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Vivek Prakash of Jubilant Bhartia Foundation Talks on Holistic Development of the Country in the Post-COVID World

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Mr Vivek Prakash
 
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need for holistic development in order to recover from the blow dealt by the pandemic as well as stay prepared for future healthcare disasters. To achieve this, there is a need to focus on capacity building in healthcare, technological innovation, economic development, improved standard of living and social development.
In an exclusive interview with The CSR Journal, Mr Vivek Prakash, VP and Head CSR, Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, talks about the company’s efforts to address these concerns through CSR.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of availability and accessibility of quality healthcare for everyone. How is Jubilant Bhartia working towards achieving that?

The pandemic has affected both personal and professional lives across industries of all kinds, thereby increasing relief efforts through the collaboration of all kinds of entities.
Jubilant Bhartia Foundation has been working to extend basic healthcare services to the community around manufacturing units of Jubilant through static and medical clinics along with various other initiatives with a focus on Mother-Child Health and malnutrition much before the occurrence of the pandemic.
Understanding the need for an efficient and contactless services model amidst pandemic COVID-19, the foundation has taken a step ahead to develop a robust and sustainable model for its healthcare delivery system through Telemedicine. ‘JUBI CARE’ a telemedicine application interface provides a real-time Patient-Doctor consultation through text/audio/video. The initiative provides immediate support and delivery of healthcare services to underserved communities in rural and urban areas without travel.

Economists often say that the economies of countries grow faster when they have a sizeable and strong middle class. How can CSR work to bring more people under this category?

To structure CSR strategy, thrust on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) allow companies to develop their approach and design their initiatives in addressing the challenges faced by the society in terms of access to health, education & livelihood. The SDGs and CSR thematic development areas share a lot of overlap in terms of activities needed to achieve either. The CSR regulation sets a broad framework and gives direction for a better sustainable future and the SDGs set tangible well-defined targets to measure the outcome of activities. While our country fights with poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, poor sanitation and infant mortality even today yet globalisation has improved the standard of living of the middle class in terms of their affordability and accessibility to basic needs as good health, enhanced livelihood and continuity of education. If CSR is focused on strengthening the pillars of health, education and livelihood, a large number of people will have better facilities that will help them to strengthen their quality of life.

What is Jubilant Bhartia’s purpose in terms of its role in social development in India?

Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, established in 2007, is the not-for-profit organisation of the Jubilant Bhartia Group. It focuses on conceptualising and implementing the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives (CSR) for the Group with a vision to bring progressive social change through strategic multi-stakeholder partnership.
The foundation specifically focuses on four essential domains as under:
– Universalise elementary education,
– Improving health indices through innovative services,
– Escalating employability and
– Enabling a conducive environment for social entrepreneurship
The interventions of the Company are also in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The CSR projects primarily lay emphasis on empowering the communities around the area of operations of the company through 4P model (Public-Private-People-Partnership). Jubilant acts a catalyst and facilitates towards implementation of the project and participation of the community to bring out the optimal outcomes.
JBF’s detailed activities are available on its website www.jubilantbhartiafoundation.com.
Jubilant Bhartia Foundation strategised and re-structured its development initiative for the people in marginalised and remote areas, supporting them to continue their life during the pandemic. The projects were designed keeping in mind the safety and vulnerability of the community around the manufacturing locations.
Three major projects which helped the company to sustain its engagement with the community are:
JubiCare Tele-clinic – a telemedicine application, conceptualised & developed by Jubilant Bhartia Foundation (JBF). This telemedicine interface provides a real-time Patient-Doctor consultation through text/audio/video. JubiCare app uses ICT for the exchange of information for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases by a certified medical professional. The applications aim at addressing the health issues of patients by health workers without unnecessary exposure to infections. The application provides immediate support and delivery of healthcare services to underserved communities in rural and urban areas without travel.
E- Muskaan, supporting Education through Digital Literacy- ensuring continuity in learning of students in rural areas by promoting the digital education inclusion of the last mile learners thereby facilitating cognitive growth of a child. Jubilant has partnered with iDream Social Edtech Foundation engaged in facilitating digital education in local languages to provide e-content absolutely for no cost to students at all project ‘Muskaan’ schools across the locations through iDream Learning App to help in continuity of academic learning.
JubiFarm, strengthening livelihood by facilitating access of farmers to modern and sustainable farming methods-JubiFarm is a sustainable and multi-stakeholder initiative that is conceived to enhance profitability and generate income opportunities in farming for the migrants returning back to their natives. The initiative is recognising both males and females as equal stakeholders of the farmland. It shall empower farmers by facilitating access to modern and sustainable farming methods.
Jubilant has developed a strategy to mentor youths as future Youth Leaders under the Muskaan Fellowship project, in turn, will become goodwill ambassadors for the company.
Jan Sanchetna initiative has been formulated to focus on establishing village-level Emergency Preparedness Team(ERT) in line with Village Disaster Management Committee (VDMC).
The organisation aims to continue adding value in the lives of the community around, which it considers to be an apex stakeholder.

What plans does the foundation have in order to ensure that the benefits of digital education are retained even as offline schools start?

COVID-19 has resulted in schools being shut all across the world, as a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms. Research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information and take less time. Jubilant has partnered with iDream Social Edtech Foundation engaged in facilitating digital education in local languages to provide e-content absolutely for no cost to students at all project ‘Muskaan’ schools across the locations through iDream Learning App to help in continuity of academic learning.
Also, Jubilant is working to set up set-up smart classes all across Muskaan Schools under a school digitalisation program with free digital content. The e-Muskaan project is benefitting over 100,000 students in 500 govt primary schools. The high-quality digital content focuses on retention of students in the class and improving the quality of education even in off-line classes.

The recent Global Hunger Index revealed that India’s position in terms of hunger has degraded since last year. How can CSR contribute to tackling this?

The company catered to the first goal of SDGs through its livelihood project. The SDG goal of ‘No Poverty’ dwells in reducing poverty in all forms which is triggered due to factors like lack of basic services, such as education, hunger, social discrimination and exclusion, and lack of participation in decision making along with lack of income.
This year to enhance employability, the company implemented the following key livelihood promotion activities:
– JubiFarm- strengthening livelihood by facilitating access of farmers to modern and sustainable farming methods-JubiFarm is a sustainable and multi-stakeholder initiative that is conceived to enhance profitability and generate income opportunities in farming. The initiative is recognising females as equal stakeholders of the farmland. It shall empower farmers by facilitating access to modern and sustainable farming methods. The first phase of the project initially focuses on enhancing the scope of horticulture as a peripheral area of agriculture.
– Amidst the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company facilitated the stitching of reusable cotton masks through local women of the community to enhance the livelihood opportunity.
– The vocational trainings/Skill development were imparted to youths & women on various vocational trades like tailoring, soft skills, embroidery, personality development & baking etc.
The project on combating malnutrition through real-time growth monitoring of children of age group 0 – 5 years continued in covering 32 villages around Gajraula location in Uttar Pradesh. The initiative contributes towards the fulfilment of SDG with respect to Zero Hunger,
The project aims towards improving the nutritional status of children under the age of 5 years in target villages. The project focuses on behaviour change communication and creating a supportive environment. The growth monitoring of target children is done through a mobile-based biometric-enabled IT platform by the select women health guard (Swasthya Praharis). This is followed by the grading of the target children as per their weight. The malnourished children are advised on improvement of diet and nutrition. The children in the Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) category are recommended for Nutrition Rehabilitation Center (NRC), a Government health facility where SAM children are admitted and managed
Also, the company sends pre-recorded voice messages to expecting/pregnant mothers which include information on their well-being and nutritional requirements.

Please shed some light on how the foundation is encouraging social entrepreneurship in India.

The Social Entrepreneur of the Year – India Award is a joint initiative that has been introduced through a collaboration between Jubilant Bhartia Foundation and Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship (a sister organisation of the World Economic Forum) for the past 12 years.
The award is given with the objective of recognising promising and successful social entrepreneurs, with excellence in large-scale, system change models. Social entrepreneurs are one of the key enablers of inclusive growth who implement practical and sustainable solutions to address challenges in numerous areas including health, education, and environment, access to technology and job creation.

What has been the impact of CSR programs of Jubilant Bhartia so far?

Jubilant’s CSR interventions are reaching out to over 6.5 Lacs populations in 240 villages through multiple social development projects in the realm of health, education livelihood and social entrepreneurship.
The programs include School digitalisation program, improving the quality of education through programs like Khushiyon ki Pathshala (teacher’s training on value-based education) and Muskaan Fellowship (building capacity of youths to impart value-based education in the community); Swasthya Prahari and Arogya initiatives to promote health-seeking behaviour in the community; Livelihood initiatives like Samridhhi (SHG & micro-enterprise Promotion) and Jubifarm (Sustainable Agriculture programme) to strengthen the financial capacity of the community especially women; JBF with the Schwab Foundation recognise & award exceptional individuals in Social  Business.

What are the future plans of the foundation for scaling up this impact?

Foundation plans to continue its programs with greater zeal and strong commitment with its partners in joining in the mission to add value to the lives of less privileged members of the society. The foundation aims at scaling its reach both deep and wide and aspire to touch the lives of 1 million people through the gamut of projects in the domain of health, education, livelihood. It also aims at the inclusion of social entrepreneurship to bring about sustainable and inclusive growth of the community it works with.