At the ‘CSR CSO Bridge 2013 – Forging Partnerships in the North East’ held in Guwahati on the 11th December 2012, the Mr Bhaskar Baruah, President Atma Nirbhar described the approach to CSR should be “The People’s Plan”. CSR activities should be prepared with civil society after understanding the concerns of the people at the grassroots level.
Mr Barua mentioned that new generation NGOs are coming up and small interventions by corporate with these NGOs would make a big difference to empowering and serving the less privileged.
The CSR-CSO Bridge 2013 discussed in details the CSR clause of the Companies Act 2013. Delving in details Ms Gayatri Subramaniam, Chief Programme Executive, NFCSR, IICA said that CSR efforts should be voluntary so as to drive them in an project mode.
“There is a need to be innovative” emphasized Mr. Dipak Chakravarty, Chairman, CII Assam State Council and Managing Director, NRL. He stressed on the need to evolve partnerships and pointed out that this platform is a good way to increase awareness and understand each other’s strengths and competencies.
In his opening remarks, Mr Barun Barpujari, Co Chairman, CII Assam State Council said that CII has over the years been consistent in its message that corporates have to look at areas beyond business and that they must be responsive to the needs of the most marginalized through focusing on means to bring in Inclusive Development with Corporate participation.
Ms Hasina Kharbieh, founder Impulse network highlighted that CSR activities should be on based on result mode rather then project mode with equi distribution of resources across the country. Further, the supports should supplement the government initiatives in these areas.
Prof Sanjoy Mukherjee, Sr Faculty, Indian Institute of Management, Shillong exploring the possibilities of integrating CSR policy with societal needs added that it is essential to have dialogue with receptive minds. This can be achieved by inculcating social values in young minds and CSR into the corporate mindset is essential.
Mr Ronald van het Hof, Managing Director India, Women on Wings highlighted on their activities in the North East where they support the social entrepreneurs employing women on a sustainable platform.
A case study on Boat Clinic initiated by C-NES highlighting the corporate CSO partnership was made at the summit. This project operating in Brahmaputra and its tributaries has been providing primarily medical services in the regions.
A CSO Haat which showcased the strengths of NGOs across the North East was inaugurated. This provided corporate an opportunity to interact with NGOs. During the Inaugural session, an important document, a compendium of Development Projects by grassroots NGOs which had undergone due diligence were released.