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CSR Ecosystem development workshop for NGOs in Bihar

  • Posted byBSE Sammaan
  • AtMar 15, 2019 18:06
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As part of its mandate to build sustainable CSR ecosystem and bridge the accountability gap between NGOs and Corporates, BSE Sammaan is organizing a series of capacity building workshops for NGOs acro

As part of its mandate to build sustainable CSR ecosystem and bridge the accountability gap between NGOs and Corporates, BSE Sammaan is organizing a series of capacity building workshops for NGOs across India, based on themes that the NGOs have communicated to us as being their pressing needs. By far the largest need was to help NGOs connect effectively with the corporates. On this front, BSE Sammaan with VA Tech Wabag and Gram Vikas Manch organized first of its series of Capacity Building workshops for NGOs at the Bihar Chambers of Commerce and Industries Patna, Bihar on 31st August, 2018. The workshop was in a participative format, where apart from corporate speakers, NGO representatives also shared their views about their experiences in dealing with corporates for CSR funding.
Patna was selected as the venue to commence the series of workshops mainly due to the following intriguing facts
As per National CSR portal of MCA; out of total CSR spent of INR 13828cr for year 2015-16 Bihar has received only 108.14 Cr i.e. less than 0.9% of total CSR spent in India
Bihar and Jharkhand have been identified as some of the most underdeveloped states in India with 29 out of 101 aspirational districts identifies by NITI Aayog
VA Tech Wabag, a prominent corporate in the Water development space in India partnered in sponsoring the workshop to promote capacity building of NGOs and to expand their footprint in Bihar and Jharkhand through its CSR initiatives.  
Highlights of workshop:
The workshop was very well attended by over 110 participants against a planned strength of 50. Not only did we have organizations from Bihar and Jharkhand but also some of the attendees came from as far as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
The workshop began with NGOs voicing their concerns with the reduction of FCRA and Government funding to NGOs over the last few years. For example, “Quantum of foreign funding received by NGOs in India in the last three years are: Rs 15,299 crore in 2014-15, Rs 17,773 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 6,499 crore in 2016-17”. Report published in TOI on Dec 20, 2017. This shows how the FCRA funds have come down drastically in year 2016-17.
NGOs are proactively looking at the option of CSR funding to be able to effectively carry out social initiatives. However, there is a perceived compatibility gap between what corporates want and what NGOs can offer.
Synopsis about session by speakers  
Mr. Gopalakrishnan Sridhar, DGM from NTPC explained how NTPC has been going about investing in CSR amount predominantly through tendering of requirements and working with some selective NGOs. The interaction with NGOs have been difficult as very few NGOs came up with innovative and cost effective way of doing CSR. Mr. Shridhar also shared his views on how The CSR space is in a nascent stage and will require some time before it evolves in defining sustainable and integrated CSR Strategy for corporates. Mr. Shridhar also shared some mythological examples to explain how CSR space is being evolved in India.
CA Mr. Subhash Kumar spoke primarily about the tax implications, returns filing and section 135 of companies act through legal perspective. He also stressed that NGOs need to consider get legal compliant with 80 G, 12 A certificates and filing of regular returns to be able to receive CSR grants.
Mr. Pyarelal and Mr. Sudama Singh spoke on behalf of NGOs in Bihar and how they are finding it difficult to be part of CSR ecosystem. They also stressed how corporates are not investing their CSR amount in Bihar even being one of the underdeveloped state of India. They also raised their concerns over corporate utilizing their CSR funds through their own foundation and thus NGOs who have been doing some deep-rooted work in part of India will find it difficult to sustain due to lack of Funding. They also stressed that NGOs in Bihar and Jharkhand need to come together and form consortium of NGOs to be able to highlights their concerns at different forums.
Mr. P.K. Agrawal President Bihar Chambers of Commerce and Industries shared his views on how corporates in Bihar are evolving with their approach of doing their business. Predominantly the Business is Bihar are not large enough to get into CSR. Thus, majority of CSR in Bihar is carried out by corporates from outside Bihar.  Bihar being one of the under developed state NGOs need to start approaching corporates more strategically to get maximum support through CSR initiatives. He also stressed on need to form consortium of NGOs and developing BSE Sammaan center in Patna Bihar to facilitate the interaction between corporates and NGOs.
Mr. Hemant Gupta stressed role of empowered NGOs to be able to have sustainable CSR ecosystem. And How BSE Sammaan have been empowering Corporate and NGOs to be able to effectively communicate through various strategic initiatives like help to corporates in raising RFP, help in Project match making, technology driven solutions to corporates and NGOs. Mr. Gupta also stressed how BSE Sammaan is evolving from being NGO listing facility to more proactive organization by reaching out to corporates for raising the projects for NGOs and evolving Sammaan platform to more comprehensive and interactive with features like technology driven RFP making, matchmaking and Project Management platform.
Closing note
NGOs appreciated the efforts taken by VA Tech Wabag, BSE Sammaan and Gram Vikas Manch in reaching out NGOs and working on building capacities to be able to effectively engage corporate and NGO interaction.