Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Karnataka CSR Conclave 2023 was held on 03 Mar 2023, at Royal Orchid, Bengaluru. The conclave brought together corporates, NGOs, government agencies, social enterprises, and advisory organizations. This enabled a primarily understanding of the vital role of CSR in developing the economic ecosystem for the inclusive development and growth of industry and society.
Industry stalwarts from various entities of BIAL, Volvo, Embassy, TaeguTec, ASM Technologies, Biocon, HCL Foundations, 3M, TAICT, GRAAM, ABS, United Efforts, Erin Consultants, Tata Coffee, Pollinate Group participated in the panel discussion on topics of Corporate Strategy, Improving/Providing Education, Nutrition, and Women and Child Welfare, Role of Healthcare /Sustainability& ESG/ Technology. Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust and Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence represented the Nutrition and Education aspects at the conclave.
The special inaugural address was made by Mr. Ashwin Gowda – IRS Managing Director Karnataka, Skill Development Corporation and Ms. Uma Mahadevan – IAS Additional Chief Secretary (PR) Dept. of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Govt. of Karnataka. They spoke of various initiatives taken by the Govt in training and skilling the students who are graduating and enabling them to be industry ready. Industries can be a part of this movement by providing their requirements in their respective fields. This skilled labour can be leveraged by various corporates that need industry-ready professionals.
Mr. Ashish Bhardwaj – who spearheads CSR projects in Annapoorna Trust, provided insights to the audience during the panel discussion about the imperative need for Nutrition interventions for the growth of a child. He explained how a few like-minded individuals started providing morning nutrition in the year 2012 in 1 school in Bengaluru for 50 children. Today, Annapoorna Trust has grown and is now serving 1,200,000 children in more than 15,000 schools across the nation. The Trust started serving morning nutrition in the form of cooked breakfast and over the years, it has improvised itself and has come up with SaiSure multi-nutrient health mix, SaiSure Ragi variant as well.
SaiSure is an example of Annapoorna Trust adding value to the Ksheera Bhagya scheme of the Government of Karnataka, where the government provides milk to children, while Annapoorna Trust adds the nutritional element in the form of the health mix. In other states, other options such as SaiSure with milk powder, and SaiSure Ragi variant are being implemented. The direct impact is on children’s academics who come on time, are more punctual and can concentrate on their studies. Children need not wait or anticipate on empty stomachs till the mid-day meal is being served at around 12.30 p.m. in Govt schools. In terms of health parameters, improvement is observed in their BMI & haemoglobin levels.
The government of Karnataka has recognised the “SaiSure” Multinutrient Health Mix as its flagship initiative in “combating malnutrition.” During COVID times, High-level committee headed by Dr. Devi Shetty recommended SaiSure as a pre-emptive intervention for adults & children.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” is the famous quote of John. F. Kennedy. Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) is a mutual way for companies to benefit society while benefiting them in the process. It is the way to show the human face of the corporate businesses and is a thoughtful and practical way to give back to the society touching the lives of many thousands of children and their families, thus shaping New India.