CHARITY BEGINS @ HOME
The IT Associations Feel Business has a Responsibility to give Back to the Community
Nowadays to be selfish is very easy comparing to be selfless. Today technology is increasingly playing a crucial role in the success of organizations in the information age. However technology field has its boon, likewise it has its negative impact on environment also. So it’s the duty of stalwarts to descend the environmental impact of their operational activities.
Along with this, there are concerns brewing about the sector as a player in the development process. Can effective use be made of technologies in bringing practical and cost-effective benefits to the lives of people? What role it is playing in reforming corporate governance, labour standards, workplace culture, human rights, community involvement, social benefit and environmental impact?
For questions to be answered IT industry has come up with the sureshot solution. CSR that means Corporate Social Responsibility. Corporate Social Responsibility is an emerging concept as it is now becoming one of the important criteria to become a respectable and leading corporate which not only carries out business activities, but also dedicates itself to the nation by implementing CSR.
Companies are now starting to report on their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in greater numbers. Drivers for this include the rise in ethical consumerism, socially responsible investing, employee recruitment and loyalty, changing laws and regulations, increased scrutiny and transparency and risk mitigation.
What CSR basically means is that a business does more for the wellbeing of others than required in an economical and legal sense. We can give 5 reasons for why IT sector needs CSR activities .have a look • Satisfied employees • Satisfied customers • Positive PR • Cost Reductions • More Business Opportunities Here are some synopsis of CSR activities, that our IT associations are into.
TITA, TELANGANA IT ASOOCIATION
TITA, Telangana IT Asoociation, is doing miracles for people of their district. Association has started an initiative, TelanganaDigithon, a digital literacy programme which is becoming a pioneer of development. This program is providing digital knowledge among the people of Telangana so that they will use digital devices and tools to improve their life.
The aim of the TITA is to prepare 10,000 digital leaders (trainers), who in turn, will impart digital literacy knowledge to 10,000 people in the first phase. Under Digithon initiative, TITA adopted Basar Village in Adilabad District and successfully completed the mission of digitizing Basar, thus bestowing Basar Village a remarkable achievement of First
100% Digital Literate Village in Telangana State. Similarly, TITA adopted Narsingapur in Nizamabad District and Ghattuppal in Nalgonda District and achieved 100% Digital Literacy.
Sundeep Kumar Makthala, Founder & President of TITA told, “This is a unique program in India and no one is doing this, there are 10 districts in Telangana. So, our plan is to do 100% digital literacy in 10 villages of 10 district, and after that we will gradually cover whole mandals one by one, and soon we will adopt 50 villages in one shot with the help and support of local college and institutions”.
TITA’s digithon so far is gaining popularity among ground level people. Program is getting huge positive response of people and they are welcoming this step. “We have national digital literacy mission curriculum and also we have designed one curriculum named Digithon curriculum, under this people gets basic training of computer, e-mailing, e-banking, how to protect passwords etc.”
Without having any funding from government TITA is tasting success and making its own mark in the area.
TRADE ASSOCIATION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, TAIT
Trade Association of Information Technology (TAIT) was formed in March 1996 to represent the interest of IT community in the ecosystem of Distributors / Sub-distributors / Resellers, System Integrators & Service Providers.
TAIT has over 350+ members representing the complete spectrum of IT organizations. The association was formed to uphold the larger interest of the IT trade, which represents 70% of Mumbai’s IT industry.
TAIT is contributing society in the field of education. TAIT has always been at the forefront when it comes to social responsibility projects. Association has recently announced its CSR activity named Education First initiative.
As the cost of education is soaring and with shrinking family budgets, education gets the axe as families struggle to meet their basic needs. This gives a distinct disadvantage to the underprivileged children to meet their aspirations. In reality, families often prioritize studies several rungs lower and more so for the girl child. These children are able to barely buy the text books and have to do without several notebooks/longbooks which are essential to practice and reinforce the knowledge.
Although text books and notebooks form the basic framework of education, several other inputs are required to perform at the next level. Therefore, under the first phase of the program, TAIT will be doing a free distribution of long books. Books will be sent to the members of the association for the children of the less privileged staff members or any other needy children for pursuit of their education. The same will be available at different distribution points. For eg.Borivili, Andheri, Dadar, Lamington Rd., Ghatkopar, Mulund and Thane. Details of the same will be communicated shortly. Over 6000 books will be distributed.
COMPASS ankur computer training centre is an exemplary example of CSR activity done by association. This centre aims to provide job oriented computer Training Course for the underprivileged and physically challenged since October 2000.
The COMPASS members have donated the Computer Hardware and Software. Apart from this a special course, with nominal course fee is conducted for housewives, senior citizens and for the children through games and educational programs.
“From last 15 years association is conducting permanent CSR activity in form of COMPASS ankur. Through this centre we provide digital literacy to under privileged and physical challenged students. We train them in basic computer education, tally, accounting and give hardware training,” told Neeraj Agrawal, Secretary, COMPASS.
This is just one thing COMPASS is also dedicated in creating jobs. “we are not only imparting skill, but we also offering them jobs within members and outside members of association, also we try to approach different companies. ”said Neeraj.
Talking on growth of association via CSR activities he said, “at the end of the day we all are part of the society, and growth becomes secondary when compared to moral responsibilities.”
Computer & Media Dealers’ Association, Pune, popularly known as CMDA, is one of the premier associations of IT dealers and resellers in India. It was founded in 1993. It undertakes various initiatives every year, touching upon important aspects such as increasing IT awareness, training and development, sports, recreation and charity. It regularly do CSR activities do give society something back.
CMDA last month donated 5 branded PCs to an institute which will help in education of students. Apart from this they donated learning software and projectors and also working with NGOs.
Narendra Bheda, President CMDA stated that, “Every year association passes limited budget for CSR activities, last year it was 1 lakh surplus. For doing CSR activities association has a small infrastructure which sees entire process of what to do, how to do, data collection, validation etc. so we should know the activities being done are for and benefiting rightand deserving person.”
Talking about importance of CSR activities, he said, “definitely CSR activities play important role in helping society and it should be done on regular basis as it is our moral responsibility towards disadvantaged.”
India’s leading IT association ASIRT, Mumbai is managed by a governing board of 11 people. ASIRT is dedicated to CSR activities. “These activities are well integrated into our ecosystem” tells Chetan Shah, Vicepresident, ASIRT. “what we do is we give various training to employees of members of association for the betterment of their career. There are
“Every year association passes limited budget for CSR activities, last year it was 1 lakh surplus. For doing CSR activities association has a small infrastructure which sees entire process of what to do, how to do, data collection, validation etc. so we should know the activities being done are for and benefiting rightand deserving person.” Narendra Bheda, President CMDA “What we do is we give various training to employees of members of association for the betterment of their career. There are many people who are just graduate and can’t afford trainings, so we provide them skills training for free or at very subsidized cost. And this in turn enhance their skills for bigger and better things to do.” — Chetan Shah, Vice-president, ASIRT “From last 15 years association is conducting permanent CSR activity in form of COMPASS ankur. Through this centre we provide digital literacy to under privileged and physical challenged students. We train them in basic computer education, tally, accounting and give hardware training.” —Neeraj Agrawal, Secretary, COMPASS
“CSR activities are worth doing, we are computer dealers and our association is different but we think for society as one. Recognition and fame is not important, foremost thing is that you could do work for society and someone is getting benefit from that work.” — Ranjan Das,President, NECTA “CSR activities are must, Pressure on business to become more responsible is increasing. Our association understands that IT sector have affair potential to affect the community, environment and its own workplace. We are somewhat managing e-waste into more productive thing. In our association we have a unique recycle program.” — Basant Mehta, President of Jodhpur association “This is a unique program in India and no one is doing this, there are 10 districts in Telangana. So, our plan is to do 100% digital literacy in 10 villages of 10 district, and after that we will gradually cover whole mandals one by one, and soon we will adopt 50 villages in one shot with the help and support of local college and institutions.” —Sundeep Kumar Makthala, Founder & President of TITA “CSR activities should be done on regular basis as its gives us feeling that we are part of society where many people needs our help in different ways, and they look forward to get some.” —Rajeev Majotra, secretary, Jammu association “CSR activities can help an association grow and also it helps us to do some work for society, it should be conducted on regular basis. And we are proud that we are doing so”. —SoubhagyaRoutray, President, ITAO
many people who are just graduate and can’t afford trainings, so we provide them skills training for free or at very subsidized cost. And this in turn enhance their skills for bigger and better things to do.”
ASIRT has so far trained more than 200 people and continuing to do so. “CSR activities are very important and should be practice in IT field. It is providing better future for one those who are gaining training, tell me, who will spend so much on another person to give knowledge?, so, ASIRT is providing them benefit for life.
Working in limited budget is not a hurdle for ASIRT. Its more important to impart knowledge and fulfilling moral responsibilities towards society. “limited budget does not stop us in doing good deeds, initiation of effort is more important than sulking on limited amount we have”. Says chetan.
JAMMU COMPUTER DEALER ASSOCIATION, JCDA
Jammu computer dealer association is actively working for society. Association organizes various charity program time to time. Keeping in mind the needs of under privileged orphan children, association have donated daily needs material in a local orphanage called Mother Teresa Home and in January they celebrated Lohri festival with elderly people of old age home and have given some sponsorships. Rajeev Majotra, secretary, Jammu association thinks that, “These activities are need of society, associations like us who have money in their kitty should come forward and help society in certain ways. Moreover, CSR activities also benefits us, it give recognition and fame to our cluster.”
“CSR activities should be done on regular basis as its gives us feeling that we are part of society where many people needs our help in different ways, and they look forward to get some.” he added.
Working in a limited budget has its own odds and even, “we receive money by collections, so we work in limited budget and had to see what should be done and how should be done”. Majotra declares.
Apart from business and dealing with lots of issues like online business, taxes etc. association of Assam is thoughtful for responsibilities towards society. Time ti time it conducts charity events for the poor and needy people. Association has donated quilts and kambals to down and out. Funded in PM relief fund several times, and other charity activities.
Ranjan Das, President, NECTA said “CSR activities are worth doing, we are computer dealers and our association is different but we think for society as one. Recognition and fame is not important, foremost thing is that you could do work for society and someone is getting benefit from that work.”
Association decide their own project on a number of parameters but also faces hurdles. “Our teammates face many challenges doing CSR activities, lack of fund is one of main challenge.” Added Das.
ALL DELHI COMPUTER TRADERS ASSOCIATION, ADCTA
The impact of Information Technology has been enormous on various domains like business, education, medicine and don’t forget environment.
Some associations are concerned about this. Delhi association ADCTA is doing CSR activity to minimize impact of their operations on environment.
ADCTA has called upon the issue of e-waste and had talks to state government also, officials of association stated that, “As this is an area, where we need Govt. authorisation, also there is a license procedure which makes someone to authorize to deal in waste management. Some years back, in the regime of Smt. Sheila Dixit, ADCTA was called and issue was discussed in length about E-waste management under Bhagidhari. As per that time discussion - things were finalised to install E-waste boxes in the Nehru Place Market - India’s Biggest IT Market and Association has to guide their members and customers about importance of E-waste management and its impacts on health and environment. As this initiative involved Govt. permission and other license system - we are still awaiting first step of installation of E-waste Boxes to collect Electronic Waste eg. Motherboard, CPU, Keyboard, UPS, Batteries, Ram etc. etc”.
According to association, it’s important to manage E-Waste and every association have a major role to play in this initiative. These sorts of initiatives related to environment and most importantly to our health. And mainly Its a drive to educate end-users about e-waste management and definately association and their dealers can play major role in this education and awareness campaign. And by repairing (re-cycle & reus-
ing) resources could be utilized in better ways.
AMBALA COMPUTER ASSOCIATION
Ambala association is also working on e-waste disposal. Association have engaged certified e-waste companies for discarding the obsolete e-waste and consumables. The certified companies has marked Ambala association as their one of the authorized partner and they are getting the same done for other organizations also.
Association has opinion that CSR activities matter most in today’s scenario. As an organization is the part of the society, it cannot function in isolation from the society around it.
JHARKHAND COMPUTER WELFARE ASSOCIATION, JCWA
The role and efforts of the private sector in taking development agenda forward with focus on education, health, environment, livelihood, women empowerment, disaster management to mention a few have been visible and effective. Jharkhand computer welfare association hasdone CSR activity in health by donating blood.
Susheel Kumar, President, JCWA told DQ Channels about CSR activities of association, “we actively participate in these activities and also encourage people outside our association. Last month, we conduct a small blood donation camp, which was a hit, more than fifty people came to donate blood.”
Any CSR activity doesn’t needed to be huge, a small effort from people could make a heavy impact that’s the message from JCWA.
ITAO was born in 1998 with a view of uniting IT related people of the state, covering both professionals and business sector. A company that ignores social and environmental concerns in its activities may have sub- stantial profit or returns in its current state but later on it may drown. And ITAO is familier with this fact, ITAO has done so many charity activities so far and is planning to do one CSR activity in late June. It is going to organize blood donation camp, and also planning an IT quiz competition among local private and government schools in Bhubhaneshwar and Cuttack.
Soubhagya Routray, President, said, “CSR activities can help an association grow and also it helps us to do some work for society, it should be conducted on regular basis. And we are proud that we are doing so”.
JODHPUR COMPUTER DEALER ASSOCIATION
The foundation of Jodhpur Computer Dealers Association (JCDA) was laid in the month of May 2002. Since then time to time association is engaged in CSR activities of different sorts.
Basant Mehta, President of Jodhpur association said, “CSR activities are must, Pressure on business to become more responsible is increasing. Our association understands that IT sector have affair potential to affect the community, environment and its own workplace. We are somewhat managing e-waste into more productive thing. In our association we have a unique recycle program. In this program various components which are left secluded are gathered and then assembled into a PC. We even go door to door for asking old PC and computer parts. These PCs are given away to institutions and schools.”
JCDA has conducted this 3 month program and given 12 PCs to school. Association is also planning to organize this program once more in coming future.
WHAT COULD BE THE NEXT STEP
Companies are already going way beyond traditional CSR by integrating sustainability into all aspects of their business operations in recognition that business cannot succeed if society fails. So, IT sector needs to redefine traditional CSR activities, integrate sustainability, get inspired by new processes, take risks, and make new definitions of success.