ABB India views corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a channel to further its cause of ‘Writing a sustainable future, together’. Driving this cause, ABB has been committed to providing for and nurturing children – the pillars that will define the future of the nation.
As part of this commitment, ABB has commissioned a 25,000 meals per day capacity central kitchen in Delhi for Akshaya Patra Foundation, a non-profit organisation that runs school lunch programs. The kitchen was inaugurated on Dec 24, 2019 in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodhia and Celebrity Chef Manish Mehrotra.
In an interview with Rusen Kumar, Managing Editor – India CSR Network; Dhenuka Srinivasan, Assistant Vice President – Environment & Sustainability Affairs of ABB India Limited shared her views on CSR and recent social development initiative of ABB India.
Excerpts of a conversation: What are your thoughts on the changing face of CSR?
The entire landscape of CSR has been constantly changing since its evolution began in India in 2014 with the Companies Act coming into play. What started off as a good to have has now moved towards a structured format for spending the 2% of company’s profits towards community activities. Indeed it is a good initiative by the Government to ensure that corporates also aid in the country’s sustainable development goals but the success of programs will depend on the long term sustainability of projects, partners with a natural progression of programmes aligning with government’s priorities and schemes. Essential to this will be a thorough systematic prioritization, planning monitoring and evaluation mechanism set by the Government.
Can you elaborate on ABB’s initiatives for students?
One of the focal areas of CSR for ABB India is “Education and Skill development”. While there is an increase in the number of children who are going to school today, especially in rural areas, the quality of education that children receive has scope for improvement. Our partners run several programs currently focused on improving the quality of education specifically – Math, English, Science and learning skills for Government school children. We are also focusing on girl child education and skilling to empower women to be self-reliant and provide them employability skill sets. We have initiated an all women engineering scholarship program focused on women engineers.
What is the focus for ABB’s CSR initiatives and the purpose behind it?
We are committed to sustainable and inclusive development of the community’s social capital through active engagement. The main focal areas of CSR contribution and activities include education and Skill development, access to electricity, healthcare, environment and local safeguard and differently abled. We find CSR as an effective long-term social interface and effort that impacts our business and our society as a whole positively. We have a strong drive and responsibility to aid the Government’s sustainable development goals for the country, not only through our business but also through our community development activities for our surrounding areas where we operate; as we wish to see ourselves grow sustainably alongside our communities.
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