Emphasizing the Role of CSR in Sustained Social Change: State-Level Consultation in Chhattisgarh

Emphasizing the Role of CSR in Sustained Social Change: State-Level Consultation in Chhattisgarh

Oxfam India and the National Foundation for India conducted a state level private sector and civil society consultation on corporate social responsibility (CSR) engagements in Chhattisgarh titled “Perspectives, Idea and Development” on 29 January 2016 in Raipur. As many as 50 representatives from civil society, the media and corporate houses such as GMR, Amway India, and Sarda Energy and Mineral attended the event. Chandrashekhar Sahu, Chairperson, Finance Commission, Government of Chhattisgarh was the chief guest at the event. 

Addressing the gathering, Sahu underlined that the focus of CSR should be issues such as agriculture, education, and gender justice. He recommended optimum fund utilization under CSR, and said that more funds should be allocated to the agriculture section to help boost production.  Further, he appealed to those conducting CSR activities to keep in mind the imminent drought situation in the state. Sahu also referred to Oxfam’s recent report, An Economy for the 1%, which highlights the widening gap between the rich and the poor, and emphasized that action needs to be taken to address this immediately. 

Private sector engagement, especially through CSR, has a lot of potential, Sunil Kumar, Deputy Chairperson, Department of Planning said. He cautioned that CSR funds should not be thought of as a substitute for public funding, and that utilization of these funds should not be divided into a need-based institutional paradigm. Instead, corporates should think of holistic utilization of the funds to bring sustained social change.  

Amitabh Behar, Director, National Foundation for India and Gayatri Subrahmaniam from Indian institute for Corporate Affairs discussed the impact of the Companies Act 2013 in the context of the role of corporate entities in social progress. Subrahmaniam also conducted a presentation examining various aspects of the Act and how it can increase accountability with respect to spending of CSR funds. 

The consultation ended with the following suggestions being made:

  • Frequent state-wise consultations and forums such as this one
  • Building sector specific linkages for direct support
  • Strengthening advocacy with the private sector for more proactive engagements, particularly at the top level
  • Enhancing the state’s role in bringing together different stakeholders
  • Capacity building for private sector engagement
  • Working closely with the media to publish stories on private sector engagement

 

Written by: Oxfam India staff

 


Others

Find out how Oxfam India is enabling communities by working to provide a life of dignity and equal opportunity for all.Get to know more about Oxfam India`s latest projects.

Read More

Related Stories

Gender Justice

19 Mar, 2019

Odisha

United Voices against Alcoholism

This is the story of Kandhamal District, Gunjigaon, Odisha where Oxfam India's partner ISD is working with a women's group.

Read More

Education

19 Mar, 2019

Bihar

Nandini's mother helps fortify her daughter's future

9-year-old Nandini was born into a family of Musahars (a scheduled caste community that were traditionally rat-catchers) in Bihar.

Read More

Economic Justice

15 Mar, 2019

Uttar Pradesh

Manju Devi's Journey Towards Self Reliance

Often the cost of cultivation and input costs are very high which pushes a farmer to debt.

Read More

Economic Justice

15 Mar, 2019

Uttar Pradesh

Challenging Gender Bias through Innovative Farming Practices

Uttar Pradesh is one among the largest contributors of agriculture produce in the state where 65% of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood and a majority of them are livin

Read More