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Smile Foundation conferred with IPE NGO Excellence Award

Smile Foundation conferred with IPE NGO Excellence Award

Mumbai : Smile Foundation, a national level development organization won the prestigious NGO Excellence Award for its valuable contribution in the social sector. The award was conferred by the institute of Public Enterprise (IPE) Hyderabad, endorsed by World CSR Day & Asian Confederation of Business. Mr. Vikram Singh Verma, Chief Operating Office received the award on behalf of Smile Foundation at an event in Mumbai, at Taj Lands End.

The IPE Corporate Excellence Awards recognize and honour companies as well as individuals who, through their corporate practices, have helped to raise India’s corporate disclosure standards and corporate governance. The Awards seek to identify and celebrate those companies that have had a positive impact on our environment and society as well as their business.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Vikram Singh, COO Smile Foundation, said “It is indeed a great honour for us to receive this award. Awards are a recognition of the good work we are doing and also that we are doing it the right way. All the hard work that we put in to maintain high standard of delivery and good governance seems to be well paid at platform like this. Awards always encourage in doing better than the last time and with more energy. On behalf of Smile Foundation I would like to thank each and everyone who considered and appreciated us for this honour.”

Smile Foundation has received many awards in the past for its commendable services and impact in the area of development. Few major ones are Asia Pacific Child Rights Award, Healthcare Leadership Award, Barclay’s Bank Chairman Award and GE Healthcare-Modern Medicare Excellence Award.

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IIT Madras and Smile Foundation’s ‘Nutrition for Better Literacy’ campaign

IIT Madras and Smile Foundation’s ‘Nutrition for Better Literacy’ campaign

Bangalore : Smile Foundation, a national level development organization working for the welfare of underprivileged children, youth and women, and IIT Madras, have taken their campaign ‘Nutrition for Better Literacy’, to the next level. Smile Foundation has joined hands with IIT Madras under its annual fest Saarang to provide better nutrition to children so that they can think about the second stage in their life i.e. education. Now IIT Madras through Saarang will support Smile Foundation in sending 100 children to school by providing nutritional support to them; their first & foremost hurdle in life.

Under its next step to raise funds, Saarang IIT Madras is organizing a Choreo Night on the 10th January 2013 wherein students from various colleges will participate to showcase their talent. This campaign will culminate at IIT Madras on 13th January, 2013 with ‘Dawn to Dusk’ run. Dawn to Dusk, a 12 hour run will flag off at 9.30 am on January 13, 2012. The event will combine a running session and a cycling session. Members of Sarang and other IIT students will be active participant in this.

IIT Madras has pledged its support in the provision of nutritious meals to at least 100 underprivileged children for a whole year. The necessary funds will be raised by IIT Madras through its annual cultural festival Saarang. Every year Saarang takes up many social awareness programmes so as to help improve the society. This year also Saarang continues this tradition through Saarang Eunoia, Saarang 2013’s newest social cause initiative.

Mr Vikram Singh Verma, COO, Smile Foundation said – “Smile Foundation started this project in association with IIT Madras on Children’s Day last year. Malnutrition is a great cause of concern; a child can only think of school once he is properly nourished. We are thankful to Saarang and IIT Madras for supporting us.”

Malnutrition is one of the biggest issues faced by our society. Close to 13.5 million underprivileged children in India are out of school and into child labour in order to earn a single meal a day. A nutritious meal every day can be the solution to curb child labour and incentivize children not to miss school. The campaign ‘Nutrition for Better Literacy’ started from 14th November 2012 and will go on till 14th January 2013, dedicated to spread smiles amongst the less privileged kids to whom a meal a day is a luxury. This campaign primarily focuses on improving the quality of nutrition for the underprivileged children.

About Ramp for Champs:- Smile Foundation presents Ramp for Champs 2013- a celebrity fashion show with Prasad Bidapa, to raise funds to educate less privileged girl child. This year, Ramp for Champs will have a special focus on the girl child and will portray the aspirations of the tiny angels who are waiting for us to Smile back at them and gift them the much needed change. Every girl child you will find walking on the ramp this year will be one who has walked many a miles barefoot but ….with an infectious SMILE. They dream to be lawyers, doctors, pilots, teachers, scientists, astronauts; in fact, anything a boy a can be. All they need is someone to hold their hands, encourage them and say “You can touch the sky”!!!!

About Saarang

Saarang is the annual cultural festival of IIT Madras. It has a footfall of over 50,000 and is ISO 9001:2008 certified. Every year Saarang has supported many social awareness programmes such as Akshaya Patra and The Big Plan so as to help improve the society.

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Ramp Walk to encourage Girl Child Education

Ramp Walk to encourage Girl Child Education

Bangalore : Smile Foundation, a national level development organization in association with Skylark Mansions came forward on 21st May to announce the 3rd season of “Ramp for Champs” in Bangalore. Ramp for Champs, a cause related celebrity fashion show with Prasad Bidapa, is a continuous fund raising effort to educate less privileged children. This year Ramp for Champs will happen on June 6th, 2013 with a special focus towards girl child. Presented by Skylark Mansions, the curtain raiser was organized at Taj Vivanta, the hospitality partner of the show. Supporting the cause at the event were Fashion Guru Prasad Bidapa and Mr. Saleem Sheriff (Skylark MD) along with other eminent personali

Putting his views forward on this announcement, Fashion Guru Prasad Bidapa, said, “I have high expectations from this show. With this year’s concept of gifting education to girl child, I am anticipating participation from many people in support of the cause. I thank everyone for their continued support for last two years. In addition, I am looking forward to convert this event to one of the best fund raisers to educate the less privileged children.”

To name a few celebrated faces who will walk in support of the noble cause are Tara (Kannada Films Actress), Saleem Sheriff (Skylark MD), Ramesh Arvind (Actor & Director in Kannada and Tamil Films), Vinod Valson (Taj Vivanta, General Manager), Nisha Millet (the only woman in 2000 Sydney Olympics to swim team for India & Arjuna Award winner), Rajagopal. G (CEO of Motherhood Hospital and Health Care), Rasheed Sait (VP & MD of George P Johnson (GPJ) India). A child from Smile Foundation will accompany each celeb on the ramp.

Speaking on the occasion Ms. Smita Kalappa, National Director-Child for Child, Smile Foundation, Bangalore said,

“We hope to make this event successful by sending more children to school this year .Last year we were able to send 573 children to school and this year we intend to double the number. We aim to bring fashion and the power of celebrities in aid of the least fortunate among our children.”

This year, Ramp for Champs will have a special focus on the girl child and will portray the aspirations of the angels who are waiting for us to Smile back at them and gift them the much needed change.

Every girl child you will find walking on the ramp this year will be one who has walked many a miles barefoot but ….with an infectious SMILE. They dream to be lawyers, doctors, pilots, teachers, scientists, astronauts; in fact, anything a boy a can be. All they need is someone to hold their hands, encourage them and say …Go Girl Go, You can touch the sky!!!

With global influences and with communities becoming more active and demanding, there appears to be a discernible trend that CSR is getting more strategic in nature rather than philanthropic.

About Ramp for Champs:- Smile Foundation presents Ramp for Champs 2013- a celebrity fashion show with Prasad Bidapa, to raise funds to educate less privileged girl child. This year, Ramp for Champs will have a special focus on the girl child and will portray the aspirations of the tiny angels who are waiting for us to Smile back at them and gift them the much needed change. Every girl child you will find walking on the ramp this year will be one who has walked many a miles barefoot but ….with an infectious SMILE. They dream to be lawyers, doctors, pilots, teachers, scientists, astronauts; in fact, anything a boy a can be. All they need is someone to hold their hands, encourage them and say “You can touch the sky”!!!!

To know More about Ramp for Champs, Log onto – www.rampforchamps.com

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Healthcare at the doorsteps of villagers in Rae Bareli

Healthcare at the doorsteps of villagers in Rae Bareli

New Delhi : Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (RECL) has joined hands with Smile Foundation, a national development organization, in its commitment to provide health to the remote and marginalized population. RECL will support Smile Foundation’s innovative mobile hospital programme, Smile on Wheels (SoW) in Rae Bareli (U.P.) for a period of 3 years and 2 months. During this tenure under its CSR initiatives, RECL will support Smile in providing Primary Health Care Services for the underprivileged in 10 Villages of Rae Bareilly.

Talking about the importance of this partnership Mr. Rajeev Sharma, CMD, RECL, said, “We understand our social responsibility as an organization and always look for correct partners to work towards this. Smile Foundation has been doing great work for national development and RECL is happy to associate with them to promote primary healthcare services in the villages of Rae Bareli. RECL is sure of a fruitful association with Smile Foundation.”

Smile on wheels (SoW) is an innovative mobile medical unit that takes medical services at the doorsteps of marginalized population in remote rural areas. SoW functions by taking well-equipped mobile hospital unit along with specialized doctors, nurses, medical staff, equipments and medicines to the identified villages and slums in a systematic manner. Through this initiative, a range of Preventive, Promotive and Curative health care is also promoted.

Mr. Harish Nandan Sahay, Director (Operations), Smile Foundation said, “We appreciate RECL efforts to provide support for the development of grass root level. Smile partnerships with RECL will strengthen and extend our efforts of taking quality healthcare services to the most deserving population.”

This RECL-Smile Partnership will cover 10 villages of Rae Bareli. The programme will commence its operation from February 2013.

About RECL RECL- Rural Electrification Corporation Limited is a NAVRATNA Central Public Sector Enterprise under Ministry of Power , was incorporated in the year 1969 under companies Act 1956, REC is listed a Public Sector Enterprise is to finance and promote rural electrification projects all over the country. Under their CSR initiatives it strives to encourage excellence in young Indian champion achievers in all fields to shine at international levels and also contribute towards modernization of society as its social responsibility to all stakeholders.

About Smile on Wheels Smile on Wheels is a national level mobile hospital programme from Smile Foundation took birth in June 2006. As of today, 22 Smile on Wheels mobile hospitals are operational in 13 states of India. The programme has directly benefited about 5,20,500 (five lakh twenty thousand five hundred) people till June 2012.

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Yum! and Smile fight against hunger and malnutrition

Yum! and Smile fight against hunger and malnutrition

Some alarming facts: • 1.4 billion people (20% of the world’s population) lives in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.25 a day • India accounts for 22% of a total of 9.7 million children dying globally before they reach the age of 5 • More than 70% of Indian women and children have serious nutritional deficiencies • Somewhere in the world, a child dies due to malnutrition every five seconds • India is ranked at 112 among the 141 nations as regards Child Development Index (CDI)

New Delhi: Yum! Restaurants India, world’s largest restaurant company, with support from Smile Foundation and Sharman Joshi, today celebrated World Hunger Relief (WHR) – world’s largest private sector hunger relief effort. Over the last many years, hunger and malnutrition have emerged as the number one risk to health worldwide – greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. After kick-starting the ‘Hunger To Hope Kitchen’ event at KFC’s store, Sharman along with the Yum! leadership, visited Smile Foundation’s center in Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi. At the center, they not only interacted with the women and children present there; but also witnessed a dance performance put together by the children.

WHR takes forward Yum!’s mission of ‘Growth with a big heart’. Launched globally in 2007, it has now become the world’s largest private sector hunger relief effort. This annual initiative leverages the power of Yum!’s global restaurant system and engages with over one million employees world over to raise awareness, volunteerism and funds for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and other hunger relief agencies. Since the launch of this programme, Yum! has raised nearly $150 million, helping to provide nearly 600 million meals. In India (over the last 7 years), WFP has developed several programmes that provided supplementary nutrition to underprivileged children through ‘Integrated Child Development Services’ (ICDS) and mid-day meal programmes in regions like Rajasthan and Orissa.

On the occasion of Hunger To Hope Kitchen’s inauguration Niren Chaudhary – President, Yum! Restaurants India, said, “‘Growth with a big heart is at the center of everything we do in India, as well as globally. World Hunger Relief and other such initiatives in the country, reinstate our intent of giving back to the community in which we work and live, making a positive difference in the lives of the underprivileged. This unique programme brings together the entire Yum! family of over 22,000 employees across 500+ stores in the country.Over the years, with support from all our customers, associates, franchisees and their families, Yum! has been able to raise over Rs 5 crores which was contributed towards feeding over 7 lakh less fortunate women and children.”

Association with Smile Foundation, a national level development organization directly benefitting more than 300,000 underprivileged children and their families annually will result in expanding WHR’s reach. Yum!’s contribution over the next one year will cater to the nutritional needs of at least 2,000 underprivileged children through Smile Foundation’s ‘Mission Education’ programme. Additionally, they will also create awareness activities to sensitize underprivileged communities towards the issue of malnutrition amongst children covering upto 15,000 beneficiaries of various slum communities/villages. Other activities will include advocacy activities at a national level to sensitize the privileged masses.

Talking specifically about the 2013 programme with Smile Foundation, Niren further added, “This year, we are glad to partner with Smile Foundation. We believe they are the right partners for us as they have been actively working in this area for over a decade now. Our joint mission is towards addressing the cause of hunger and malnutrition in India; and we look forward to working closely with them.”

Commenting on the partnership, Vikram Singh Verma – COO, Smile Foundation, said, “We are proud to associate with Yum! Restaurants India in their movement to address hunger and malnutrition, not only in India, but the world over. Their contribution towards the cause is phenomenal. Partnering with them, further reiterates our mission of working as a catalyst towards bringing change in the lives of thousands of underprivileged children and women and enabling the civil society to engage proactively in the change process.”

“As responsible members of society, it is upon us to take initiatives to eradicate hunger in India. Programmes like the ‘World Hunger Relief’ launched by Yum! Restaurants India encourages us and other corporates to serve the community in which we operate. I am honoured to partner with Yum! and Smile Foundation in their movement to target one of the biggest risks to health worldwide. I have pledged my support to this initiative and urge all consumers to join in the noble cause”, commented Sharman Joshi.

In addition to partnerships with WFP and Smile Foundation, Yum! also engages with its employees to raise funds. They celebrate a ‘Give It All You Got’ week in the month of September that includes activities like selling exotic dishes, homemade chocolates, cakes etc; to running a marathon amongst many others. Funds collected from these activities form an additional part of the contribution made by Yum!

For further information on World Hunger Relief, please visit : http://www.hungertohope.com
http://www.yumcsr.com/community/world-hunger-relief.asp

About Yum! Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, is the world’s largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants with over 39,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries and territories. Yum! was ranked #213 on the Fortune 500 List for 2011 and had revenues of over $13 billion in 2012. The Company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened over five new restaurants each day of the year, making it a leader in international retail development.

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Priyanka Chopra takes up the cause of Girl Child with Smile

Priyanka Chopra takes up the cause of Girl Child with Smile

Mumbai : Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra visited Smile Foundation project centre today on International Day for the Girl Child to promote education for the girl child.

Priyanka spent time with children at Smile Foundation Mission Education project’s Holy Mother School in Mumbai. She asked the children about their dreams and ambitions and also encouraged them to study well to pursue their dreams. Most of the children studying in this centre belong to most difficult sections of the society and many of them are orphans, physically challenged or raised by poor single parents.

Priyanka spoke about the important role of girl children in our society, besides saying how it was more important to teach a girl. She said that girls played various roles in contributing and developing the society. Priyanka, as a brand ambassador of NDTV campaign ‘Unite For Our Girls’, conferred scholarships to three girl children at the centre.

Speaking about the importance of education, Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co-founder and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation said, “When a girl gets education, a mother gets educated, a wife gets educated, and children of future generations get educated. An educated girl makes an empowered and prosperous society. On behalf of Smile Foundation I would like to thank Ms. Priyanka Chopra for promoting the cause of the girl child.”

Mission Education is a national level programme which provides basic education and healthcare to underprivileged children, with the belief that whether you are addressing healthcare, poverty, population control, unemployment or human rights, there’s no better place to start than in the corridors of education. More than 200,000 children have directly benefited from Mission Education programme since 2002. At present, the programme is reaching out to 16,500 children directly through 70 projects in 21 states across India.

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Harley Ride to ensure Education for all

Harley Ride to ensure Education for all

Bangalore : Tusker Harley Davidson, Bangalore in association with HOGS’-Bangalore (Harley Owners Group) has organized a Harley ride today supporting the cause of child education. The ride with a mission to spread awareness about importance of education was in support of Smile Foundation, a national level development organization.

Speaking about this CSR initiative, Mr. Srinivas Reddy, CEO and MD – Tusker Harley Davidson, said, “When we have so much of inequality around us, it becomes an important responsibility of people like us to insure our best to the marginalized community. This campaign where the HOG’s will be joining hands in raising resources and spreading awareness about the cause of education for every child to curb child labour is phenomenal and I am counting on all HOGs’ to make this big enough to benefit maximum children”

This campaign is a sensitization cum resource raising campaign involving all theHOGs’ in Bangalore. This campaign is organized under CELEBRATING RESPONSIBLE LUXURY initiative of Smile Foundation under which luxury brands from across the spectrum will join hands in putting a smile on every under privileged child’s face by ensuring a better future by gifting them with education. Smile Foundation at present is reaching out to more than 300,000 underprivileged children, youth and women directly every year through 158 welfare projects on subjects such as education, healthcare, youth employability, and women empowerment.

Sharing his experience, Mr.Vijay Bharadwaj, Director – HOGs’ Bangalore, said, “Harley riders are an integral part of every HOG member and when it gets clubbed with a social message it gives one immense satisfaction and happiness as we become the reason for someone to smile. I am personally thrilled to be a part of a ride knowing such a worthwhile charity is going to benefit from my sponsorship, and that itself is a great motivation. I am sure more and more HOGs’ will come forward to do their best.”

The ride was flagged off from Vidhan Saudha and went towards the Main Doddaballapur Road. A stretch of 100 km was covered by HOGs’ and the entire journey focused on sensitizing maximum people on the importance of education and provoked everyone to do their bit by at least sending one child to school.

The ride will benefit the beneficiaries of Mission Education, a national level programme from Smile Foundation which focuses on basic education for underprivileged children and youth.

Expressing his thoughts on this association, Mr. Vikram Singh Verma, COO – Smile Foundation said, “This is a remarkable association, I am extremely overwhelmed that Tusker Harley Davidson is supporting a cause which is the need of an hour, I truly believe that this event will go a long way in motivating our kids to aim high and chase their dreams. This campaign with Harley is a part of our Celebrating Responsible Luxury initiative. I would like to thanks Tusker Harley Davidson and every HOG for joining this initiative and helping kids towards a better future.”

ABOUT TUSKER HARLEY DAVIDSON

Tusker Harley-Davidson is the Bangalore-based dealership of Harley Davidson, run by Mr. Srinivas Reddy, whose lifelong passion has been riding motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson Motor Company, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been manufacturing motorcycles since 1903. Harley-Davidson India commenced operations in August 2009 and appointed the first dealership in July 2010. As the company continues to expand its business throughout Tusker Harley-Davidson, it envisions a successful and rewarding future.

For details, visit:http://www.harley-davidson.in/

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The 35th STeP in empowering youth through job relevant skill building

The 35th STeP in empowering youth through job relevant skill building

Bangalore : Smile Foundation, a national level development organization, has launched its 35th Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre in India; the second one in Bangalore at Medahally today. Supported by Bosch India Foundation, the newest STeP centre will be run in association with Vidyaranya. It will focus on making the urban underprivileged youth employment-ready in the service and retail sector.Bangalore: Smile Foundation, a national level development organization, has launched its 35th Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre in India; the second one in Bangalore at Medahally today. Supported by Bosch India Foundation, the newest STeP centre will be run in association with Vidyaranya. It will focus on making the urban underprivileged youth employment-ready in the service and retail sector.

The centre was inaugurated by Dr. Jessy Fenn, Project Manager, Bosch India Foundation.

This centre also became the seventh STeP centre in Southern India.

Bosch India Foundation, the social wing of the Bosch group in India, with its focus on ‘Enabling Lives and Livelihood’ through skill training and healthcare touched the lives of over 6000 youth in 16 locations in India, in 2012. Through new committed partners such as Smile Foundation, it hopes to reach out to and skill more youth.

Speaking about the association Mr. Vikram Singh Verma, COO, Smile Foundation, said “STeP is an effort towards creating a pool of independent youth living with dignity from the underprivileged section through skill enhancement in tandem with market requirements. Smile Foundation, through this programme, has trained 13,750 youth and placed 9,850 of them in over 140 leading retail and service brands across India.”

The event took off well with lighting of lamp by Ms. Pankaja, Deputy Director, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Karnataka. Ms. Pankaja was present as Guest of Honour for the event. She addressed the programme by applauding Smile Foundation, Bosch India and Vidyaranya for helping the marginalized youth in getting employed and thus putting them on path of sustainable empowerment.

The course curriculum for Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) has been developed by International Management Institute, New Delhi except for the computer course, which is certified by Microsoft. The course material is reviewed and updated from time to time.

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From Philanthropic Act to Strategic Policy

From Philanthropic Act to Strategic Policy

Ever since the Industrial Revolution, businesses have often been perceived as an anti-social development – the empowerment of few, against the many. In India, because the industries came in along with colonialism, people’s perception of the sector has been adverse. It is a fact that industries and businesses have played a central role in the socio-economic development of the country and today India is counted among the emerging super economies. But as poverty continues to be the reality of more than half of our population, what is now known as the corporate sector, has been time and again touted as one of the reasons behind the yawning gap in the distribution of resources in the country. At the same time, its significant role in poverty alleviation in a market driven economy cannot be denied. What does the new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mandate in the Companies Act 2013, imply in this scenario?

The Companies Act 2013, in its Section 135, has made it mandatory for companies (whether private or public) with net worth of = 500 crores or turnover of = 500 crores or net profit of = 5 crores to constitute a CSR Committee of the company board, along with CSR policies and spend 2% of company’s net profit (average) earned during the preceding three financial years, towards some social cause. This is just one among the new clauses that have been incorporated in the Companies Act 2013, pertaining to contemporary matters including fraud detection, investor security and corporate governance. Yet this is the clause that has generated much debate. Some have welcomed it as a long awaited development, while sceptics have called it “a waste of resources” among other things. It is important to realize that CSR is not a new concept in India which has been introduced by the Act, rather many companies had already been practising it long before. Then why the CSR mandate? And how does it affect the corporate world?

Benefits to the Corporate

Integrating social, environmental and ethical responsibilities into the governance of businesses ensures their long term success, competitiveness and sustainability. This approach also lays down the affirmation that businesses are an integral part of society and have a critical and active role to play in the sustenance and improvement of healthy ecosystems, in fostering social inclusiveness, and in upholding the essentials of ethical practices and good governance.

Corporate Social Responsibility is the continuous commitment of a corporate body to improve community well being through discretionary business practices and ethical contributions of corporate resources. It advocates the model of ‘trusteeship’, which allows businesses to harness the resources provided to them by society, and therefore, companies are morally liable to repay the society by manifold. Mallen Baker—writer, speaker and CSR expert—defines CSR as “a way companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society.”

CSR initiatives become the Unique Selling Proposition for companies and facilitate them to build a dominant brand that reverberates with key peripheral stakeholders—customers, government and general public. In addition to this, CSR helps in boosting employee morale and building an empathetic corporate culture within the organization. The feeling of contentment and pride in corporate bodies comes by itself when CSR initiatives are implemented and this feeling trickles down to their employees, as well as in the long run, to their stakeholders.

CSR in India

CSR in India has traditionally been seen as a philanthropic activity, as a giving tradition, that was performed but not deliberated. The initial trend was inclined towards religious giving and in the second half of the 20th century shifted to institution building. Businesses established trusts for schools and colleges and helped in setting up educational, training and scientific institutions. The tendency of Indian corporate has always been towards making a one or two-time financial grant, without any further commitments towards the cause. But over the last few years, CSR has been taking a whole new shape and purpose.

After the 1990s’ globalization and economic liberalization, the increased growth momentum of the economy helped Indian companies grow rapidly and this made them more able and willing to contribute towards social causes. The practice of CSR in India today centres on community development, with most companies focusing their CSR activities in and around the welfare of the local areas they are based in.

With global influences and with communities becoming more active and demanding, there appears to be a discernible trend that CSR is getting more strategic in nature rather than philanthropic.

But while this practise had been adopted by some corporate, the majority was still aloof from the concept of CSR, whether as a philanthropic activity or strategic policy. Even for those corporate, who were involved in CSR initiatives, the proper utilization of funds could not be ensured, due to lack of a monitoring and evaluating system. This is where the CSR mandate comes in.

Towards a sustainable & inclusive economy

The Companies Act 2013 has ensured that CSR no more remains within the ambit of philanthropy or strategy alone, but in effect becomes what is meant to be – the responsibility of corporate towards society. This is an effort towards achieving sustainable growth of the country, where social development goes hand in hand with economic progress and the democratic ideals of equity are realized.

Clear guidelines are also provided by the Act to demarcate between what counts as a CSR activity and what does not – working in the areas of poverty, education, gender equality and women empowerment, healthcare, livelihood, environment, social business, education, socio-economic development, etc. would be included, while one-off events like marathons, awards, charitable contribution, advertisement, sponsorships of TV programmes, etc. would not be included. This leaves no doubt that only those endeavours which will have an actual, effective and long lasting impact on society and involve active involvement on the part of the corporate would be considered as CSR activities. There is also a significant thrust on local area development under the Act, since industries are located in India on the basis of research of raw market availability, transportation costs and crucially, the co-operative attitude of the local government. Intimate knowledge of the needs of the local communities would even be beneficial for the corporate.

To regularize and formalize CSR across the country and make the whole process transparent, disclosure of resources utilized under CSR in the company’s Annual Report has also been mandated under Section 135. Consequently, companies have now begun to include CSR as a core activity, rather than something subsidiary.

Corporate-NGO partnership: A win-win situation

But while corporate are now better informed and willing to contribute the requisite material resources and managerial proficiency for social welfare initiatives, the field of development, particularly in a country with a socio-cultural diversity as rich as India, either remains outside their expertise or does not make economic sense. Section 135 provides a solution – by sanctioning the collaboration of corporate with NGOs, for achieving their CSR goals.

Earlier corporate seldom kept partners or NGOs in mind while planning for CSR initiatives, which resulted in the reduction of their value and effectiveness. But over the past decades, NGOs in India have been commendably supplementing the government’s efforts in various fields of social development. Thus, more and more companies have now started partnering with NGOs to ensure successful execution of CSR initiatives. Credible NGOs which have been doing consistent good work can prove to be the delivery arm for corporate, effectively using their resources on the ground, in a way that is responsive to the needs of the people.

Corporate Social Responsibility forms the crucial bridge between businesses and society, and by making it mandatory, the Companies Act has opened up new support systems for social development. Around 8,000 companies are expected to come under the ambit of the CSR Mandate and the annual funding is expected to be between Rs. 15,000–20,000 crore. This has also paved the way for NGOs to learn from and utilize the management expertise of the corporate to bring transparency, efficiency and acceleration in their processes.

Since its very inception and much before the CSR mandate was conceived of, Smile Foundation has been following the principles of Good Governance and the corporate sector has been a natural partner for it, throughout its journey of bringing change. Smile Foundation’s development goals have always been aligned with the social responsibility of the corporate to ensure the highest Social Return on Investment (SROI). Rather than just channelize resources from a corporate, efforts are made to actively engage the corporate organization, the brand and its employees in the welfare initiatives of Smile Foundation.

India has become the first country to formulate the Corporate Social Responsibility mandate. If this initiative gains success, it could not only become the foundation of an ideal economy, but also an imperative step towards nation building, and soon India would be sharing its knowledge with other countries.

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Football Ace Robin Singh encourages Smile’s girl beneficiaries to take up Sports

Football Ace Robin Singh encourages Smile’s girl beneficiaries to take up Sports

Bangalore : Saluting the spirit of Indian women, India’s ace footballer Robin Singh celebrated International Women’s Day with Smile Foundation beneficiaries. Around 15 girls who came forward to make an identity of their own from a difficult background were part of this celebration at hotel Monarch Luxur in Bangalore.

Robin who was in town was enthralled to be among this spirit. Pledging his support toward the cause he said, “Women empowerment is all about enabling the female segment of society to understand their real worth and be a part of all important aspects of life as the male. I completely agree with Smile Foundation’s theory of male involvement in women development. All these girls symbolize the spirit of fulfilling their dream if given a chance. I wish them all the best and take from them true fighter spirit of never giving up.”

All these girls were from the Livelihood program of Smile Foundation called STeP (Smile Twin e-Learning Programme). In this programme they are trained in a six month course to face the world professionally and then are placed also. All of them were excited to meet their football star. The occasion was celebrated with a cake cutting ceremony also.

Commenting on this occasion Mr. Vikram Singh Verma, COO Smile Foundation said, “Smile Foundation strongly believes in the fact that Empower a Women and the whole family is empowered. While the privileged section is already coping up with this term, the marginalized section still has a long way to go. I would like to thank renowned people like Robin Singh who come forward and encourage and motivate our beneficiaries to do well. We all can inspire changes in our own way this Women’s Day.

About Smile Foundation

Smile Foundation is a national level development organization reaching out to more than 300,000 underprivileged children, youth and women directly every year through 158 welfare projects on subjects such as education, healthcare, youth employability, and women empowerment across 25 states of India. Adopting a life cycle approach of development, Smile Foundation focuses its interventions on children, their families and the community.