What is CSR?
About Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate Social Responsibility is a concept
Where a corporate should own the responsibility of society.
They should not simply make a profit, share the profit
among the employees, investors & other stakeholders.
But should consider society around
as an integral part of their existence to survive.
But why should any corporate do this CSR program?
Because they are large fish in the pond
therefore they should show compassion to the others
and hence do not eat all the fishes of pond together
otherwise, they themselves will in danger?
Because society has given the platform to perform
therefore they should reciprocate?
Because they should comply with government regulations?
Because they will get more name and fame
as a compassionate organization
and they can capitalize on that power to grow further
and cover up their wrongs of past, present, and future?
Any sensible person need to understand
no one can exist longer in isolation,
so it is about the entire ecosystem.
In an ecosystem every individual
no matter how small they are
they play some significant role.
If you try to manipulate the system
and alter some element of the ecosystem
then there are consequences of it.
By doing so either you change
the rules of the game unilaterally, which is unfair
or the entire system comes to danger because of your actions.
In an ecosystem, no matter how small
or insignificant is a microbe
do not kill it, it has its own utility.
When a factory makes some product,
it uses natural resources and pollutes the natural resources
Which was right of the local citizens of that area
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the corporate
to share the profit with the local citizens.
But, how to share?
Going around distributing money does not make sense.
So they put equipment,
which measure the pollution
which controls the pollution
which ensure minimum usage of the local resources
But that is their primary responsibility,
that is the way should do business
It is not a CSR!
When they reach the local society
help them improve their life around
by hiring local people for jobs, planting a tree,
sponsoring education, health, food expense of the poor around
Developing roads, park, community hall
These are all part of the responsibilities of a corporate.
In Indian ancient wisdom traditions
It is mentioned that
There are four purposes of human life
Work for Dharma, Work for earning money,
Work for Enjoyment, Work for Moksha.
And they go only in this sequence
without changing the order.
Dharma is the Duty, Responsibility of the individual
towards others in the surrounding.
When you exist you share many relationships
with many people and entities around
There is nothing unconnected and unrelated in the existence.
And that relationship obliges you to perform
your responsibility towards them
It is not about your large-heartedness,
compassion, pity, or generosity.
It is just because it is your Dharma,
it is your responsibility.
Nobody should teach you,
neither you should feel that
you are doing something great.
You must know this is
my Dharma, Duty, Responsibility.
This concept of Dharma applies
to all power centers and lives
You as an individual have Dharma
You as an organization has Dharma
You as an institution has Dharma
The state has its Dharma towards citizen and all others living around
Rastra has its Dharma towards the citizen.
In Dharma, there is eternally going Yagnya.
Yagnya is possible only when all the stakeholders participate
If any of the stakeholders do not participate
or participate half-heartedly
then very soon Yagnya will come
to halt and subsequently to the end.
CSR is a gesture of gratitude of an organization
towards the surrounding.
It is a kind of Yagnya,
It is part of their core business
It literally says thank you so much
You gave us an opportunity to exist, survive and thrive
Therefore as long as I am living around
I will do my best possible for the surrounding.
And by doing so,
I am indirectly supporting my own survival.
Ideally, CSR activities should be done
in the area and with the surrounding society.
A location where an organization physically exists,
produces, serves, and consumes.
This is not fair you earn from X locality, district, state, or country,
and being multinational perform or sponsor CSR activities
in Y locality, district, state, or country.
If that is the case then
why X should allow you to exist at their place?
Simply because you have the protection of the law!
In today’s time, we find there are super-rich organizations
Who have earned a lot from society
Either by doing business in the right way or
smart way or deceitful way or by leveraging technology
Some of there organizations feel a sense of gratitude
and they give some portion of their profit to the CSR program
And media reports it as their big-heartedness
Obviously, it is their big heart
Otherwise generally with huge money
heart of the people shrink for others or it becomes stone.
There are many super-rich people around who give money
But for a specific community and specific purpose
They want to make sure that even in the CSR
their own agenda should remain on top
They give money to NGO for conversion,
lobbying against the certain rule,
lobbying against the government,
to register protest against their opponent,
get played in the hand of the enemy
and do more harm to society
than serving society
and expressing gratitude.
CSR is not about the activities of those
who are making a profit
CSR is not only about the engagement of big companies
CSR is not brand building
CSR is not about giving adventure opportunities to your employees
CSR is not about a scheme to make your employees happy
No matter what happens
CSR is your responsibility to express gratitude
Towards those who have given you shelter
After becoming rich it is easy to say
I pay taxes to a government
I do business in an ethical way
I am keeping my employees and partners happy
I have money I can go anywhere
Why should I spend my money on these
beggars and poor around
But this is not humanity!
To be happy, survive, and thrive
an organization need to spend upon their employees
So, do not be short-sighted and small-hearted
and limit your family only to those
who is reporting to you on daily basis?
Spend time with the society around
Teach them, plant the tree for them,
Conserve water with them,
Conserve electricity with them,
Celebrate festivals with them
As per the government rule
CSR funding by an organization
should be done as some percentage of their profit.
But, even when you are not able to make the profit
Go out and express a sense of gratitude
for the ecosystem around.
When your employees go out and you pay them
It is your CSR,
But, when your employees take leave and go out
It is your investment in developing wonderful human being
This is how the spirit of CSR should be.
Oh, wise reader, what do you think is true CSR?
Hari Om Tat Sat
Yours Truly Hari