It was year 2011 when the Companies act 1956 witnessed a major reform. The proposal, still in the form of a draft proposal and has not become a law, apart from imposing restrictions on the auditors, directors and the company being made more answerable to its stakeholders, it also made expenditure on social welfare, a mandatory activity for the corporate covered under the parameter.
Under the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) guidelines released by the government in the year 2009 the process of CSR was a mere guideline to the corporate sector urging them to shell a part of their earnings for the social good.
With the guidelines not making much difference to the corporate culture, the government came with the proposal of CSR becoming a statutory compliance. Provision of giving reasons for not compliance in the annual balance sheet and imposing penalties on the corporate not going by the guidelines were part of the CSR guidelines.
Most of the corporate committed themselves to the cause of CSR even without any stature to force them doing so, adopting different methodology for service of the society. Among these, one of the forerunners is auto major Maruti SuzukiBSE 0.87 % India.
Maruti has adopted four government run Senior Secondary schools in the surrounding area of Gurgaon in Haryana, where their manufacturing plant is located. While the curriculum and the school staff remained the same, the company entered into an understanding with the government to provide amenities to the school.
Started five years ago, the company ensured the availability of clean drinking water, toilets and a healthy environment to study and play. Pavements in the schools were resurfaced and rebuilt wherever needed.
Teaching material and black boards helping the students to move towards smart classes were provided to all the four schools. Schedule for cultural programs and sports competitions were made in consultation with the school staff.
The company also arranged for career councilors to come and guide the students. Students availed a life time experience by visiting the manufacturing plant of Maruti Suzuki to have a feel of the practical use of education. These factors resulted in terms of more admissions and better performance of the students in the final examinations. Students of the Senior Secondary School, Gurgaon showed a stellar performance in class 10 and 12 of Haryana Board Examinations.
Another major devoting a considerable effort in CSR is JCB India. As a principal, they have been doing lots of CSR work under the name of Lady Bamford Charitable Trust. Since itsinception in 2001, the Lady Bamford Charitable Trust has worked with a focus on education and vocational skills. Besides, the Trust also 'adopted' two villages, one in Ballabgarh, Faridabad and one in Pune.
Recognising the limitation of government schools in teaching basic english, the trust made it a point to provide teachers for fundamental English. School dropouts has been a major problem of the Indian rural segment. In order to resolve the problem the trust came up with the introduction of non-formal education classes and adult literacy classes.
Recognising yet another problem of nutrition for children hailing from poor families, the trust started supplementing the government's mid day meal provisions. Educating the academically weak students was yet another priority.
JCB also introduced scholarships for English and sponsorships for economically vulnerable and meritorious students. After 13 years of uninterrupted support the trust is helping 4000 students in several ways.