NEW DELHI: The ET Awards jury judged Mahindra & Mahindra as Corporate Citizen of the Year for its mega CSR Project Nanhi Kali, which work for the education of poor girls and its watershed development programme among other corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
In the first round of voting of the jury, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and its nearest rival received five votes each. In the second round, M&M got five as against two for the rival, while one jury member abstained.
“The jury recognised the company’s long-standing contribution through the Nanhi Kali project and also its work in the area of water conservation,” ET said.
Project Nanhi Kali volunteers seek to ensure that girls from economically disadvantaged families get primary and high school education. The programme, at the first level, provides academic support and educational kits.
It also engages with the community to ensure that girls are not forced to drop out of school. Counselling and sensitising the community on gender issues are also an important element of the project Nanhi Kali.
“To me, CSR is more about creating the conditions for inclusive growth where every person feels empowered to create a better future for themselves and their families,” Anand Mahindra, said. “So, it’s really not about writing a cheque and then forgetting about the issue, rather it’s about applying strategic thought to the social challenges and then developing programmes that are executed with the rigour normally associated with businesses, to create real and lasting social impact.”, he said.
In 2006, the programme’s reach was just about 14,000 girls across a few states. Today, it supports 1, 30,000 girls across.
“I am particularly passionate about the cause of girl child education through our initiative. Education is an important focus area that I believe can transform India by unleashing the tremendous potential of its people,“ Mahindra said.
Mahindra & Mahindra spent around Rs. 83 crore in FY17 on various CSR initiatives. The watershed development programme covers 83 villages of Damoh and Bhopal districts in Madhya Pradesh benefiting 12,679 households.