Volkswagen Financial Services Pvt. Ltd. has a strong CSR policy which allows its employees to interact with a variety of causes and observe their impact first-hand. Volkswagen Financial Services HR Manager, Mr. Rahul Prasad said, “We believe and work towards two causes, community building and education.”
“Unlike most companies, we don’t have a dedicated CSR department. It is a volunteer based committee. The only permanent members are HR Head and Head of Accounts. It gives the employees an opportunity to work for a greater cause. There is a two-year period that one can serve on the CSR committee and there is a lot of autonomy provided to the volunteers.” There are also employee engagement activities that are conducted along-side the CSR projects to strengthen employee involvement in such projects.
The company follows a strong due diligence process to vet an NGO before working with them. The first stage of this process is to understand what the NGO does and perusing all their documentation. The second stage includes an interaction with the initiator of the NGO, to understand if it is a profit-making or non-profit entity. The third part is an on-site verification of its activities.
Volkswagen Financial Services works with the following NGOs:
Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) works with water preservation, a huge part of community building in many drought prone areas in the country. Our engagement with WOTR is a three-year-long intervention, since immediate results in this kind of an endeavour are not possible. Volkswagen Financial Services is working with, and has adopted, three villages in Marathawada in Maharashtra. The area, as is commonly known, is very drought prone and suffers a serious dearth of water. We have partnered with WOTR to take on the project of water conservation by construction of artificial farm ponds, check dams, bore wells, farm bunds and removal of silt from existing water bodies in these villages. We have also partnered with WOTR to teach and fund procurement of water conserving methods of farming to the villagers like drip irrigation, sprinklers, etc. Initiatives were taken to teach the farmers about sustainable agriculture practices to increase farm yield and produce better quality of crops. All these joint initiatives have brought back livelihood in these three villages preparing the residents to better deal with scarcity of water.
Habitat for Humanity India
Habitat for Humanity helps in building sanitation facilities for schools and educational institutes that need it, this is a mix of community building and education based initiative. Two cities have been targeted with this partnership – Silvassa and Bangalore. Volkswagen Financial Services supported Habitat for Humanity, to build a toilet block for female students in a government school in Silvassa, which had 800 female students but no constructed toilet facilities. This was the largest single block construction undertaken by the NGO. Four schools in Bangalore have been provided with sanitation blocks, each with a student population of about 300-500 students. This project had been undertaken as a part of ‘Clean India: Clean School’ mission of Government of India.
SOS Children’s Villages
SOS Children’s Villages is a mix of community building and education and works with orphaned children, as well as children and women belonging to under-privileged families. Volkswagen Financial Services has partnered with the NGO in three villages and adopted one family in Faridabad, three families in Alibaug and two families in Latur. The company supports the family’s annual expenses and works with the NGO to provide them with a better, brighter future.
An education based NGO in Mumbai, Vidya provides computer education to low income families. They create computer centres in slums and have a partnership with NIIT to provide the students with a job ready certification. Volkswagen Financial Services has sponsored the complete refurbishment of the infrastructure of one of the Vidya centres, near Powai. Completely new computers, projectors and other equipment have been provided by us in partnership with Vidya.
Avanti Fellows provides free training and education to students from the lower economic strata of the society, who want to pursue science. It gives free coaching to students who want to pursue an IIT or NIT exams. It is a three-year long association where Volkswagen Financial Services supports 3 schools each, in Maharashtra and Odisha.
Ma Niketan is a charitable trust located in Thane, Maharashtra. It gives shelter and takes care of girl children, who are from the slum areas from in and around Mumbai where poverty, lack of education and sanitation are more of a rule than an exception. Ma Niketan tries to cater to their needs - intellectual, emotional, social and economic, helping them become mature and responsible citizens. Volkswagen Financial Services had tied up with Ma Niketan to sponsor the education of these little angels for the entire last year.
Volkswagen Financial Services, with its high standards of compliance with CSR norms and hands-on approach, has touched thousands of lives around the country. Volkswagen Financial Services makes sure that the funds they are providing the NGO are going exactly where they are needed. The company’s diligence towards ensuring that all work undertaken is successfully completed within the given time-frame is what sets them apart from the CSR arms of other organisations.