Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Advising those in the social service sector to take themselves more seriously, stay united, share best practices and engage regulators in mutually beneficial dialogue, Susan V. Berresford of the Ford Foundation has said the philanthropy sector was going through interesting times now.

Speaking at the 15the anniversary of the inception of the National Foundation for India (NFI) -- a professional, autonomous grant-making organisation -- Ms. Berresford said: “The social service sector needs to define and protect its field because we are the voice of the voiceless and can bring accountability in a country. We should not allow sub-sects in our sector which will weaken us and condition ourselves to think ahead of our times.”

Also present on the occasion were M.S. Swaminathan, founder trustee of NFI; Anu Aga, Chairperson of Thermax Ltd; and NFI Chairman Kiran Karnik.

Asking the corporate sector to take its social responsibility more seriously, Ms. Aga said: “Profit-making should not become the sole aim of business. We need to invest in our youth and understand that a business can’t succeed in a society if it fails to give back to the community.”

Photo exhibition

Ms. Berresford also inaugurated a photo exhibition, “15 Years of Working for the Disempowered -- Making a Difference” by internationally recognised photographer Sudharak Olwe who has worked with the NFI to chronicle its work and partners across the country in a powerful photo documentary. His pictures exhibited at India Habitat Centre will be for sale.