoods. Diversity confers re- venture benefiting the Maasai
silience. A broad genetic base people.
allows crops and livestock to Illustration by Mark Denil, Director, Conservation * In Ecuador, in the Galapagos
adapt to changing conditions. This Mapping/Chief Cartographer, Conservation International, USA UNESCO World Heritage Site,
is vital for the poor who cannot af- the women of Isabela Island’s
ford to rely on chemical fertilizers or pesticides which pro- “Blue Fish” Association are marketing a local delicacy, tuna
tect monocultures from disease, pests and soil problems. smoked with guava wood, as a way of promoting alterna-
Poverty and human activity threaten biodiversity and cre- tive use of marine resources and controlling the invasive
ates biodiversity hotspots - regions that have been signif- plant species.
icantly impacted (negatively) and altered by human
activities. The Western Ghats and North East India are rec- Corporations can make use of all the tax incentives to
ognized as two of the twenty-five biodiversity hotspots in support local communities to create livelihoods from the
the world. The destruction of biodiversity signifies the de- biodiversity in their surrounding environments. They can
struction of people’s livelihoods, health and survival in help the projects become successful business while pro-
these areas. viding livelihoods to locals and preserving biodiversity. 

The Equator Prize recognizes outstanding local efforts in

1995 Global Biodiversity Assessment, United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).