It's all about MSR, not just CSR

PRCI Nagpur Chapter    06-Jul-2020
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Social responsibility isn’t a corporate job alone. I was moved by a Wealth Mail sent by my personal finance adviser. One of the top personal finance resolutions for 2019 was – remove 1/4th of your wardrobe and give it to the needy. What a suggestion! And is doable. Most of us who keep buying clothes do not know what to do with old clothes. These keep piling up. There is a limit to which the maid can use them for mopping the floors. Stack them, pack them and give them to charities, NGOs. It creates a feel-good factor when you give something to the needy.
Those of us working in corporate is well aware of CSR. The government has redefined CSR under the new Companies Act and made it mandatory to spend at least 2% of the profits on CSR to benefit the society around the areas where the companies do their business. Some companies do encourage employee CSR and as PR practitioners we do strongly recommend it. One of the popular schemes is ‘picnic with purpose’ on the lines of the NSS voluntary service that one did during one’s college days. Go to nearby villages and attend to their issues; go to schools in backward areas and do some story-telling for children there; show movies with a social message; clean the streets and so on and so forth. We as Indians react to a crisis with responsibility. Be it the Mumbai blasts, Kerala floods, Hyderabad explosion – as a society we have reacted with speed and helped those in the grip of crisis. Here, I would like to pause and praise the PRCI Kerala team for their exemplary work during the flood ravage. All our team members plunged into action, worked with an NGO in making sure that the displaced families are treated with due honour and dignity.
The team actively worked with community kitchens run by an NGO, collected food items from across, and coordinated collective efforts. In fact, Kerala was to host the 13th Global Communication Conclave with all gusto but owing to the natural calamity, we moved the event to Jaipur. But I think now the time has come for all of us to think in terms of doing something for society. Its not about giving it back which means you are paying back your debt. It is about doing your own bit with a sense of responsibility. At PRCI, we would like to call it MSR – My Social Responsibility.
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s message ‘Be the Change that you want to see in the world’, we at PRCI, we would like to take a step further and say: I want to be the change. It’s also just not ‘yes, we can’, It’s Yes, I can…and I will. We have adopted MSR as part of our DNA and you will see PRCIans implementing it. One need not take up only charities or helping the needy in crisis. Our governing council chairman BNK has launched and began involving people around him in a small way. He has taken up the cause f environment. He pointed out to the Navi Mumbai municipal corporation the grave situation arising out of open drains near two schools where thousands of students and parents visit. The civic body quickly acted and finished the drainage work. We firmly believe that such individual efforts will definitely have a collective impact on society. PRCI campaign #StepOut2Vote is another example of MSR. If each one of us resolve ‘I shall vote’, India will vote. One day, we might have newspapers and TV news channels screaming with headlines: India Votes and not 45% voting in Karnataka or 5% vote in J&K! So remember MSR which does not require a 2% allocation.
(The author is Chief Mentor & Chairman Emeritus, PRCI, and PR consultant)