MUMBAI

 

 

Feature

 

 

We kicked off the monthly volunteer meet with great enthusiasm. Volunteers came up with lots of ideas on creative teaching techniques during the session. We are in process of incorporating these ideas in our regular activities.

 

 

News

 

 

          Although, most of the senior student batch is very talented, Wilson and Priyanka deserve a special mention. Wilson is one of the most creative and outstanding student of the senior batch in ~Pankhudi Mumbai. Priyanka on the other hand is very creative and sincere. Both of them have set many examples to other students.

          Among ~Pankhudi volunteers, Smriti Dey deserves a very special mention. She was instrumental in designing the course structure and organizing the volunteer meet.

 

 

Activities

 

 

Based on the improvement ideas, the course structure has been revised. New teaching aids have also been added to the course. Based on the children’s needs, we will put more emphasis on English while continuing teaching Mathematics.

 

 

Vote of Thanks

 

 

Thanking all the volunteers of ~Pankhudi Mumbai for helping in teaching and other related activities.

 

 

WANTED

 

 

More volunteers are required for teaching purposes

 

 

PUNE

 

 

 

 

Feature

 

 

We had reported last month that the Protsahan kids (school dropout kids) have started taking interest in studies. Now, Pune team is making efforts to bring the Protsahan kids back to the main stream education.

 

We got kid’s parents interested by conducting a counselling session with them. Parents showed interest in sending their kids back to school and we are following up with them to keep them interested. Kids are showing excitement with the prospect of going back to the school. We are working with school authorities to get the students admitted in 2009-2010 academic session. So far, we have received positive response from all the 4 schools that we have worked with.

 

 

News

 

 

Amruta is ‘Performer of February Month’. She had been consistently contributing to the weekend classes and brilliantly organized the scientific toy making workshop.

 

 

Activities

 

 

Scientific Toy Making Workshop:

On 10th February, Protsahan kids participated in the Scientific Toys making workshop organized by “Mohile Parikh Center for the Visual Arts” (MPCVA) and Mr. Arvind Gupta. The workshop showcased creativity and ingenuity in making toys out of daily use materials. Children had a lot of fun.

Protsahan:

·         Regular classes for the younger kids were conducted on weekdays.

·         Weekend classes were conducted for the elder kids.

 

Sahayog:

·         Regular classes were conducted at ‘Nachiket Balgram’ for the students of std. X.

 

 

Vote of Thanks

 

 

·         MPCVA for inviting / conducting scientific toys making workshop for the Protsahan kids.

·         Entire Pune team for their continuous and untiring support.

 

 

WANTED

 

 

·         Volunteers for Protsahan classes situated near Shivaji Nagar

o   Weekday Batch (Mon-Fri: 6 pm – 8pm)

o   Weekend Batches (Sat: 3pm – 7pm, Sun: 2pm – 6 pm)

·         Volunteers for Ashayein project situated near Sukhsagar Nagar/VIT College or Kothrud (only on weekends)

·        Volunteers for Sahayog project at Nachiket Balgram situated near Pimpri/ Chinchwad/Dehu road (only on weekends)

 

 

DELHI

 

 

News

 

 

With Ms. Aasmeen taking the regular classes for the children at the Priyanka Camp, Okhla, our role has shifted to that of evaluators rather than teacher. We often take small quizzes to check if students are sincerely learning from Ms. Aasmeen. We are also helping the children with their conversational skills (learning to say their name, what fruits they like, the colours they like etc.). As next step, we are planning to teach Mathematics and Moral Science through an organized curriculum.

 

 

Activities

 

 

We have further organized our activities at the slum by dividing the children into small groups. 1-2 volunteers have taken responsibility for the progress of each group. We are maintaining a progress report of the children. This progress report contains the personalized teaching activity for each child and their progress in terms of strengths and weaknesses.

 

 

Vote of Thanks

 

 

Entire Delhi team for their continuous support

 

 

WANTED

 

 

·         A sheltered classroom space that fits about 25 children where we can have basic infrastructure such as a whiteboard, store books and stationary and more.

·         Volunteers for our Sunday Protsahan activity as well as teachers to teach on a regular basis.

 

 

Persistence, Patience and Learning - Necessary attributes for true volunteering

 

Views of Mr. Vaibhav Khandelwaal,

Volunteer, Pankhudi Delhi

 

 

 

To handle kids especially young ones is the second most difficult task for me (the first one being interacting with 'the fairer' of the fairer gender, no racial discrimination intended). Yet, I volunteered to the ~Pankhudi Delhi Okhla initiative taking a cue from a saying: ‘Expose yourself to your deepest fear, after that your fear has no power’, although I haven’t had any chance (or courage) to take the cue for the most difficult task I just mentioned.

 

After this short introduction, let me now jump to the main topic. But before that, a short definition of a volunteer (don’t worry, it’s not mine)  : ‘A volunteer is a person who undertakes a task out of his own initiative and makes it his own responsibility to fulfill it without expecting any materialistic returns for himself’.

 

And since the volunteer takes the responsibility of the task, it becomes his duty to persistently perform all the hard work (is it that hard ever, I doubt) that is needed to get things going and ultimately get them done. And persistence in itself implies patience, in doing work and thus in bringing about a change in the society. Otherwise persistence will have no meaning. Or putting it in reverse order, being patient implies being persistent, of course excluding the case of being patient enough to just be lazy and hence being persistent in “not” doing any work!, which is completely in contrast with the basic trait of a volunteer (to work on one’s own initiative). For example, while teaching kids we should be persistent enough to keep on teaching them until they learn but should be patient, in teaching them, enough till they start showing some results or even marginal improvements.

 

There’s one more trait, which in fact fits in any kind of work i.e. learning. If we are not learning while doing a task, we can’t bring any improvements in our efforts, ultimately getting kind of stagnated. Similar is the case with volunteers. For example, while in the process of teaching kids we learn how to make the kids learn and how to make learning an interesting task for them which finally help us (volunteers) learn new effective ways of teaching.

 

At the end of the day, doing all the work with persistent efforts and patience while simultaneously learning new ideas and implementing them in all our efforts gives us the satisfaction of being responsible to the society and bringing about a change, no matter how small it may be.

 

After all, boond boond karke hi ghada bharta hai!

 

 

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) - Critical Analyses

Views of Mr. Mallesh Bommanahal,

Volunteer, Pankhudi Mumbai

 

 

 

CSR: Have you heard of it? (Wiki for it)

Does your Company have a CSR Program? (Check it on their Webpage)

What do they do? (Ask someone who is involved in it)

Do they publish a sustainability report or is it included in their annual performance report? (Again… their webpage)

Why do they do it? (It’s obvious if you are working for, say a tobacco company… :P)

How are all the above questions relevant? (You will know in a short while)

 

While I enable you to analyze the answers to all these Qs here, I want a promise from you that you will answer mine stated at the end of this article.

“Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is to pursue those policies; make those decisions or to follow those lines of action which are desirable in terms of values and objectives of our society”, HR Bowen (1953). 

Industrialization causes migration of people leading to formation of cities and therefore congestion. It consumes natural resources and also produces harmful wastes. It significantly impacts the life-standards of its employees, in both positive and negative ways. Therefore, environment, employees and society at large, are important stake holders of the businesses.  Corporate participates for the enhancement of these stakeholders through CSR. CSR is not a depiction of corporate altruism, but an important part of the corporate operations. Companies in turn are benefitted by a favorable public image and it also helps them in protecting their long term interests.  HR Bowen’s words are a very broad guideline for the objectives of CSR.

 But not everyone concurs with these ideas. As Wikipedia states, “Critics argue that CSR distracts from the fundamental economic role of businesses; others argue that it is nothing more than superficial window-dressing; some others argue that it is an attempt to pre-empt the role of governments as a watchdog over powerful multinational corporations.”

All the people involved in the business are important stake holders; be it in the economic pursuits or otherwise. Businesses are easily one of the two largest entities influencing are lives, the other one being governments. Hence, a holistic understanding of these influences and actions based on it is essential.

Awareness among the Corporate on these issues has increases and CSR has received a wider industrial recognition. A Times of India article dated 17th Aug, 2008 stated that 63% companies in India have initiated their CSR activities during 1991-2005. Further, almost 90% of the large organizations are involved in CSR initiatives. The undertake activities in variety of areas environment protection, educational development, health programs and women-empowerment. Some of the most popular methods of implementing CSR amongst the corporate are,

·         Material Support: In-kind donations and access to company resources for creating awareness about a social cause

·          Cause Related Marketing: Committing a fixed percentage of the revenue for a social cause. This is a win-win situation for the company and it customers; it helps to improve the sales of the product. For e.g. ‘Re 1 from the sales of surf excel being donated for school education’.

·         Corporate Social Marketing: Supporting implementation of an action; for e,g. ‘Teach India’ Campaign by the Times Foundation; ‘Jago Re’ campaign by TATA Tea.

·         Corporate philanthropy: Company makes direct donations to a Non-Profit in the form of cash or materials

·         Community Volunteering: A corporation supports and encourages employees for volunteering in Social development activities.

·         Socially responsible business practices: A company adopts business practices best suited for protecting consumer interests; protecting the environment and safety of operations etc.

But, how real are these rosy pictures painted by companies?

To realize this, the role of social auditing and reporting becomes important. It is essential for the companies to define their CSR objectives clearly; to set up a strategy to achieve them and to report the evaluation of their impact and therefore success in a transparent way. The good NEWS is that about 75% of the G250 companies already do this, as found out by KPMG’s International Corporate Responsibility Survey 2008. But only 4% of them incorporated their sustainability activities in their Annual performance reports. Does this mean that CSR can still be considered to be of secondary significance for the rest of the firms, is the question that remains unanswered.

CSR among Indian firms faces some challenges like,

·         Lack of a platform to enable Private-Public-NGO partnerships for development and implementation of the most effective solutions to social and environmental problems

·         Lack of transparency among organizations about their operations and results.

·         Lack of knowledge and awareness about CSR

·         Setting up of objectives, strategic planning and lack of procedures for evaluation of impact

Media involvement can be a good method to create awareness about CSR. Introduction of CSR in small and medium enterprises can help the efforts to trickle to remote areas. Creating an independent agency for accreditation of CSR can improve accountability as well as lead to recognition of the efforts in CSR. Proactive government support can be a method to encourage CSR. These and many more actions motivating the companies towards CSR will go a long way in rapid social development of the nations

“Companies state lofty goals for CSR initiatives like nation building, wealth creation and greener world” observed a study by the Times foundation; but the reality of these goals is contingent upon the commitment of the corporations and its people.

As a part of the organization you are working for, how do you think a common employee can make a difference to the firm through its CSR Initiatives? Ideas please…

 

 

 

Submitted by PR Reps, Pankhudi Foundation

Delhi: Ms. Vidha Jain

Bangalore: Mr. Vaibhav Choudhary & Mr. Ram Kumar

Pune: Mr. Vinay Golecha

Mumbai: Mr. Abhishek Shenoy

 

Edited by Kumar Varoon (Minnesota, USA)@ News-Desk Pankhudi Foundation

 

Designed by Amrit Vatsa (Bhubaneshwar, Orrissa)@ Design-Cell Pankhudi Foundation

For any feedback, mail to news@pankhudifoundation.org

 

 

 

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