Monday, September 16, 2013

Corporate Social Responsibility and Senior Citizens

Given below is a message from Sri RN MItal President All India Senior
Citizens Confederation


Dear friends,
Mr. Biju Mathews of Help Age has raised a very important issue in his
mail dated September 10 and it is that in the 10 activities which
qualify under the mandatory 2% CSR in the new Company Law, there is
no reference to the issues arising out of the fast ageing population.
Many of our Welfare activities could be given practical shape as the
resources which are expected to be generated through this provision
are huge being of the order of 20,000 crores.

It is unfortunate because while in the above activities all other
vulnerable groups such as women. the disabled, scheduled castes and
tribes etc have been mentioned, the large group of 11 crore senior
citizens has been omitted, though the 4 crore destitute senior
citizens are regarded as the most vulnerable segment of society.

AISCCON brought it to the notice of the Nodal Ministry through my
monthly letter dated June 10 and as there was no response a
representation was made directly to Hon'ble Shri Sachin Pilot through
our letters dated July 6 and later again on August 19. Both have
remained unacknowledged.

Now since the Act has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha also and
the Rules are being finalised, the only alternative left with us is to
get an advisory issued under last clause number (x) of the activities,
reading as " such other matters as may be prescribed" and get the
Senior Citizens related issues included. To my mind it can be best
achieved by meeting the Hon'ble Minister in a delegation. We will take
an appointment and will revert.

We may know that CSR is not a concept unique to India. In almost all
other developed and under developed Countries it is the major source
for financing welfare programmes. We have the distinction of being
about the lowest in private and corporate philanthropy which is less
than 0.5% of the GDP compared with around 5% in Scandinavian
Countries or 4% in Tanzania.It may be of interest to know that in
China Corporate houses, in addition to financial contribution, are
obliged to give 20 days paid leave to their employees so that they
can spend that time with their parents if they live in some other
town, to make them feel that they are not alone.


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