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PACS Supports CSR Summit in UP

14 November 2015 Share: facebook share twitter share

On 14 November, PACS along with Fifth Estate and the Government of Uttar Pradesh organised a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Manch, hosted by the Chief Minister of UP, Mr Akhilesh Yadav. The purpose of the event was to support and highlight impactful projects in UP that could be funded by corporate organisations and businesses through their CSR programmes. At the event, 2 PACS partners were elected and recognised for their work on empowerment.

CSR in India

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a process undertaken by a business to monitor and ensure that they are operating responsibly towards the communities and environments in which they operate.

On 1 April 2014, India became the first country to legally mandate CSR under Section 135 of the Companies Act, making it mandatory for companies of a certain turnover and profitability to spend at least2% of their average net profit on CSR activities.

Indeed, it is well recognised by businesses that a developed economy within the states that they operate in not only increases the number of educated and empowered consumers, but also creates new demand for various services and products and provides a stable and secure environment for them to operate in.

As a result, big businesses in India are looking for opportunities to invest in social initiatives and projects that help to develop the areas where they work. 

Government support for CSR

To help to encourage CSR and social entrepreneurship in Uttar Pradesh, PACS along with Fifth Estate – a UP social enterprise initiative – and the Government of Uttar Pradesh organised the CSR Manch on 14 November at the house of the Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav, in Lucknow.

The aim of the Manch was to bring together corporates working in the state of UP, organisations working on development projects in the region and key state government officials to promote linkages and support that will benefit the development of UP.

At the event, Mr Yadav announced that the government of UP will institute a system to try and ensure that all social enterprise models are able to access government assistance and attention in a seamless manner, helping to benefit huge numbers of underprivileged people.

"Already, we have set up a 50 crore Innovation Fund,” he said. “For sustainable solutions to UP's problems, we are willing to pay additional sums if it can better lives."

The Chief Minister also said that the Department for Industry will set up guidelines for CSR in the state. 

Highlighting sustainable models of social enterprise

The event was attended by CSR heads from many different private firms working in UP and 7 organisations, including 2 PACS partners – Jan Sahas and Nirmana - were able to present their sustainable models of social enterprise to the attendees.

Jan Sahas is working to liberate and uplift manual scavengers (lower caste women who are employed to clean human waste). Through their interventions they work to provide new opportunities for these women, encouraging entrepreneurship among former scavengers and advocating for the rural development of this marginalised segment of society. PACS has been supporting the work of Jan Sahas in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, under the Breaking Margins campaign.

Nirmana has been working on a joint initiative with Ajeevika Bureau to provide an opportunity for migrant workers and construction labourers, including MGNREGA workers,to access their rights and entitlements, such as identity documents, insurance and pensions. PACS has been supporting Nirmana to help socially excluded communities to earn a dignified livelihood through the effective implementation of MGNREGA (and its convergence with the Construction Welfare Board).

Prashant Kumar Anchal – PACS State Manager for UP – says: "This was a great event, connecting with CSR foundations for generating resources and having the substantial buy-in of Government to provide support in the implementation of projects for marginalised communities. I am sure this initiative will pave the way for innovative solutions to address social issues and, at the same time, provide a good platform for many CSR foundations and PSUs [Public Sector Undertakings] to invest in these causes."

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