CEO Wockhardt Foundation shares his views on CSR

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Committed corporate social responsible citizen and spends more than 2% on CSR which is embedded in the DNA of company, Dr. Huzaifa Khorakiwala (HK), Trustee and CEO of Wockhardt Foundation shares his views on CSR with IndiaCSR.

IndiaCSR News Network

MUMBAI: Dr. Huzaifa Khorakiwala is scion of the Khorakiwala family of Wockhardt, a leading healthcare group. A MBA from Yale University, Dr. Huz as he is fondly called is Trustee and CEO of Wockhardt Foundation.

In 2008, he resolved to undertake his full efforts towards the service of the underprivileged. Wockhardt Foundation was formed. Today, Wockhardt Foundation runs several programmes in health, education, water and sanitation across the breadth of the country.

Dr. Huz has also formed “The World Peacekeepers Movement” for spreading world peace. Today more than 9,00,000 Peacekeepers form part of The World Peace Army, which is the 6th largest army in the world. Dr. Huz has won numerous awards and is associated with several social causes.

Tell us about about foundation.

Wockhardt Foundation is a national, social service organization managed by the Wockhardt Group. The Foundation initiated in 2008, focuses on social initiatives which are in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the government initiatives for the poor.

The mission of Wockhardt Foundation is to work towards the upliftment of the poor, weak and the needy. Wockhardt Foundation operates its social programmes based on the 3 B’s -Big, Best, and Bold. ‘Big’ ensures scale, ‘Best’ ensures quality, and ‘Bold’ ensures need. Wockhardt Foundation is governed by a simple philosophy -“where every smile counts”. The work of Wockhardt Foundation has been well recognized in the outside world with it being the recipient of many awards including the prestigious “Inclusive India Award – 2012” for the category ‘Best social work in primary health by a corporate’. Known for its novel, largely benefitting initiatives for rural health, Wockhardt Foundation won the ‘Best CSR in Healthcare’ award in September 2013 at the Asian CSR Leadership Awards. Wockhardt Foundation has benefitted 16.35 million people so far.

What sorts of programs do you have and where in India are these implemented?

Wockhardt Foundation focuses on running the following programmes for the underprivileged in areas of health, sanitation, education, and nutrition.

HEALTH

Mobile 1000, the flagship programme of Wockhardt Foundation is ISO 9001:2008 approved and provides free primary healthcare to rural India. Mobile 1000 operates mobile health vans equipped with doctors, pharmacists, medicines and diagnostics. Mobile 1000 travels to villages and inaccessible areas across India and each van covers the same set of 20 villages every week. Each van provides free primary healthcare to 25,000 patients each year. At present, Mobile 1000 operates 85 mobile vans in 12 states of India which are Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Orissa, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and Jharkhand. The total number of people who have benefitted from the free primary healthcare and medical services provided by Mobile 1000 till June 2014 is 1,29,06,107

Wockhardt Health Education Institute was launched in 2013 in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh to develop healthcare skills among the unemployed youth leading for employment generation and meet the big growing gap in demand and supply. Wockhardt Health Education Institute has a programme in vocational training where healthcare workers, lab technicians, OT assistants, bedside assistants are trained. Very recently, on account of World Breast feeding week, the Institute conducted a breast feeding awareness camp wherein 200 people participated including students and staff. The Institute currently has 160 students and about 38,200 times students benefitted from this initiative.

SANITATION

Bio-Toilet is a complete waste management solution for India. It is an innovative initiative which alleviates the need for expensive sewage treatment and waste management and helps improve situation of poor sanitation in India. It is an environment friendly waste disposal at the source. Through this initiative, Wockhardt Foundation aims to:

  • Provide improved sanitation facilities to the poor slum dwellers
  • Ensure pure waste discharge from toilets
  • Play a critical role in preventable healthcare and provide accessible healthcare to the poor and needy
  • Expand its social coverage in areas with low resources

A Bio-Toilet composes of the toilet structure and the bio-digester tank. The bio-digester tank contains anaerobic bacteria which decomposes solid waste into water and methane gas (bio-gas). The water is pure enough to be used for industrial and irrigation purposes. Some of the benefits of bio-gas are fertilizers, in bio-gas lamps for lighting and as fuel for cooking. The tank does not require repeat dosing of anaerobic bacteria owing to its ability to procreate. Because of Bio-toilets, there is no need to dispose human waste into a sewage pipe, tank and subsequently the river leading to water contamination, as observed in case of common toilets. Such water contamination and unhygienic situations observed in common toilets leads to water-borne diseases. Hence, Bio-toilet helps maintain sanitation and hygiene and prevents water-borne diseases. Wockhardt Foundation runs and maintains a total of 8 Bio-Toilets in cities of Aurangabad, Chennai, Shilonda and states of Tamilnadu and Karnataka. Wockhardt Foundation’s Bio-Toilets have benefitted 2,66,000 people times.

Shudhu Water Purification Tablets aims at providing one of the most cutting edge solutions in clean drinking water across India and the world over. Wockhardt Foundation endeavors to educate the masses about the importance of clean drinking water, and to give them access to one of the most efficient, easy and economical water purification methods available.

Shudhu is a NaDcc (Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate) Tablet which is non-toxic and completely safe. Each Shudhu Tablet purifies up to 20 litres of water within just 30 minutes. Shudhu clears the water of all pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi and even E.coli bacteria) without leaving any odour or colour, making it safe for drinking and cooking needs. This prevents diseases like typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, dysentery, diarrhoea as well as vector-borne diseases like malaria, chikungunya, dengue. A Shudhu tablet costing only one rupee can purify 20 litres of water in 30 mins.

Therefore, it is a simple and cost-effective way to disinfect water. In June 2014, about 70,300 tablets were distributed free among people living in the slums and rural areas and about 57,29,960 times people benefitted from this initiative. In Tamil Nadu, Shudhu tablets are distributed through self-help groups and Rotary clubs sponsorships to interior remote villages around Chennai, Vellore, Trichy and Tanjore. In Maharashtra Shudhu tablets are distributed through Rotary club in places around Mumbai. In Aurangabad, Shudhu tablets are distributed through MMU’s (Mobile Medical Units).

EDUCATION

E-Learning is an initiative to provide high-tech E-Learning facilities to tribal school children for making primary education a fun-filled and interactive experience for them. Wockhardt Foundation’s E-learning programme engages a teacher and uses video and projector to play out the entire curriculum in the classroom. Even complex subjects like mathematics and science is explained through video visuals because of which the retention and grasp of students increase, impacting the academic performance of the students. E-Learning has been implemented successfully in 46 schools across Maharashtra and Wokchardt Foundation is receiving positive results from this initiative. At one point of time, the E-learning initiative engages 36,800 children and as per statistics of June 2014, about 47,50,000 children times benefitted from this initiative.

Khel-Khel Mein toy library is an initiative for providing learning abilities, social skills and health benefits to underprivileged children through qualified, well-trained teachers via toy libraries. Children between the ages of 5-10 yrs are taught values and good habits through fun and play. This is the missing link in primary education which is not generally taught in schools. They are engaged in storytelling, games, art and craft. Khel Khel Mein has 14 toy libraries across Mumbai. At one point in time, the initiative engages 324 children and about 1,77,994 children times benefitted from this initiative in June 2014.

Do you think was it right time for government to make 2% of profit mandatory for CSR?

Only if there is 10%, will a corporate be able to bring in professional competence and affect mass social change.

Since the Government of India has made it mandatory for CSR spending for companies, are you able manage some funding for your programs?

Wockhardt is a committed corporate social responsible citizen & we spend more than 2% on CSR which is embedded in the DNA of company.

How is this mandatory CSR going to affect the social sector in India?

The mandatory CSR spending will have 2 major impacts on the social sector in India. Firstly, the private and corporate sector will invest crores for improving the social sector scenario in India. The second is the viral or bandwagon effect that will create awareness among people about social contingencies which inspire them to do more at individual level as well as within the organisational capacity. The second impact will create waves of inspiration among people.

How do you see Indian business when compared to global businesses in terms of CSR?

We all know that India is the first country to have the CSR legislation, mandating that companies give 2% of their net profits to charitable causes. In this regard, India is ahead of other countries. However, most global companies are doing better at CSR compared to their Indian counterparts owing to professional well-structured CSR programmes and social activities which are in line with their business goals.

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