InDeed, the CSR Consultancy and Advisory arm of Dentsu Aegis Network has been working with Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) to conceptualize, strategize and implement the Road Safety Programme titled, Catch Them Young. Sahil Arora – Associate Vice President talks to India CSR Network about the newly launched initiative, its objective, the need of brand led CSR and much more. Excerpts:
What is ‘Catch Them Young’?
‘Catch Them Young’ is a school-based Road Safety Awareness and Sensitization Programme targeted to create awareness among school students while triggering behavioural change. The objective of the programme is to inculcate responsible road habits from an early age. The programme will not only impact the children butwill also build awareness among other relevant stakeholders such as principals, teachers, bus drivers and parents through various mediums such as digital content, role plays, simulation set-ups and virtual reality experience.
With an aim to achieve a long-term sustainable impact, the ‘Catch Them Young’ programme focuses on four key objectives namely raising awareness through innovative activities focused on Road Rules, Recognise children as “Drivers of Change”, building a safe environment in Schools, and driving linkages and synergies with other MSIL initiatives.
How was ‘Catch Them Young’ designed and created?
Road Safety has been a rampant issue in the subcontinent for more than a decade now. Every year, our country witnesses more than 1.5 lakhs death on the road which forms 10 percent of the global accidents. Maruti Suzuki has been contributing significantly towards road safety since its inception. As part of the brand’s effort to make roads safe and turn down the accident rate, Maruti approached Indeed to strategically design a programme on Road Safety Awareness. Catch Them Young is a one of a kind programme which reaches out to 50,000 students across 52 schools in Delhi NCR. The entire methodology and approach of the programme has been designed after conducting an in-depth research toidentify the major accident-prone areas in and around schools.
‘Catch Them Young’ is implemented through a muti-faceted approach targeting awareness generation triggering behavioral change and inculcating safe road behavior among students. Digital Awareness Sessions are conducted by professional trainers for educating students on road and traffic rules. Additionally, a reverse mentoring session is organized among the teachers, bus drivers and students. This approach empowers children and ensures maximum engagement. Similarly, multiple activities are being conductedat the schools throughout the year.
One interesting activity is ‘Maruti Suzuki Junior Traffic Police’. In this activity, fewchildren are selected to pretend as the traffic police. As part of the act, they will monitor the behaviour of other children in and around the school. The children behaving unsafe on the roads will be issued a mock challan by these junior traffic cops. The objective is to encourage ownership in a way that is interesting to children.
How will the programme ensure a sustainable impact on the relevant stakeholders?
To ensure a long term and sustainable approach, Road Safety Clubs will be formed in the schools. The club members will be responsible to undertake various road safety initiatives in the school throughout the year. The club members will be mentored by InDeed and an assigned school teacher. The Road Safety Club will ensure that the road safety interventions continue to exist in the school even after the programme officially ends.The club members will be awarded by the Maruti team at the end of the year to keep them motivated.
Can you walk us through the idea of brand led CSR?
Companies are making huge investments in CSR, but in an ad hoc manner. Many companies want to make sustainable and impact driven investments but often lack the expertise to design and execute high quality programmes. InDeed being a part of DAN, leverages its global and Indian experiences to design innovative and brand-led CSR programmes for its clients. Most CSR programmes lack sustainability, impact and brand connect. However, if conceptualized in the right manner and with the right approach, brand building and CSR can perfectly complement each other.
InDeed provides brand led CSR solutions to company’s such that it will help the brands build a truly integrated and brand-led CSR journey in India. The idea is to integrate branding and CSR to build a corporate culture around responsibility, leading to business sustainability, and thereby, reap reputational rewards. This will, in turn, make Corporate Social Responsibility into an opportunity that is accountable, measurable, and scalable across several thematic areas of development.