KOLKATA: Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) on Friday organized a conclave on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Kolkata.
Sanghamitra Sanghamitra Ghoshprincipal secretary of social welfare and women and child development department, said the welfare flagship program of the Bengal government needed continuous support from corporate sectors.
“The CSR is a way which can bring together the necessary stakeholders to provide continued, committed financial support for programs which benefit the most vulnerable,” she said.
“The assistance from different business houses could sponsor supplementary nutrition at anganwadi centers and help build facilities at an existing anganwadi or help build a new anganwadi building. For the state government’s child protection services, CSR could involve building more centers, or adopting NGOs that work with the government in such centers. NGO partners could explore working with the government of West Bengal in these key focus areas,” she added.
She said, “80 lakh girls have benefited from the Kanyashree program and 2 crore women have benefited from the Lakshmir Bhandar initiative of the Bengal government.”
More than 2.5 lakh women in Bengal are associated with the anganwadi centers, she said.
Janab Md Mohiuddin, chief of field office, UNICEF, said the pandemic has pushed us back and now the CSR can help in critical areas like poverty, inequality in income and gender, providing basic needs, education and right to livelihood.
He said “West Bengal fares better than the Indian average on child mortality rates but worryingly, teenage pregnancies and maternal mortality rates were on the rise.”
Debanjan Chakrabarti, director of East & North East India, British Council said that in partnership with The Times of India, British Council had initiated the Teach India initiative in rural India to educate the weaker section of children in English language and digital literacy since 2010 to 2015.
Sourav Roy, chief of CSR, Tata Steel, wanted to identify the problem areas and then solve them.
He wanted that one should understand the communities to work with and should have empathy and understanding to frame effective strategy.
He advised, “First identify the marginalized communities and then identify their need to solve it.”
MCCI president Rishabh C Kothari felt the need for a large-scale deliberation on CSR with the stakeholders.
“Our objective is to bring all of the stakeholders together in one event to discuss and reflect on the possibilities of partnerships that exist in CSR with a special focus on benefitting the people whom we serve as businesses.”
Various NGO officials like Jaydeep Chakrabarty, CEO, Calcutta Rescue, Sreela Dasgupta, Global Lead SME for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Tata Consultancy Services, Modhurima Sinha, Director Public Relations, ER Taj Group and Sourav Mukherjee, Director, Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage were present along with Smarajit Mitra, Chairman, Council on Start Up & Skill Development, MCCI.