Healthcare NGO Karuna Trust’s founder H Sudarshan emerged the winner of the India Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 award given by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation.
Magic Bus and Bodh Shiksha Samiti were the other finalists. There were 189 entries this year.
While giving away the award and certificates to the three finalists, finance minister Arun Jaitley said: “CSR alone, in its very first year, is going to contribute about Rs 14,000 crore to the (social) sector and that’s reasonably a large amount of money. This is going to increase year after year as corporate profits increase.”
The Indian society was currently “witnessing a passing phase or turning point,” he said, expressing hope that companies would enter charity in a big way. “Its impact will now be fully seen. (It will be) appreciated by even those who are otherwise unaware or unwilling to recognise the contribution.”
Karuna Trust has been operating to transform dysfunctional government primary healthcare centres (PHCs) into professional hubs of ‘last mile’ healthcare service delivery. It works through a public-private partnership (PPP) model where the government invests in infrastructure upgrade of the PHCs and Karuna Trust brings on board healthcare management systems and innovations.
Village health councils hold PHCs accountable for reporting higher health outcomes and functioning as zero-corruption zones. Karuna Trust has catered to over one million patients and reported health outcomes, among the highest in the country.
“It will motivate us to do more and bring recognition to the efforts,” Sudarshan said.
“Karuna Trust is working in (Maoist-affected) areas where even normal government machinery cannot enter,” Jaitley said.
“We hope these entrepreneurs and their work will serve as an inspiration to many more social innovators,” said Hilde Schwab, chairperson and co-founder of Schwab Foundation.
Shyam S Bhartia, chairman and MD and Hari S Bhartia, co-chairman and MD, Jubilant Life Sciences and founder directors of Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, said: “The social entrepreneurs are the dreamers, the innovators, the doers and most importantly, they are the pragmatic visionaries. Jubilant Bhartia Foundation looks forward to collaborating and supporting them with linkages and networks to increase their impact and scale.”
Schwab Foundation is a sister organisation of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The winner will be invited to join the foundation’s global community of over 250 social innovators.
The panel of judges met on Tuesday morning to select the winner. They included Shobhana Bhartia, chairperson and editorial director, HT Media Ltd; Sudha Pillai, board member, Jubilant Life Sciences; David Aikman, MD, head of New Champions, WEF; Neelam Chhiber, MD, Industree Crafts Foundation; Harish Hande, MD, Selco Solar Light; Sunil Kant Munjal, joint MD, Hero MotoCorp; Ronnie Screwvala, first-generation entrepreneur; and Chetna Vijay Sinha, winner, SEOY 2013 and founder of Mann Deshi Group of Ventures.