As per newspaper reports, TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), India’s well-known exporter of software services is going to support the Prime Minister’s ‘Clean India’ initiative by pledging a sum of 1000 million rupees for construction of separate toilets for girl students across thousands of schools in the country.
It is notable that the Indian PM had in his Independence Day speech said, “I want to start one work from today. There should be a toilet in all the schools of our country. A separate toilet for girls...it is only then our girls will not have to quit schools. I appeal to the corporate sector of our country that whatever money you are spending under the Corporate Social Responsibility, give priority to building toilets in schools."
Undoubtedly, by fulfilling its role under CSR, India Inc can make a lot of difference in the quality of life of millions of fellow Indians. The areas can be any and many in a country like India where majority of population is leading an unworthy human life due to lack of proper nutrition, sanitation, education, health care, employment, to name a few.
Millions of young people have acquired degrees by spending lots of money and time but there are serious issues of their employability. On the other side, it is quite unfortunate and equally disgraceful that more than a quarter of country's population is still illiterate and even elementary education is not available to the eligible students despite RTE Act, 2009.
It is a well-known fact that the poor and BPL (Below Poverty line) families which comprises 40% of country’s population i.e., nearly 500 million people, have very little option but to use unclean and unsafe water. As such, various water-borne diseases affect them badly resulting in large number of deaths every year.
So far the basic problems which rural masses are facing day in and day out are concerned, these can be comprehended and appreciated only by first hand observation. India has more than six lakh villages with majority population still living there and earning their livelihood in and around those villages.
Despite billions of rupees being earmarked year after year in the budgets of Central and State Govt. for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden in the country, little change is noticeable as far as improvement in quality of life of these targeted groups is concerned. Unquestionably, the major reason is the lack of proper resource management. To say, it’s an open fact that only a meagre portion of government’s budgetary allocation reaches the targeted beneficiaries whereas major part of it is wasted, misutilised, or misappropriated by the vested interest, mostly operating right within the system. It can be hoped that India Inc. is capable of and committed for ensuring proper resource management under CSR to make the difference visible and abundantly defining.
It is heartening to note that Corporations like Wipro, Thermax, Tata Group, Godrej, Bharti, Ambuja etc. have taken up some of these social issues and already made a commendable beginning. Many other corporations need to engage themselves in socio-economic activities hugely in their own way within the CSR provisions to register perceptible change in improving the life of millions of disadvantaged countrymen in near future.
Milan K. Sinha is a freelance writer. He has worked in Banking and Insurance sector for three decades following three years of active writing in various newspapers and magazines. Presently he is engaged in stress management, wellness and awareness activities besides freelance writing.