Economy

When business is not just commerce ...

JOY OF GIVING: It is time to give back to society. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Teachers have their day. Fathers have one, too. Therefore it isn’t too surprising when it turns out there is a whole week dedicated to corporate giving. Starting on October 2, Gandhi Jayanthi, the ‘Joy of Giving Week’ is celebrated — a festival where Indians from all walks of life give back to their society.

This year’s edition, however, includes a corporate element, which poses the inevitable question — how do you do good at a time when cash is tight and inflation high?

So to enhance, and in most places, replace, cash donations for social causes, corporate philanthropists, under the ‘Joy of Giving’ banner, have increased their focus on volunteering, providing free services and using their infrastructure for welfare initiatives.

“The amount companies offer will of course depend on the financial situation. However, what we are trying to do is spread the spirit of giving, even if one can’t give by the way of money. There are other ways, payroll mechanisms for instance. Corporate philanthropy realisation is slowly coming into the mainstream here. We have to pull our weight along with the government,” said N. Vaghul, former ICICI Bank Chairman, and ambassador of ‘Joy of Giving Week’’.

“We don’t need a Bill Gates or Warren Buffett to inspire us. Indians have had a long tradition of giving,” he said.

Wealth creation

The need for corporate philanthropy has become vital in an age of vast global wealth-creation, which has caused a rapid increase in inequality between the very rich and the rest.

Hotel-chain Courtyard by Marriott is planning a slew of measures to help its ‘Marriott Home’, a school for children whose parents are affected by leprosy. “It’s not just about the money, but the time and resources that we give back to the society,” said Mr. Ankush Sharma, General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 6:11:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/when-business-is-not-just-commerce/article3832451.ece

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