By Rusen Kumar
NEW DELHI: Rajender Singh is the CEO of DLF Foundation; a major philanthropic Corporate Foundation in the country, promoted by DLF Group. Foundation is active since 2008 and its development programmes insure new innovative precedents in areas of Rural Education, Health, skill training, employment and Labor welfare. Rajender Singh says, “Our main objective is to empower communities by creating multiple opportunities and provide platforms for the underprivileged by promoting inclusive growth which is Holistic, Sustainable and Socially Uplifting, thus enabling them to emerge as significant contributors in India’s growth story.”
Rusen Kumar, the Editor of IndiaCSR talked to Rajender Singh. Here are excerpts from an interview.
Tell us about DLF Foundation. What is vision and mission of DLF Foundation?
DLF Foundation, the philanthropic arm of DLF Limited was established in the year 2008 to create the structure for the ongoing social responsibility initiatives of the company. DLF Foundation has been formed with an express mission of empowering communities and creating opportunities for the underprivileged in areas of Education, Training and Health. So as to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth, a number of rural Education, Training, Health and Environment initiatives have been undertaken by the Foundation since its incorporation and it looks forward to creating new innovative precedents in areas of Rural Education, Health, skill training, employment and Labor welfare. Our main objective is to empower communities by creating multiple opportunities and provide platforms for the underprivileged by promoting inclusive growth which is Holistic, Sustainable and Socially Uplifting, thus enabling them to emerge as significant contributors in India’s growth story.
Can you discuss about DLF CSR journey?
For DLF, launching Social Program is nothing new, we were always conscious for our Corporate Social responsibility. For us CSR is not an add on, it is a foremost plan of our corporate culture. DLF Foundation was established in 2008, with an express desire to help the poorest of the poor and make sure that they are not left behind and they contribute and becomes a part of our country’s progress route.
What triggered company’s interest in CSR?
CSR for us is nothing new, it was right there when K.P. Singh started DLF. We believe that if we have to grow to be a major economic power, the youth cannot be left behind. That is the reason we have always concentrated in uplifting the marginalized youth, skilling them and providing them jobs. We have also been active in improving the education standards, turning cluster village into model villages, empowering women and last but not the least joining the Swachh Bharat Campaign.
Do you have a CSR policy?
Yes we have a CSR policy. We have a CSR board; it has been formed by the board of directors on which we are working.
What is your CSR team strength?
We have evolved a system and therefore we keep our organization lean and efficient. We search for partners/NGO’s and partner with them to execute our projects. Our own strength conceptualize, strengthen and carry out mid course correction for undertaking and executing those projects. Currently the strength of our organization is around 30, but the figure does not tie us it can increase or decrease.
What are your company’s recent CSR initiatives?
Talent Nurturing Program – We pick the poorest of the poor to make them future leaders. We select the bright students from the underprivileged, enroll them in public schools and handhold them till the time they have completed their studies.
Skill Development – To make sure that the youth of the marginalized section is given equal opportunity to acquire skills to get the appropriate jobs. Therefore we identify traits in particular areas and skill the youth of that area in that trait. We have planned to train 1 million youth in the next 10 years.
Village Cluster Development – We make a cluster of 5-6 villages; put heads together with Panchayat, Municipal Corporation and local authorities to make sure that they avail the government schemes that are meant for them. We launch number of initiatives in these clusters so that they become island of prosperity in the ocean of ignorance.
We have also launched Swachh Haryana on the lines of Swachh Bharat. We have particularly focused on the urban and rural villages of Gurgaon. We have installed public toilets, waste bins for the poor. Intensifying Swachh Bharat, we have set up 6 clinics; will be supporting many schools by installing toilets and waste bins. In addition contribution towards hunger alleviation, we have provided free vehicles for many schools in slums for the arrangements of their mid day meals.
About Lt. General Rajender Singh: Lt. General Rajender Singh, PVSM, SM, VSM (Retd) is an alumni of National Defence College and Defence Services Staff College.A decorated professional soldier, he was awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal (Country’s highest distinguished service award) by the President of India in January 2009. He is also a recipient of Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal and Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation for acts of bravery and distinguished services earlier in his career.Lt Gen Rajender Singh retired from the Army has joined the corporate world and has taken over as the CEO of DLF Foundation; a major philanthropic Corporate Foundation in the country.
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