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CSR: Top 5 Organizations in India Addressing Environmental and Social Challenges

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It is becoming clear that communities, states and countries recovering faster are those that have overturned the old economic order of ‘growth first, people and environment after.’ Of course, economic growth is important to grow the pie for all. However, the data, science and evidence tell us that there are greener pathways that provide scale and strong financial returns without leaving millions behind or destroying the environment.
The pandemic has necessitated a radical rethink on how addressing environmental and social challenges and the need to leverage finances for development impact. This is not just for short term ‘feel good’ recovery efforts, but rather a ‘reset’ that paves the way for each country to value its wealth of human and natural resources for generations to come.

5 organizations in India for social and ecological change

Having a strong NGO community with a clear mandate to engage civil society, businesses, and the public sector can help communities to tackle these issues more successfully and work sustainably. Here are 5 organizations in India addressing these issues to bring sustainable development in society.

1. Fiinovation

Fiinovation is a Delhi-based CSR consultant in the social development sector with an emphasis on social activities and sustainability. This is a research-based organization that offers expertise in sectors like Healthcare, Environment, Education, Skill Development and Livelihood with emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability. Fiinovation houses Asia’s first proposal and research laboratory, wherein research is primarily focused on our practice areas, which include health, education, livelihood, skills and environment.
The organization has recently done relief projects on COVID-19, education, environment, awareness, skill training etc.for the sustainable work on-ground.

2. Institute for Sustainable Communities

Since 1991, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has led more than 115 transformative community-driven sustainability projects in 30 countries including the United States, China, India, and Bangladesh. ISC helps unleash the existing power of local people and institutions to address immediate social, economic, and environmental challenges and opportunities – all while building on-the-ground solutions into national and international best practices and policy.
At the heart of the organization’s approach is results-focused, authentic, and pragmatic engagement with all stakeholders, which unearths locally-driven and equitable solutions to the biggest challenge we face – global climate change. Over the years, they have developed an approach that supports a community’s ability to meet challenges head-on.

3. SoulAce

SoulAce is a research and advisory firm operating in the CSR & Development Sector space in the South Asia region working with Corporate, NGOs, Government and Funding agencies. SoulAce is regularly invited at Conferences in South Asia and across the Globe to share its views on different social subjects. In the last 8.5 years, they have extended their footprint to 4 South Asian countries (India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka). They strive to provide innovative solutions for people at the bottom of the pyramid with a focus on impact and sustainability. They work with partner organizations to create sustainable and impactful solutions in the lives of communities and stakeholders.

4. PARFI Foundation

Over the last 10 years, the foundation has established a successful collaborative model called PanIIT Alumni Reach for Jharkhand (PReJHA) Foundation as a Non-profit, special purpose vehicle (SPV) set-up, under Section 8 of companies Act 2013, as a Joint social enterprise between PanIIT Alumni Reach for India Foundation and agencies of Department of Welfare (DoW), Government of Jharkhand (GoJ).
The objective of PReJHA is to design, implement and scale, in an institutionalized manner across various districts of the state, initiatives for skill development and livelihood enhancement with a special focus on marginalized communities such as Scheduled Tribes (ST), Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), Scheduled Caste (SC), and other minorities. The collaboration brings together the government and business as stakeholders delivered at scale on a self-sustainable, job assured, loan funded, vocational skilling model enhancing the incomes and livelihoods of the underserved. Training is imparted through Kalyan Gurukuls and Kaushal Colleges.
Kalyan Gurukul is the flagship initiative for assured placement-linked skill development of marginalized communities and Naxal affected areas. Gurukuls are full time, short term, residential skill development centres imparting training in varied sectors including Construction, manufacturing, logistics, technical services and apparel.
The Kaushal College CSR initiative is geared towards enhancing competency for employability through 1-2 year vocational education courses. There will be 8 Nursing Colleges churning out 960 Auxiliary Nursing & Midwifery nurses and 3 ITI colleges churning 540 ITI technicians every year.

5. Avani

Nestled in the Kumaon region of the Indian Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, Avani is a community built on the principles of sustainability and local empowerment. They create opportunities for rural women and men to find viable employment through a self-sufficient and environmentally sustainable supply chain, they are a hub of opportunities constantly developing new approaches to a sustainable environment.
Born out of deep respect for the environment, their focus has been on conservation rather than distribution; more on self-reliance than outside dependence. They endeavour to make technology and livelihoods an integral part of living, being and celebrating life in these beautiful mountain ranges. In order to realize this dream, they initiated work on developing and disseminating appropriate technologies for meeting the energy and water requirements of the local villages.