AMCHAM’s Tamil Nadu Chapter held a breakfast meeting focussed on capacity building for CSR Managers with guest speaker Mr. Sugata Roy, Communication Specialist, UNICEF, Chennai, on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Hotel Westin Velachery, Chennai. The meeting began with a welcome to participants by Mr. Aubrey Daniels, Regional Director – Tamil Nadu Chapter, AMCHAM, who stressed the importance of CSR and stressed the enactment of the CSR component in the Indian Companies Act 2013 was path breaking. UNICEF has been partnering with the private sector entities in strengthening the CSR interventions.
UNICEF’s partnership has been primarily in the areas of capacity development, innovations and knowledge management for achieving results for children. In Tamil Nadu, UNICEF has provided technical support to CSR interventions focusing on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), early childhood development, child nutrition and life skills development of adolescents. Apart from child centric CSR interventions, UNICEF has also engaged with private sectors in promoting child rights and business principles in improving the value chain and sustainable business practices.
Mr. Sugata Roy made a presentation emphasizing the emerging areas for CSR interventions in early childhood development to give young children, especially the most deprived, the best start in life and to expand access to effective and essential development services. Mr. Roy said that CSR interventions could influence change at three different levels: policy level; institutional level and at the community level. He added that by providing an enabling environment for children, the ‘rights of the child’ such as right to survival; right to development and the right to participation can be ensured. According to UNICEF, despite being one of the five developed states of India, where the state had adopted progressive child and women policies, many children are deprived of basic services and lack protection from violence, exploitation and abuse.
Mr. Sugata Roy said that UNICEF would like to partner with corporate businesses and bring about a change in business practices to respect and support children, leverage resources for children, enable businesses to influence government on social policies, program innovation and public advocacy to bring results for development of the less fortunate children of society. Mr. Roy clarified that UNICEF was not vying to take a share of corporate CSR funds, but to be a change agent in ensuring that CSR funds are well spent by businesses with accountability and also proper acknowledgement for the company. The meeting came to an end with an interactive session with all participants.
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