Corporate Social Responsibility at ARNAV
What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? The European Commission defined it as ‘the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society’. This is a simple and precise way of putting it. CSR is a very broad concept that involves various aspects of social responsibility. But at the end of the day, it boils down to how much we as a Business Enterprise are willing to give back to society. India is a country of myriad contradictions. On the one hand, it has grown to be one of the largest economies in the world, and an increasingly important player in the emerging global order. On the other, it is still home to the largest number of people living in abject poverty. And out of this poverty emerges the horrific living conditions of women in our society. Women hold up half the sky. She is the reason we live, learn, and thrive. But what is her place in the world today, especially in rural India? Is she equipped to handle her many challenges? Debates & discussions brought us down to the most regular occurrence in a woman’s life – Menstruation. In our land of Shakti and Kamakhya Devi - the Bleeding Goddess, women are subjected to the worst societal attitudes and extremely unhygienic methods of managing her menstruation.
The statistics are alarming. Along with causing damage to the personal health of a woman, unhygienic management of periods will also damage us as a society. If our sisters in our own country have so much difficulty with such a basic aspect of our lives, are the rest of us truly comfortable? In the words of Audre Lorde, "I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own."
We at ARNAV are deeply committed to the cause of making women’s lives better. It is the best way of saying thank you to the hands that nurture us, and to this great country. However it was very important for us to partner with the right group of people if we were to make a long term and consistent impact. We were lucky to meet World of Women – WOW, a dedicated group of 6 achievers who have been doing excellent work for the women of Karnataka. With the mantra: ‘a strong woman stands up for herself, but stronger women stand up for others’, WOW has aligned itself to focus on all aspects related to Menstrual Hygiene including debunking taboos and myths associated with this topic. With 18 major outreach programs for over 3,000+ women, the success of WOW’s programs lies in the inherent simplicity of its program’s strategy and execution. Along with spreading awareness on menstrual hygiene, Team WOW uses the funds it receives from individuals & entities to educate and distribute Menstrual Kits among the women who need them. More on our partnership later. But next time, you’ll be meeting the dynamic women behind WOW, and getting to know them a little better…