“Opportunity for all is the basic right”
Rajeev Mathur, MD, Mahanagar Gas Ltd., talks about how the company’s community outreach programmes and initiatives continue to contribute towards 3 ES : Education, Environment and Empowerment
Both the company and the community benefit from CSR initiatives. Do you subscribe to this?
At MGL, our thoughts have always been in quest of building a pyramid where every layer is sowed with a promise seed and harvested with smiling faces because we believe that opportunity for all is a basic right. Fostering this philosophy from ages, we have calibrated our values in our pursuit of working in areas of sustainability. MGL through its community outreach programmes and initiatives continues to contribute and focus on 3 Es: Education, Environment and Empowerment, thereby fostering the philosophy of taking care of the community for a sustainable tomorrow. Riding on our philosophy, we make sure that every layer of the pyramid is exposed for a better tomorrow. Majority of stakeholders benefited from our CSR intervention are slum dwellers, urban and rural poor, rag pickers, street children, small and marginal farmers, daily wage earners and socially marginalised and economically fragile sections of the society.
Can you discuss your company's CSR journey?
CSR at MGL is not just a practice; it's a core value which is synthesised in the mission and vision of the company working for a sustainable future. We have set strategic objectives and defined values, which will guide us along the excellence path. We want to grow in a manner that promotes the large cause of sustainability. Our values will go a long way in ensuring that we sustain our business presence, grow smartly and successfully. For MGL, business primacies are coupled with social capabilities to drive holistic growth of people and communities. MGL has undertaken numerous initiatives aimed at developing the communities around which the company conducts its operations. The intervening objective is to create value and ensure comprehensive growth.
What are the key focus areas for your company's CSR projects?
With deep rooted tradition, constant participation and belief, MGL through its community outreach programmes and initiatives continues to contribute and focus on Education, Environment and Empowerment thereby fostering the philosophy of taking care of the community for a sustainable tomorrow. Entrenched with a vision for working towards the betterment of the society, MGL's sustained efforts have touched and enhanced lives reflecting its commitment of serving for the community. Under the banner of 'MGL We Care' various sustainable social activities are conducted throughout the year reaching out to many with a helping hand because we care.
What is the implementation method of CSR at your company?
MGL's implementation method for CSR is through partners association and volunteerism by employees where MGL provides all the required support.
What is your CSR team's strength?
Although we have a small core team but with volunteer model of contributing towards CSR , every MGL employee contributes towards CSR.
What is your opinion of the current phase of CSR in India? What are the main challenges that the field is facing?
In the current scenario of CSR in India, the emphasis is more on outlay and output rather than outcome. The focus should be on creating impact.
Are there any programmes in the world of CSR that you think are spectacularly awesome?
Most of the corporates are doing their fare bit in enhancing the values of 'social responsibility'. The recent shift from a generalist approach to more strategic intent is remarkable to note. One thing that many corporates have been able to bring to table vis-à-vis developmental initiatives is innovation and use of technology to bridge gaps. Projects like GAIL Utkarsh for removal of barriers in access to higher education, linking PHCs to district hospital through use of technology, model village project of Aditya Birla Group, river rejuvenation project (taken up by some NGOs), Project Asman -Reliance Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Tata Trust, USAID and MSD in India have joined hands for enhancement of health delivery - such collaborative efforts which establish synergies with existing government strategies are need of the hour.