By Rusen Kumar
Dr. L. C. Sharma is one of the founders of Institute for Integrated Rural Development (IIRD), which was conceived in 2004 and later incorporated as Secion 25 Company. His passion for development sector has given direction to the IIRD to take to new heights and expand globally. He has special taste for spiritual discourse. Born in a small village in Himachal Pradesh, Dr. L. C. Sharma holds Ph.D.in Philosophy and 16 years intensive experience as developmental professionals.
Dr Sharma shared his views on CSR to Rusen Kumar, Editor, INDIACSR.
Excerpts of the interview:
Many of the corporate do have the priority on spending for specific activity and it is sometimes hard to convince them on sustainability issues where different approaches need to be adopted to maximise the impact. The 2nd threat in CSR domain is to get rid of the middlemen who pretend to have linkages with the corporate and manage to mobilise money in between; many times by grabbing seed money of smaller NGOs. The implementing agencies need not to take support of middlemen or companies of similar nature to seek CSR support.
What kind of the professional and technical support you are seeking from development agencies?
The developmental agencies need to support the corporate right from identifying needs, devising implementation strategies and evolve stronger partnership, help corporate to undertake long term projects having larger impact & wide coverage, quality implementation and impact assessment.
How do you operate CSR; through in-house mechanism or partnership?
Being developmental agency to support CSR activities, we try to establish long term partnership with the corporate and try to bring synergic effect between the needs of the communities & availability of resources with the corporate.
How far are you satisfied with the impact of CSR initiatives?
Wherever the CSR initiatives have been taken by the corporate, it brought the impact; however, much is yet to do make every spending impact oriented.
Is there any thematic priorities of you company for CSR?
Our thrust is more in long term sustainable projects and integrated development. We have also adopted a gram panchayat for showcasing model development and would love to adopt a number of villages to make them model and self sustained. The issues of interventions are identified based on the situational analysis.
Are you open for some innovative & sustainable ideas under CSR?
We keep on thinking innovatively to tackle the developmental challenges and have come up with some interesting and sizable interventions based on scientific research & technology adoption.
Do you look for sustained partnership to take care of CSR activities in future?
We wish to create multi partnerships with the corporate to maximise our contribution to the development.
What is your specific message pertaining to CSR?
I wish if CSR support could be utilised to accelerate integrated development; to reduce the BPL numbers, to create more employment opportunities by skill development, to make people environment & sanitation conscious, to help people get rid of drudgery & crude economic dependence.