On your mark, get set, ready STEADY and go!
When rules for Corporate Social responsibility were announced last fiscal (2014-15) by Ministry of Corporate affairs, there was a lot of confusion in the corporate sector. Majority of them had no clarity on what CSR is, forget implementation of a project. This tendency persists even today. Some find it easier to handover a project to an implementing agency and forget about the outcomes. While some go out of their way to confirm whether the project is going in the right direction. Asian Paints Limited is one such funding agency.
Seven people from Asian Paints Limited, including two directors, a founder member and CSR head visited Savitri Bai Phule Inter College to assess whether the program under the banner STEADY is creating an impact over the beneficiaries. Mr. P T Varghese, Director Administration, Ms. Jaswant Kaur, Director CRM and Mr. Virender, Assistant Manager (Programs) represented Deepalaya. Mr. P T Varghese then explained about the activities carried on by Deepalaya. Within a few minutes the founder member Mr. Mahendra Choksi and Mr. Malav Dani, Directors and Mr. Jagdish Acharya, CSR head visited the class where a career counselling session was being conducted. Mr. Malav Dani had an interactive session with the girls enquiring about the benefit they derived from the session. Ms. Anuradha Kaushal was the first one to say “my parents wanted me to become a doctor and forced me to take science stream. Science seems no longer interesting to me. I wanted to be an IAS officer. I was under the impression that I cannot appear for the exams as I chose Science stream. Ms. Surabhi (career counsellor) told me anyone from any stream can appear for the IAS exams. My parents have now agreed and I am sure I will be an IAS officer one day.”
Anuradha’s reply motivated others who came out with their choices. Some wanted to be a chartered accountant, some fashion designer, some aspired to be a doctor and one chose an entirely different profession of Clinical Psychologist. No doubt the career counselling session had a huge impact on these girls.
While we were busy in listening to the answers of these girls, Mr. Mahendra Choksi had an entirely different line of thought. “Why don’t we counsel the parents? They require more counselling than these girls,” he said. “They have high aspirations and dreams. Considering the tendency of parents to marry their daughters at an early age, they may end up in disappointment. We need to curb this tendency. Besides, the career counsellor should also tell these girls about the ground realities and difficulties they may have to face while choosing a career otherwise they may prove to be a failure”, he added.
He was very keen to see the career booklets that were distributed to the students after the session and how the psychometric tests were conducted.
The team appreciated the self-defense training being given to the girls as well. Thereafter, they met Mrs. Rima Dey, the school Principal and discussed about last year’s program. She suggested to have the sessions on a continuous basis and give scholarships only to the needy than to those who performed well during exams. The suggestions were taken note of and Asian paints team decided to work on them.
Towards the end, Mr. Jagdish Acharya, the CSR head suggested to track the progress of these students to assess the actual impact of the program over the next few years.