FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’s DESK…
At the recently held C&A Foundation event in Bhopal, it was really fascinating to see how the farmers were integrated into the event – right from welcoming the guests from the brands and Government agencies, to participating in discussions, to actually raising questions during the various sessions.
Hats-off to the efforts and dedication of the people behind the show and the various companies/organisations that made the event so unique.
But does this sense of purpose to involve and engage workers at the grassroot really perpetuate across the industry, or is this a standalone experience that got the claps, but no long-term lessons…
At every conference, related to sustainable and ethical growth, we find many domain experts passionately discussing problems and sharing case studies…; but where are the solutions?
We need real solutions, solutions that are practical and achievable, not those that look good on paper, but never find the light of day!
And even if certain events do put forth probable solutions…, we never get to know how many of them were actually implemented…; there is simply no follow-up or action plan with deadlines!
Perhaps that is why on a larger platform, organisations/NGOs working with grassroot people are seen as CSR facilitators and not as business partners, who while enhancing workers’ life, are also creating a viable business model that will make them independent of ‘funding’ and help them move up the social ladder.
Even for businesses that support these organisations, the attitude in most cases is of CSR, with little or no expectation of any tangible gains, except of course the satisfaction of ‘giving back to society’.
Is making people dependent on funds, or charity the real solution to the workers’ suffering…? I would think not!
We need to make them self-sufficient to undertake the responsibilities of life. We need programmes that teach life skills, support education and enhance the opportunities for a better future.
Just being passionate about workers and their issues is not enough, mobilising people and ensuring that an ecosphere is created of collaboration, is equally important.
I realise that it is easier said than done, and most organisations/NGOs working in the field will argue that we are doing the same… But then something is missing somewhere, otherwise the results would have been there for everyone to see!
It is time to put our heads together and make these workers ‘partners in the effort’. They should be part of the ‘think tank’, and solutions built around their real and not perceived problems.
After all, if the goal is to enhance their life and give better opportunities of growth…, they have to be stakeholders in the endeavour!