According to Census 2011 undertaken by the Government of India, 6% of the nation’s population resides in slums, amounting to more than 7 crore people, which is a significant number. People living in slum areas face multiple challenges, ranging from insufficient living area to lack of access to drinking water, and require assistance through corporate CSR funding.
A slum area, as defined by Government of India, is an urban area where multiple people live but lacks basic amenities. Although slum area development was added to the list of Schedule VII activities after the amendment in August 2014, CSR projects for slum development were at the bottom of the list with no funding for the last four years.
Education and healthcare account for 51% of the total CSR expenditure. Education, healthcare and rural area alone account for over 65% of the total spend towards CSR.
In 2018, education received the highest traction, which is consistent over the last three years. Expenditure towards education has increased by over 75 per cent over the last four years, from INR 1,249 crore (2014–15) to INR 2,202 crore, according to a new report by KPMG.
N100 companies have increased their CSR expenditure by over three-fold towards arts and culture, from INR 49 crore in 2014–15 to INR 279 crore in 2017–18, and for sports from INR 48 crore in 2014–15 to INR 120 crore in 2017–18. They have also substantially increased their contribution to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund or any other fund set up by the Central Government for socio-economic development and relief welfare of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes, minorities and women, from only INR 2 crore during 2016–17 to INR 71 crore in 2017–18 (over 30 times increase).
A miniscule amount of India Inc. companies have their CSR activities present in the area of slum development but a higher involvement is required. Moreover, these companies have disclosed those activities in different Schedule VII activities. Thus, India Inc. could improve upon their presence in the Schedule VII activity of slum development and report those under relevant Schedule VII activity.