CSR without consciousness is folly: KVIC Chairman
The role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the modern world and the need of time have laid the emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which has subsequently rechristened it as Conscious Social Responsibility and the environment pertaining with it, said Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena.
While addressing a capacity crowd of entrepreneurs, designers, weavers, policymakers and other stakeholders in a grand National Trade Conclave named 'Khadi : From Local to Global', held under the joint auspices of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), the KVIC Chairman said that without including consciousness in CSR, it is a mere contemplation to think about the welfare of the last man left in the society.
The event was held at the FICCI auditorium on July 19.
Citing the example of CSR funds utilized in restarting of an old Khadi institution at Sewapuri Gandhi Ashram in Varanasi, Saxena said: "We received CSR funds from Rural Electrification Corporation (REC). But, instead of providing a one-time benefit to the people, we revived the glory of the 71-year-old 12-acre Sewapuri Khadi Ashram in Varanasi started under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi to promote Khadi and provide employment to the spinners and weavers working on the same mission, 26 years after it shut shop. We roped in REC to use its CSR funds in renovating this Khadi unit at the ashram premises, which has given direct employment to now more than 800 people of this area. Not only that, as many as 250 solar charkhas and 80 solar looms – provided by REC has provided direct employment to 400 people. Roping in worker co-operatives to be a part of the initiative, Mumbai-based Lijjat Papad has established a papad-making unit in the center in which 200 local women have been enrolled for the work," he said, adding, "If the CSR is aimed to maintain the core consciousness of social responsibility, only then it is CSR in the true sense," he said.
Impressed with KVIC Chairman's new derivatives about the CSR, the Corporate honchos from Majors – including TCS and other noted companies vowed to utilize its CSR funds on the similar lines, suggested by Saxena.
On the other hand, the Commerce and Industries minister Suresh Prabhu, in his video message, also said that the government is committed to promoting Khadi as a global fabric as it has the potential to boost economic growth and to achieve this aim, new designs and styles in Khadi are essential. "There is a huge opportunity for Indian fashion industry in the textile sector, and Khadi needs to create demand," he said. Corroborating similar views, Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board, said there is a need to make Khadi a symbol of national pride. "The railways on a daily basis require four lakh bedrolls and would be willing to partner KVIC in developing a strategy to provide disposable Khadi bedrolls and towels at economical rates," he said.