Corporate Social Responsibility in Rural Development Sector: Evidences from India

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Corporate Social Responsibility in Rural Development Sector: Evidences from India

139

Corporate Social Responsibility in Rural Development Sector: Evidences From India A. Manager (Sociology) RITES LTD. (A Government of India Enterprise) RITES Bhawan 1, Sector-29, Gurgaon-122 001 email: dr_sanjaypradhan@yahoo.co.in, akhileshranjan@rediffmail.com

Sanjay Pradhan, Akhilesh Ranjan

Abstract
The paper attempts to explore Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices particularly in the context of rural development. The research questions examine do the corporate consider rural people as a stakeholder? If so, what CSR initiatives taken for development of rural areas and how the corporates implement their CSR initiatives as a part of their business strategy? Finally it evaluates impacts of CSR actions on the socio-economic development of rural people. For the purpose, fourteen public and private Indian companies/firms have been selected to study their CSR practices in the context of rural development. The methodology of the present study relied on the web-based research, review of print literature and visit to the selected sites to witness CSR practice. The paper concludes that social responsibility is regarded as an important business issue of Indian companies irrespective of size, sector, and business goal. Therefore, CSR actions have positive impacts not only on development of rural community but also in their business. The authors reveal some lesson on CSR practices in India which can provide guidance to corporate entities for better implementation of CSR activities. Key Words: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Rural Development, Stakeholder.

INTRODUCTION
No doubt, vast majorities of the India’s poorest people lives in villages and these villages are in a state of neglect and underdevelopment with impoverished people. The problems of hunger, ignorance, ill health, high mortality and illiteracy are most acute in rural areas. This is not only because of shortage of material resources but also because of defects in our planning process and investment pattern. India has the potential to meet these challenges in rural areas. However, the efforts of Governments may not be adequate to provide basic services to its citizens. It is being increasingly recognized that progress and welfare of a society is not only the responsibility of the Government alone, but many more stakeholders need to be involved to attain the development goal (Save the Children Sweden, 2007).

The corporate sector has a pivotal role to play in ensuring private investment flows to those rural areas that have been left out of the development process so far and also to work for sustainable development of rural areas in general. Over the past few years, as a consequence of rising globalization and pressing ecological issues, the perception of the role of corporates in the broder social context within which it operates, has been altered. Corporates considers themselves as an integral part of society and accordingly act in a social responsible way that goes beyond economic performance (KPMG and ASSOCHAM, 2008). As a result of this shift from purely profit to profit with social responsibility, many corporates are endorsing the term ‘Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)’. It is essentially a concept whereby companies decide voluntarily to contribute to the society to make

Pradhan S., Ranjan A. - Corporate Social Responsibility in Rural Development Sector: Evidences from India

140

School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal

2010

it better and environmentally cleaner (European Commission, 2001).Generally, CSR is understood as “the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable economic development by working with employers, their families, the local community and society at large to improve their quality of life, in ways that are both good for business and good for development. A widely quoted definition by the...
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