Social welfare department to tap into CSR funds
The paucity of funds from the state government and Zilla Parishad have motivated the district social welfare department toapproach the corporate sector to aid their projects designed for the differently abled community and its other welfare activities.
It is mandatory for certain profitable enterprises to use their profits on social welfare activities under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. The department has now decided to utilise the CSR amount kept aside for the differently abled across the district.
“The Zilla Parishad keeps three percent of its overall budget for the welfare schemes for the differently abled. However, the budgetary funds would be available only after the approval of the state government, which is quite a lengthy process. Besides the state government, also sanctions the funds from its own pocket, but only for old government schemes and new innovative schemes face shortage of funds,” Sanjay Kadam, head of the district Social welfare department, .
He added that to overcome the shortage of funds, the department has decided to involve corporate firms in their plan, which have to utilise its CSR funds for social welfare activities.
“We organised a workshop last week and to our surprise, one company showed interest in providing us funds,” said Kadam. He said that the department wanted to build a home for mentally challenged people and the CSR funds would be used in the construction of the facility.
The organisation is in need of financial aid to purchase the Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) machines for the hearing impaired. “Medical centres at the Taluka level do not have the facility of OAE machines. The cost of each machine is more than Rs 2 lakh which can now be purchased with the CSR funds,”said Kadam.
Companies are also coming forward to help the department with a view that their CSR initiative would be fulfilled and their contributions be utilised in a proper way.
“We were already providing funds to three schools for mentally challenged children; however our reach was very limited,” said Vijay Wavare, a senior officer of the CSR department of a city-based firm.
Wavare added that the social welfare department has great reach even in remote areas of the district where the company can utilise its CSR funds and that is the reason he assured the department that he would encourage other companies to approach the social welfare department and help them in their endeavours.