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Honouring the winners of the first annual Aaj Tak Care Awards, Pranab applauded the efforts of the corporate houses to help promote inclusive growth through social outreach efforts programmes.
“I am particularly happy that these awards recognise the super achievers not only because they have created wealth but also because they have helped others,” Mukherjee said at the event felicitating the winners who were picked for their successful corporate social responsibility efforts.
“The Aaj Tak Care awards would go a long way in encouraging other corporate houses to care for the needy,” he added.
Pranab noted that while the country was faced with several challenges, the government alone couldn’t be expected to tackle all the problems. For true inclusive growth, the finance minister said the nation’s huge corporate sector would also have to do its part.
Philanthropy is taking deep roots
“India is slowly emerging as a country where philanthropy is taking deep roots though we have a long way to go as compared to the developed world,” Pranab said.
“India needs its corporates to show, organize and help people who need to be brought into development. Our task is vast and we need to work together if we want a better future,” he added.
India Today Group chairman and editor-in-chief Aroon Purie observed that news about corruption and other problems often obscure the fact that most businesses in the country are doing good work.
“Industry realizes that it must make more than profits. Efforts are being made by innumerable corporate houses to hold the hands of those in need,” Purie said.
The awards also featured an Aaj Tak Care awards anthem, launched by Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.
IMRB International – a research agency – was entrusted with the task of filtering out India’s companies based on sustainability, people participation and innovation for the awards.
The FICCI was then enlisted to further shortlist the companies for the jury featuring eminent personalities such as author and management consultant Gurcharan Das, renowned sociologist Dipankar Gupta and environmentalist Tarun Bhagat Singh.
The awards were handed out to corporates across five categories based on their impact on society. Bharat Petroleum and BPO firm Firstsource Solutions separately won recognition for their efforts in the Livelihood category, with programmes that help improve skills and provide employment for those living in rural areas.
Gitanjali Gems took home an award under the Empowerment category for giving jobs to more than 1,000 physically disabled people. Microsoft India also was picked out in this category with more than Rs.50 lakh spent to train villagers in Bihar.
The Environment category saw Dabur India, ONGC and wind-turbine supplier Suzlon get recognition for their efforts at tackling the problems of climate change, deforestation and insufficient care for nature.
Direct-seller Amway was awarded under the Education category for helping provide computer training to visually challenged children, while PVR Cinemas also took home a prize under this category.
The Aaj Tak Care award for Health were handed out to Eli Lilly and Company, JK Lakshmi Cement and Standard Chartered for a number of efforts focusing on eradicating disease and providing healthcare to the needy.
“The size of philanthropic endowments in India has changed, making the world sit up and take notice,” Mukherjee said. “Your achievements send a very big message to others who could potentially follow in your footsteps,” the finance minister added.
Gitanjali Gems Limited won Aaj Tak Care award for Empowerment for CSR initiative “SAKSHAM”.
Saksham is Gitanjali Gems initiative for the empowerment of PwD ( Persons with disability) through training and employment. The honorable chief guest Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee felicitated the 12 winning companies. Mayuri Asar – Senior Manager – CSR – Gitanjali Gems received the award from the Finance Minister .
Honoring the winners of the first annual Aaj Tak Care Awards, Pranab applauded the efforts of the corporate houses to help promote inclusive growth through social outreach efforts programs.”The Aaj Tak Care awards would go a long way in encouraging other corporate houses to care for the needy,” he added.