Even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages across India and has led to deaths of over 40000 people, Non Government Organisations (NGOs) have appealed to corporates to spend their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds on other social causes as well, while conceding that the impact of Corona virus is massive.
The ongoing Corona scare and the assistance being offered to those impacted by it as part of CSR activities has thrown NGOs’ workings and philanthropic activities into a disarray. NGOs claim that other sectors like health, education, women empowerment, employment, nutrition and climatic change are being neglected.
Braja Kishore Pradhan, Founder of Aahwahan Foundation, that works across
sectors in remote parts of the nation, says since Work From Home (WFH) became
common since the pandemic struck, women and children stuck in domestically
violent households have had to face a tough situation and that rescuing rehabilitating
them has become a challenge in the face of crunched funds.
“We have also received distress calls for women in sex
trade who had to face problems during this time where they had no shelter and
so source of income and also faced issues of survival, rescuing them and
helping them find shelter has been a massive task for our organization. Providing
for their employment restarting their lives would require help from
organisations to donate for our long term development cause” Pradhan said.
Dinesh Kr Gautam, Founder of Drishti Foundation, an NGO that works in sectors like environment, health and education, says that they need funds from their CSR partners to maintain their plantation drive for the next five years for better sustainability of the plants.
“We are working with almost 91 per cent of
proven sustenance record for the last three years. And now, these
plantation sites have become home for various migrated and rare birds
species. However going forward, we are concerned about
CSR funding because our existing CSR partners are no more interested to
continue with the existing initiatives because they have diverted their
focus on Covid19,” Gautam said.
Santosh Phad, Founder of ThinkSharp Foundation, an NGO
working towards improving the quality of rural education says that NGOs depend
on donations from philanthropists, CSR funds and government grants and without
their support, it is difficult for them to survive.
“If this continues, most NGOs will face a big
problem for their survival. Many NGO’s have already stared reducing their
staff, closing down their projects which will directly impact most the
beneficiaries from a rural, disadvantaged community. Government and large
corporates must step in and help NGOs to continue their work to serve the
unserved society,” Phad says.
Siddhartha Prakash – Founder of NGO Daily Wage Worker Platform, says that while issues like unemployment, lack of skilled force, water crisis, food security are prevalent, COVID-19 has made daily wage workers more vulnerable and exposed to issues which will impact their lives more severely.
“As we face a shortage of migrant workers, that are the core of manufacturing organizations, it is important to have employees who are trained and well aware of their rights, so that we can stop a COVID like exodus and prepare for the future in healthcare, unemployment and food security aspects. Corporate can play a big role here,” Prakash says.
By -Murtuza Merchant Email-Murtaza@crowdteck.com