Monsanto – Deshkal CSR PartnershipFebruary 25, 2016 | 0
It all started 2 years ago, when I was asked to take over the role in Corporate Social Responsibility function, in a totally new & untested territory.
The fundamental concepts of CSR were alien to me – the development sector needs, ideal NGO partnerships, participatory approach- community mobilization etc. This was also the time, when the Indian Companies Act, 2013 was announced, and with it came statutory compliances, SOPS, protocols etc. Under these unique circumstances, I found myself taking the plunge into the deep sea of CSR & making all possible efforts to run some effective CSR programs for Monsanto in India.
After drawing up the CSR Strategy, & carrying out stringent due diligence processes for onboarding the implementing partners, we were ready to roll out specific CSR programs as per our thematic focus of Nutrition & Education; Health & hygiene & Sustainable Agriculture practices for rural communities.
One such project, in line with our Education theme is the partnership with Deshkal Society. Deshkal – a registered not-for-profit organization focusses on primary education. This project gave me an opportunity to touch the lives of over 48 thousand children from diverse backgrounds, across 165 government schools in Purnia district, Bihar to enhance learning levels. Through this project, I am working with my NGO team to achieve 100% enrolment in schools; at least 75% retention in classes &80% school attendance rates in addition to enhanced learning levels of children through teachers’ trainings & inclusive teaching & learning practices. The involvement of motivated teachers coupled with parents and communities in the children’s academic progress ensures better effectiveness of the program and is likely to have a positive impact on the academic performance of the enrolled students.
What started then as a zeal to experiment new things has become an intrinsic part of my life today. Friends and family are proud of me with the open landscape of opportunities I have under CSR to serve the underprivileged & needy rural communities particularly women & children. As part of my job, I have visited many villages, schools & held multiple interactions with community members trying to provide solutions to their problems, as best as I can. I distinctly remember how, during one such interaction, a little girl when asked, what she wanted to be once she grows up, answered – “I want to be like you, when I grow up”. That day, life came a full-circle and I considered myself fortunate enough to be doing what I was doing.