Capco India’s CSR Committee was formed in April 2020 with the goal of enabling the business to engage actively in the development of communities and the environment in a more structured fashion. Made up of 20 Capco employees, the Committee’s vision is clear: to make a difference and add value to the lives of individuals, businesses, and communities. To this end, its mission is to empower marginalized sections of society, help change the lives of people with disabilities and care for the terminally ill, promote environmental conservation efforts, and provide disaster relief to affected areas.
As it transpired, the advent of COVID-19 meant that the past eighteen months have proved a particularly gruelling experience for India as well as the wider world. However, as Sarmistha Bhattacharjee, Capco India CSR Champion, notes: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going – and that is exactly what the committee chose to do, extending our support to communities and engaging in social welfare activities”. Since physical volunteering activities were not an option due to pandemic-related restrictions, the Capco India CSR team chose to partner with a diverse range of non-governmental and charitable organizations while also driving internal fundraisers and donation drives.
In December 2020, the CSR Committee organized a highly successful auction and fundraising event, GET CRAFTY@CAPCO, where all Capco India employees and their families were invited to participate in an arts & craft competition. The 11 winners’ artwork was put up for auction, raising a total of Rs.1,51,000/- (US$2022); part of the proceeds went towards supporting Shishu Mandir – a government-funded institution that runs an orphanage for 46 children below six years of age – with the remainder being allocated to future initiatives.
As the human damage caused by the pandemic escalated in the early part of 2021, Capco’s Global CSR team committed US$10,000 to funding COVID relief projects in India. Capco India matched this contribution with a further US$4,862, and the combined total of INR11.09 Lakhs was directed to support the work of three NGOs:
- Khushiyaan Foundation– Capco funded 50L oxygen cylinders for hospitals and two oxygen concentrators for home emergency use.
- Uday Foundation– 400 wellness kits and 5000 cooked meals have been funded for homeless footpath dwellers.
- DAVO– funding for medical supplies (pulse oximeters, nebulizers, PPE kits and 500 N95 masks) and machinery for producing biodegradable sticks for use in cremations.
Capco India has also been supporting the work of Give India, which has been collaborating with NGOs across the country to provide medical equipment and other resources. Capco’s contribution INR10.58 Lakhs (US$14,160) provided for the purchase of beds, oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators.
As part of Capco’s global engagement with Bankers Without Borders, Capco India worked with Jan Sahas, an NGO committed to protecting rights and promoting the development of socially excluded communities, with a particular focus on girls and women. Jan Sahas was facing challenges in data collecting, latency in updating data to its centralized database and a lack of legal and technical competencies among its staff, among other challenges. Three Capco employees worked together to implement solutions to input data automatically via Google Forms and Sheets and conducted multiple sessions with ‘barefoot lawyers’ [self-taught legal activists] and their teams to train them to update and submit the forms. The Capco team also helped to address accessibility and accuracy shortcomings and implement real-time data maintenance and data storage.
Reflecting on past achievements and next steps, Sarmistha says: “Through the hard work of my fellow CSR Committee members and the dedication and generosity of our colleagues across Capco India, over the past 18 months, we have achieved incredible results in fulfilling our CSR mission. We are now looking to build on that momentum in the second half of 2021 and into next year by focusing on a further seven projects we have in scope. We are also looking to facilitate educational classes for the marginalised children, conduct social events for the aged living in care homes and hospices, and devise programs to help employ differently-abled people.”
Hiri Kowshika, Managing Partner for India, said: “In India, we are passionate about CSR, with a significant number of our employees demonstrating a high level of commitment and support for a range of projects. Alongside her CSR committee colleagues, Sarmistha has led from the front, forming teams from among our employee volunteers to spearhead initiatives across a range of good causes within India and partnering with other Capco CSR programs at the global level. On behalf of all our colleagues in India, I’d like to thank the Committee and all our volunteers for their commitment and contributions and wish them ever greater success and satisfaction with their upcoming initiatives – our humble way of giving back to our communities and society.”
Giving back to society
The following organizations have received support from Capco India since April 2020:
- Samparkis a non-profit NGO based in India with 28 years’ experience in successful developmental initiatives. Capco supported Sampark in rebuilding the livelihoods of migrant workers and their families, funding nutrition kits for 400 families and providing 900 ‘self-help group’ women with masks.
- Manukula Charitable & Educational Trust’s main objective is to empower people with disabilities to make them financially independent in society. Sai Ashraydham is an institution that provides a home,food, shelter, clothing, coaching and medical attention for orphans and the destitute. Capco provided funding – including employee contributions – to each organization to cover grocery supplies for 50 children for six months.
- Bharat Sevashram Sanghaprovides service and education irrespective of caste or national origin. Capco donated goods to help people in West Bengal impacted by the Amphan cyclone, including clothes and mosquito nets.
- ARFis a charitable NGO in Bengaluru that supports sick, injured and abandoned animals and provides them with food, shelter and medication as well as performing major and minor surgeries. Capco’s funding fed and treated 270 dogs.
- Child Rights and You(CRY) is an NGO that works towards creating happier childhoods for underprivileged children in India. Capco partnered with CRY to ensure access to quality education and other services for adolescent girls, help children below six years of age into education in Anganwadi [rural childcare centers], and support migrant and other families via a COVID recovery and resilience plans.
- Sankalp India Foundationis a voluntary youth organization focused on blood donations, disaster relief, and thalassemia prevention and treatment. Capco partnered with Sankalp to cover the medicinal and laboratory charges from bone marrow transplants for ten children with thalassemia in Ahmedabad and Bangalore.
- SayTrees is an NGO that plants saplings, supporting them to maturity, creating urban and rural forests, helping farmers to cultivate fruit trees, rejuvenating lakes and water bodies, and installing solar lamps in villages. Capco funded a drive to plant 8000 saplings – ten saplings per Capco India employee – in the Bagepally area of Karnataka.
- Wildlife SOS’swork protecting Indian wildlife includes habitat conservation and creating alternative, sustainable livelihoods for communities dependent on wildlife for sustenance. Capco’s funding supported the installation and operation of a 20 KW on-grid solar power plant at India’s first elephant hospital.
- AWAKE Vishwa Seva Foundation is an NGO empowering visually challenged girls aged nine years or older to allow them to be self-sufficient and to lead their lives with dignity. Capco’s contributed towards upgrading the systems infrastructure required to train the visually impaired students.
- Charutar Arogya Mandal (CAM)manages the 900-bed Shree Krishna Hospital in Gujarat. Capco’s funding facilitated chemotherapy sessions for 30 underprivileged individuals and radiotherapy sessions for another 227 such patients.
- R.G.CAREhelps stabilize economically challenged women affected by HIV and their families, providing screening services and prevention therapies.