With India speculating another lockdown theory, the poor and destitute population of the country is struggling to make ends meet with no food security and safe place to stay, their days of misery are far from over. Sudden announcement of the country-wide lockdown on March led to a complete shutdown of the economy and we saw the exodus of thousand of poor fleeing cities, trying to reach their native place, as they feared hunger might kill them before COVID-19 does.
Soon after the lockdown, government urged the private sector to step forward in country’s fight against COVID-19 and since then the corporate sector has been playing a crucial role in supporting the society and our frontline warriors. According to an analysis report by IndiaSpend on donations received by PM Cares Fund, at least Rs. 5,369.6 crore have been donated by private companies, industry bodies and social organisations as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds. Apart from the contributions made to such relief funds, corporates are partnering with CSOs to provide direct relief to the community.
During these testing times CSR is no more a credibility building PR activity, instead it’s an opportunity for the private sector to strengthen their commitments toward CSR. A Delhi based CSR-consultancy; Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. (Fiinovation), has been working tirelessly since the coronavirus outbreak to help those in dire need. They are currently working in the worst hit states like Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha and Rajasthan. Dr Soumitro Chakraborty, CEO, Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt. Ltd. (Fiinovation), while talking about the scope of CSR in combating COVID-19 said, “COVID-19 brings an opportunity for us to maximise our social impact and expand our CSR footprints. With the support of our valuable partners and devoted team we have been able to provide relief to thousands of underprivileged and vulnerable families. There are many such organizations like ours, doing a commendable job in this hour of need.”
He further added, “In the times to come we will have to face the repercussions of the pandemic and it will continue to disrupt our lives. Especially, for the ones employed in the informal sector whose income has dried up due to the economic slowdown, would need our continuous support to survive in the post COVID world.”
The global health crisis has left the citizens of the country under self imposed quarantine and with lockdown 4.0 coming to an end; companies are now focusing on scaling the relief and response strategy of their CSR initiatives. Despite all challenges, India Inc has prioritized the needs of the community and have been mobilising CSR funds and their resources to support the government and fill the gaps in response to COVID-19 pandemic. There is still a long road ahead for corporations who have been missing out on CSR to join the battle against COVID-19.