Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has called for social accounting of major projects in the public and private sector. Chavan was speaking at the India Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 award function at the ITC Maratha on Saturday.
“Government or corporate companies cannot reach out to every area, but a social entrepreneur can plug this void,” Chavan said, suggesting that government or private companies could provide capital to social entrepreneurs who otherwise struggle for financial support.
The India Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award has been instituted by the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. The award is given annually to individuals who have founded organisations or companies with targeted social missions benefiting under-served communities. The winner enters the global network of the 200 leading social entrepreneurs of the Schwab Foundation, a sister concern of the World Economic Forum, which is now in session in the city.
This year, the award went to Bangalore’s Neelam Chhiber of Industree Crafts Foundation, which was selected from among the four finalists. The jury comprised Sudha Pillai, member secretary, planning commission; Shobhana Bhartia, chairperson and editorial director of Hindustan Times; YC Deveshwar, chairman, ITC Ltd; Adi Godrej of Godrej Group; Harish Hande, managing director, Selco Solar Light; Rajiv Khandelwal of Ajeevika Bureau; Rohini Nilekani, chairperson, Arghyam Foundation India; and Mirjam Shoening, senior director, Schwab Foundation.
Speaking at the event, professor Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, said that all businesses were not aimed at maximising profits. “Public, at large, is also to be served… India is a role model for social entrepreneurship.”
Union minister of state for science and technology Aswini Kumar lauded the efforts of both foundations and said that only socially relevant businesses would succeed in the future. SS Bhartia of Jubilant Bhartia Foundation advocated the need to serve the unserved markets. “Everybody has a role to play and one needs to have a heart [while doing business].”