Corporate honchos came together at a summit on Friday to discuss how they can work together for child rights and adopt practices in their businesses to ensure a sustainable future for India.
Conducted by non-governmental organisation Child Rights and You (CRY), the all-day event grappled with issues such as engaging employees in social initiatives, how a brand’s social initiatives can help impact the company’s end consumer and the role of a strong leader in ensuring effective corporate social responsibility.
Speakers at the summit included business leaders from companies such as Deutsche Bank, HCL Technologies, UTV Group and Hindustan Unilever.
“Currently, our democracy takes very little action in advocating children’s rights,” said Shanta Sinha, chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
The participants also discussed the need for social organisations to educate corporates about the cause.
“A social organisation cannot merely provide certification to their business partner,” said Puja Marwaha, chief executive officer, CRY. “You need to work from the grassroots level and have a vigilance team that sees to it [implementation].”
At the summit on Friday, CRY also introduced awards that recognise companies who are taking the initiative to work child rights into their business models and social responsibility programmes.
GenPact India won the special jury award, Aviva Life Insurance won the Bronze Award, Procter & Gamble India received the Silver Award, and Hindustan Pet-roleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) bagged the Golden Award.
“HPCL has won a lot of awards, but this one is the most exciting and special one for me,” said Alla Surya Rao, deputy general manager for corporate social responsibility at HPCL.
“Not only is this a recognition of our work in the child rights space and a humbling pat on the back, but this will also allow me to get the attention of our 12,000 employees and allow me to invest further in this cause,” Rao added.