As we continue to grow in both size and in the market, we consider ourselves equally responsible for positively influencing the people and environments outside our immediate circle.
“We consider humanity as the root of our CSR activities. Over a period of the last 2 years, we have been leading the censhare Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program in India by helping local children who find themselves in need,” said Siddhi Thakkar, censhare India.
As Dieter Riechert (our CEO) shared with me:
“As a company we believe in community, not just our staff or the broader censhare community of partners and clients, but to build connections with our employees’ communities. Having spent a lot of time in India myself and founding the office there, I’m proud of the team that has started our Global CSR initiative here.”
The initiatives’ roots began when the team planned its four-year anniversary celebration. Not satisfied with the typical parties, drinks and food, we decided to do something special instead.
Celebration that year was a visit to an orphanage which focuses on both abandoned and AIDS-infected children. According to Ashish Dayal (censhare India), “We have had many celebrations before...this one though really brought happiness to the heart. We will follow such initiatives every year.”
Our CSR team followed this with a second initiative, which fed children in need and gave them toys to play with. At this interesting point in time, we got in touch with an NGO or non-profit called DoAR ( Donate an Hour ).
DoAR has limited resources but its goal is to work with volunteers who can teach children who otherwise will not get an education. It requested that censhare contribute towards sponsoring a projector so that it could teach more kids per class than a chalk board would allow. Everyone in the associated team opened their hearts and made generous contributions to gift them a high-end, portable projector.
We are really proud of the small changes we have been able to bring so far, hoping to positively impact the lives of people we are able to reach. With a permanent CSR council, these actions will assuredly be followed by many others.
When I asked Siddhi how they started, she said:
“It’s easy, we have the zeal and enthusiasm to do it and with the support of our corporate colleagues we put our best foot forward. We have an informal circle with four core members supporting it. We tend to organize one activity per quarter which everyone in the office is welcomed to participate in.”
I asked Siddhi what’s next for the program:
“We are currently in talks with an organization that takes care of blind kids who are in need of blankets and other basic necessities to help the recipients with their daily lives.”
Siddhi believes that the CSR efforts are perfectly aligned with censhare’s beliefs. “The company focuses on relationships. This initiative is about forming relations as the company culture dictates. Everyone who participates puts their entire heart into making life easier for people than it was before.”
There is no doubt that CSR initiatives are extremely important for the people involved, but it’s also important to view it on a personal level. Siddhi told me a story that made me realize the impact that something like this can have on volunteers. Before reading on, take another look at the photo at the top of this article. As Siddhi explained…
“That little girl is a two-and-a-half-year-old who was abandoned because of her AIDS infection. She was one of twenty-five children with food on her plate but she refused to eat. After all, despite what she’d been through she was still a little girl, she just wanted someone to feed her. She caught my eye and looked up as if to invite me to feed her. I was able to spend hours playing with her after I fed her; a memory that will be etched in my mind forever.”
Ask yourself, whose life do you think changed more that day?