Ms Rupa Saha, Director, Outreach and Partnerships, Sri Aurobindo Society, was invited by the well-known not-for-profit social organization, Hand in Hand, India, as a panelist for a Capacity Building Workshop on the discussion on various aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This workshop was held to celebrate the inauguration of the Hand in Hand Academy of Social Entrepreneurship on September 21, 2016, at the academy premises in Kancheepuram, near Chennai.
Hand in Hand India focuses on implementing an Integrated Community Development Project for poverty reduction, and its widespread projects include self-help group & microfinance, child labour elimination programme, village uplift programme, natural resources management interventions, solid waste management, skills development and technology centre, and health. From working in just one district in 2004, today the organization works in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Puducherry. Their model has been replicated in Afghanistan, South Africa, Kenya, Brazil, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Ms Saha presented the NGO perspective on CSR, based on her experiences of partnerships with corporate organizations as part of her responsibilities at Sri Aurobindo Society. While highlighting the areas where there could be better engagement of the corporates in the process of social development, she also made a presentation about the capacity building that the NGOs must focus on to leverage the Company Act 2013. In addition, she talked about the philosophy, vision and working of Sri Aurobindo Society where all the individuals in the various team work for their own inner strengths and outer progress and therefore consider themselves beneficiaries of the social development activities. Reflecting the aspirations of Sri Aurobindo Society, she enunciated of a future where corporate and community will no longer be two distinct identities and become two facets of the same whole.
Eminent speakers from the corporates and institutions also shared significant insights on CSR at the event.