Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jun 09, 2004
Society & Development
Corporates roping in staff to take up social responsibility
Mumbai , June 8
EMPLOYEES are being drawn into corporate social responsibility activity, though voluntarily. Recent examples are Voltas Ltd and Godrej Sara Lee.
Voltas Ltd has associated itself with a number of projects with various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) ranging from Vatsalya, Akanksha, Shepherd's Widow's Home.
"We have been involved in some activity like this for the last 7-8 years. Now we are encouraging our employees to get actively involved in such projects," Mr A.J. Gole, Vice President - Human Resources Department, Voltas, said.
As for Godrej Sara Lee, it is involved with Children Toy Foundation (CTF). Godrej Sara Lee's involvement in Children Toy Foundation is through the Good Times Project. CTF, launched in 1982, has set up 200 toy libraries throughout the country with about 90 of them in Mumbai.
"As of now 25 of our employees are involved in voluntary work with the Good Times Project. They mostly reserve their weekends for this work," said Mr Mahendran, Managing Director, Godrej Sara Lee (GSL).
GSL recently launched the Good Times Bus in association with the Children Toy Foundation.
Within the gamut of corporate social responsibility, Voltas has also partnered with Joseph Cardijn Technical Institute for Vocational Training in Mumbai to provide hands-on technical education in its core competency to students from less privileged backgrounds, Mr Gole said.
In this case, employee volunteers are engineers from across the company's divisions. Similarly, a senior employee of Voltas has also designed a part time diploma course in air-conditioning and refrigeration at K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering, Mumbai.
The Good Times Project provides Godrej Sara Lee employees with several means to involve themselves in various developmental activities. The `Hands on Volunteering' component allows volunteers to work directly with children through city municipal schools.
The `Intellectual-volunteering' component allows employees to work towards the Children Toy Foundation vision by way of organisational support in building professional competencies within its staff. The employees would also be involved in designing curricula and programmes for CTF.
This project is meant to help Godrej Sara Lee employees in increasing awareness about living conditions of young underprivileged children in Mumbai.
Godrej Sara Lee has set aside an allocation of Rs 10 lakh annually for such projects, Mr Mahendran said.
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