Corporate funds are flowing into the development sector after the Companies Act made CSR mandatory for profit-making companies. But there is a need to make such initiatives more effective.
A 90-minute drive from Delhi lies Birondi Chakrasenpur village in Dadri block of Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddha Nagar district. The government-run secondary school in the village is as plush as any private institution - its well-maintained classrooms bursting with students, a melange of colour on their walls, plenty of drinking water available, a clean toilet block, a library and science laboratories. On a parent-teacher meeting day, students have confidently showcased their science projects in the school's long verandah. A Class V student, for instance, proudly displays a solar cooker he built.
This is one of the schools funded by the Gurgaon-headquartered SRF Foundation, CSR arm of SRF Ltd. "All the schools in Dadri block have been adopted by different corporate houses, such as HCL, Jubilant, Paytm, IndiGo, Power Grid and DLF, among others," says Vinay Prakash Singh, District Coordinator for CSR and the Midday Meal Scheme.