Sharing the responsibility of a building a better community and contributing to the society of the future, Omkar Foundation have always taken initiative to influence and initiate positive changes. Here’s a glimpse of our press and media releases outlining our vision and endeavors for corporate social responsibility.
Our events are focused on our continuous commitment to contribute to economic development as well as improving the quality of life of the workforce and of the local community and society at large. It is an integral part of our responsibilities that maximizes the value of wealth creation to society and ensure participation of all sections of our community.
Misbah Malik stays with her family - father, mother and her younger brother in a Kharghar slum. Misbah’s mother is suffering from a neurological illness for which she is receiving treatment from J.J hospital, Mumbai. Her father is a taxi (Uber) driver and his monthly salary is Rs. 12,000/-.
Her father's earnings were only sufficient enough to fulfill the family's basic needs. Misbah understood his struggle and wanted to help him support the family in whichever way she could. Then one day, she came to enquire about our training program at the Sewri Bhoiwada centre. There, she met with a trainer who informed her about the courses they offered and their benefits.
During their first interaction, Misbah told the trainer about her financial condition and that she would not be able to pay for the course. However, that didn't pose as an issue. She started attending the beautician course. Misbah was very particular about her attendance. Though was keen to learn, confidence and communication skills were the two qualities she had to work on a bit harder.
Trainers are trained to conduct life skill sessions along with beauty and wellness courses. The training in life skills is what enables the trainers to build a good connection with the women and understand their concerns. Over time, Misbah started to share her family concerns with the trainer. Our trainer regularly interacted with her which helped her calm her nerves and focus on her goals. Towards the end of the program, she felt and appeared more confident. She was able to raise concerns and voice her views without any hesitations.
Currently she works at Vivo Beauty Salon, Nerul, where she earns a monthly salary of Rs 6000/-. She is grateful to Omkar Foundation for providing her the training because of which she is now able to support her family. By helping many such women realize their dreams and potential, Omkar Foundation aims to strike the right balance between both men and women and contribute towards a better society.
Savita was born and brought up in Bhoiwada, Mumbai. She belongs to a joint family. Her father used to be a mill worker at Bombay Dyeing Company and was the sole breadwinner of the family. Savita could manage to get an education only till 8th standard due to financial constraints. She was merely 18 when her family got her married. It was a decision in which she didn't have much of a say.
Also, the dreams of standing on her own legs never met the face of success as she was embroiled in marital issues. Her husband was an alcoholic and she faced domestic violence. Society pressure was getting to her and she received nothing but neglect from her own father. All this led her to fall into a helpless situation where she was forced to adjust to an unfortunate life with her husband and in-laws.
Unable to live through the struggles thrown at her by her failed marriage, she tried seeking comfort back in her own home and family. But, in vain. Her family tried to convince her to go back to her husband. But she stood her ground and vowed to herself that she would never go back to him.
What proceeded, was her divorcing her husband and continuing another shot at a peaceful life in her home, with her family. She found work as a domestic worker. During one of our mobilization drives by our partner, Save The Children, she met with one of our trainers through whom she gained information about the beauty and wellness courses. Savita took interest in the beautician course right away and started attending it.
Though she had some difficulties with reading and writing, she was very keen to learn. And with lots of hard work and determination, she successfully completed the course.
Currently, she is providing beautician services to clients at their homes and making a good earning. She is very happy with her newfound independence and her ability to support her parents. However, she still wants to continue on the path of learning by pursuing advance training and honing her skills.
A first year pass-out from S.N.D.T College, Pune, Santoshi moved on to live in Mumbai for the very first time after she married. It wasn’t a very glamorous opportunity as she lived in slum in Worli. She had a hearty desire for drawing since a very young age. Most of her sketches comprised of models donning outfits designed by her. Her school friends would shower their praises on them. That's how the dream of becoming a fashion designer spawned in her. However, financial constraints forced her to stow away her dreams. Her mother was a domestic worker while her father was a daily-wager. Because of her mother's poor health, her eldest sister took her place and started working as a domestic worker. They used to live at the servants' quarters where she helped her sister with work.
When she was in her first year, she had access to college-provided courses like basics in fashion and Ayurvedic Naturopathy. Though it posed as a dilemma for her when it came to choose, she made up her mind in the end to pursue the latter. But, she couldn't as there wasn't sufficient money available. As the next year approached, she was made to walk the marital journey. Her new in-laws were of the archaic belief that women are supposed to stay home.
Few years went by and she gave birth to her daughter. Santoshi did a great job at being the perfect mother, wife and daughter-in-law. But things went downhill for her when her daughter suffered an epilepsy attack. She was home alone when the incident occurred because of which she had to seek help from her neighbors, financially too. That was when she decided to become independent. She started working as a domestic worker. However, it was still her dream to study Ayurvedic Naturopathy.
Through a friend, she learnt about our skill development training program at the Sewri Centre. She joined the beautician course and completed it successfully. She is currently working at Tip-Top Salon in Worli while studying Ayurvedic Naturopathy. Santoshi is very happy today, as she has found the right way to juggle work, taking care of her daughter and pursuing her dream.
“It was lot of struggle to adjust to the fast pace of the city. I knew nothing. People around me were unknown and on top of it, I used to think that I was less educated than others. This whole thinking affected my personality for years.” - said Sandhya while talking about her initial years in the city.
“When I heard about Omkar Foundation’s courses under their Skill development & Women Empowerment Scholarship Program, I was hesitant to sign up for them. For all these years, I've only been a home maker. This was a tough call to make, for myself to be going out of the house and start working. I used to feel scared. But the trainer and coordinator motivated and pushed us to do something on our own. This actually helped boost my confidence,” she describes. “After Sandhya joined the course, she became determined & hardly skipped classes.” said Suman Shevale, one of the coordinators of the skill development course.
Sandhya not only opened her own parlour in Worli but now employs two other girls from her batch. She’s also mentoring them on other aspects of business: money management, customer relationship.
“My husband supported me financially to open the parlour. Now, the only challenge lies in being able to run it a for a long period of time. I am also learning many things along the way. However, I still need to learn other important things like marketing and costing.” mentions Sandhya.
It’s the long journey she had to take before owning a successful venture that was truly successful. This has built her self-confidence, respect amongst her friends and family and thus lead to be a stronger mother, wife and home-maker.
Every step of her journey was entangled with struggles. But now, looking back, she feels that facing them was worth it all and that it made her a proud woman.
“I started working many years ago but then I had to take a gap that stretched up to more than fifteen years. I used to live in Virar before. There, I ran a small tailoring unit. But I had to shut it down when I shifted to Worli. Thereafter, I hardly worked because of family responsibilities.” - said Sunanda while describing her journey. She always wanted to go back to work but couldn’t because she had no specific direction.
“Few years back, Omkar Foundation started classes for women in the vicinity. I joined them right away. It was a wonderful experience to go back to learning something new again. I received a certificate for the masala making course”, she talks about her learning experience.
“The first big catering order that we received, was for a wedding that took place in our community itself. A boy from our community was getting married and he had no one in his family. He asked us whether we could help make food for the guests and arrange other requirements. We carried out the order successfully. Though the profit wasn't high, we as a group, started gaining confidence in our work.” Sunanda shares the story of the first catering order of their self-help group.
Sunanda's family members lent a helping hand by working for her business. To help improve the sales of her products, her son helped her with writing WhatsApp messages and designing pamphlets. They sent them out to people they knew to help gain her business some exposure. Her other relatives helped promote the business by word-of-mouth. These fruitful efforts led them to receive more orders.
“Today, our group takes catering orders for small and midsize functions. We sell snacks, various types of masalas and take customized orders for food items too. We’ve generated a favourable amount of profits. Sometimes when the group members receive individual orders, they help each other in carrying them out. This is how we are progressing gradually”, explains Sunanda.
“It did take some time and patience to convince these women to start a self-help group. Almost all of them were home makers and barely stepped out of the house. Though they wanted to do something, they were worried about leaving their comfort zones behind. But we mentored them throughout the process and supported them every step of the way.” - adds Suman Shevale, Program Co-coordinator of Manav Sadhan Vikas Sanstha.
They want to learn more about things like, packaging, costing, marketing and other aspects of business. As they continue embarking on this journey, from being home makers to running a small/micro enterprise, they will surely reach many success stops.
The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained growing recognition and significance with the global economy evolving as well into a border-less and increasingly integrated world. The new patterns of partnership among business corporations, the regulatory authorities and society have placed great pressure on businesses in meeting consumers’ rising expectations and requirements.
As a consequence, businesses have gradually begun to perceive CSR as a value-added strategy enhancing corporate reputation and, more importantly, financial performance. CSR started to attract public attention only in recent times. Many large corporations incorporate CSR elements in their business strategies to stay competitive. Corporations have to practice social responsibility to become a corporate citizen besides meeting its economic and organizational objectives. By being socially responsible, not only will the corporates’ reputation improve but it will help to contribute to the improved financial performance along with instilling a sense of relevance with the philosophy of each individual’s life and creating a sense of community when all of them come together, giving every individual a chance to speak up.
Considering the house buyers’ perceptions on CSR is of utmost importance in influencing purchase decisions, e.g., how the rise and fall in the rate of interest on home loans influence the buyers' decisions, how does a builder give back to the society by changing lives and adding value to the products they invest, directly maintaining a certain degree of transparency in order to build trust between the home buyers and builders.
Built for a community, by a community; that cares-
As much as the endless number of trucks & cranes would intrigue or intimidate a person to evaluate the amount of time it would take before the property becomes ready-to-move-in, the amount of manpower and resource input that it requires is far beyond an accountability. The end result, of the high-rise buildings and efficient social amenities it provides, reminds us of the hard-work and dedication that has gone all along to make your home beautiful.
Built with the most innovative technologies
In this new generation of constant technological advancement and setting up of increasingly robust innovations, cutting down the resources that consume more time, energy and asset is necessary. Adoption of these methods are constantly being encouraged by governmental, corporate and research-based organizations in order to leverage the amount of output that directly reflects on the revenue and indirectly poses a challenge to the competition.
Incorporating technology by property builders will speed up the time it takes for a project to finish as well as create a smooth flow and ease-of-access to most of the activities that are time-consuming, hence providing comfort and luxury within the household.
Built with a sense of responsibility towards environment
Energy and water efficient houses that are not only eco-friendly but also budget-friendly since it doesn’t exhaust your credit as much as luxury or high-end properties would. Apart from the obvious findings, environment friendly houses are also built for a long-term sustainability that keep your house safe from natural disasters.
Building a responsive brand value of integrity
In the developing world, governments and businesses now understand that their respective competitive positions and access to capital increasingly depends on being able to respect the highest global standards. At one end of the spectrum, CSR can be viewed simply as a collection of good citizenship activities being engaged by various organizations. At the other end, it is a way of doing business resulting in a significant impact on community and long-term sustainability.
Built with social amenities
When a promise is made to provide certain amenities in your desired project and your expectations are not met and it fails immensely, it shakes the faith and trust of the customer, bad-mouthing the value of a company and spreading like a wildfire. It is important to keep up with the increasing amounts of requirements that current trends in real estate contain.
To maintain the brand value and integrity amidst this competitive environment, it is highly important to maintain a dialogue of Corporate Social Responsibility in order to create a strong implant in the market.
Corporate Social Responsibilities are not only for the society but also for the employees of your organization. As much as it is beneficial for the betterment of society, it is beneficial for the employees to improve their skills and behaviour. While some employees choose to participate in CSR activities on their own, there are others who think that it won’t benefit them. Hence, to change the mindset of such employees here are a few reasons that will tell you why it is necessary for an employee to actively engage in a CSR activity.
If an employee thinks that his/her employer is doing something good for the betterment of society, they will also incorporate the same. The involvement of an employee in CSR activities will also help an employer to closely understand the behaviour of an employee. This will eventually build a stronger relationship between the employee and employer, strengthening the corporate bond.
When an employee feels good about their organization’s CSR activities, they are noticed to engage more and perform better. By rewarding the employees for their contribution and efforts in CSR activities, you encourage them to continue their contribution towards the social causes.
By actively participating in a CSR activity, employees become more creative and incorporate certain abilities unknowingly. They learn to think out of the box, give ample amount of practical ideas and also learn creative problem-solving.
Involving in CSR activities helps an employee to closely understand the critical situation of the society. Right from what a child needs for education to what a village needs for its progress, the employee would have an answer for everything. This gives the employee a more well-rounded learning, that is not only limited to his or her choice of career.
As we all know, CSR activities by an organization not only helps the society but also its employees. An employee who is a part of CSR activities will create a great bond with other employees in the organization. The reason being that employees will spend ample time together for the welfare of the society. Hence, will know what is going on in their personal as well as work life. All this will eventually lead to building a great bond with each other.
In cases where an employee chooses not to participate in a CSR activity, it is the responsibility of an employer to make sure that an employee understands its importance. And with so many aforementioned benefits, an employee should definitely engage in CSR activities for his/her betterment along with the society.
It is no rocket science that plastic is choking up our natural world. But it is also important to understand the adverse effects of plastic on not just out environment but the implications of plastic on our own life. While everyone is aware that there is not a single good thing about this substance, here’s a point by point description to help understand all the ways that plastic is damaging our blue planet.
1. Plastic is made from non-renewable sources
Most of plastic materials are made of polypropylene which is made of petroleum and natural gas. These materials are non-renewable fossil-fuel based materials which cause greenhouse gas emission during their extraction which further causes irreplaceable damage to the environment. This is one of the leading causes of climate change around the globe.
2. Plastic doesn’t degrade
‘Never’ is a big word and imagine how much plastic we are leaving behind when we say that plastic never degrades. From the regular grocery shopping bags to plastic water bottles, these don’t ever degrade. These bags and materials are broken down and are swept up by the ocean and eventually consumed by wildlife. Thus, causing threat to their lives.
3. Plastic directly affects human health
There are several chemicals present in plastic bags and bottles that can disrupt the normal functioning of the human body and in many cases also causes hormonal issues. Apart from that, the plastic materials consumed by animals (fish, cows etc) very easily enters the food chain, thus becoming a part of our diet. This leads to serious health issues like cancers.
4. Plastic landfills
Even if one starts to recycle plastic, they will still end up covering landfills across the globe. Eventually, they still have the same adverse effects on the environment, considering the large number of plastic products we introduce into the system, day on day.
5. Plastic is heavy on the pocket
Production of plastic bags and then their clean-up is an expensive affair. Plastic bag clean-ups cost around 17 cents per bag. Which means, on an average, $88 each year is spent only on plastic bag waste. This actually goes to show that the plastic you consider free, is not free at all and you do end up paying for it. Not just in money, but also otherwise.
Many cities across the globe have recognized the damage that plastic bags are causing and have now banned the use and manufacture of plastic bags. While it might be the government’s responsibility to impose such bans, it is our duty to ensure that on a personal level, we do not continue with our rampant use of plastic bags and items, so callously.
About 62% of Mumbai lives in densely populated slums. With no proper sanitation facility, low ventilation, poor waste management and a complete neglect on healthcare; these slums have become a cesspool of diseases. Tuberculosis, a highly contagious air borne disease has now resurfaced as a highly prominent disease; with 1 in every 5 people being detected with TB in Mumbai alone. If left untreated, it becomes even more potent and resistant to drugs thus making it fatal.
Keeping the seriousness of TB in mind, Omkar Foundation joined the TB- Free India movement partnering with the MCGM, USAID, The Union and many other allied corporates and NGO’s all working jointly to achieve the Government of India mandate of eradicating TB by 2025.
Omkar Foundation began its TB awareness drives in our Head office, construction sites and the slums and SRA’s through posters, banners, films screenings, street plays and other such mediums to create awareness on symptoms and treatment of TB; with a specific focus on ‘High – risk’ groups like slum dwellers and construction workers.
For active cases detection, Omkar Foundation in partnership with MCGM has conducted Spot Sputum testing on construction sites for the labour force. In the slums and SRA’s Omkar Foundation conducted General medical health camps and symptomatic cases of TB were detected by the general physicians and follow up calls were made to the patients urging them to get tested at the nearest municipal hospital. These efforts on ground resulted in detecting active cases of TB and the patients are now in the government health system receiving treatment.
Omkar Foundation is now taking the awareness campaign into the villages and tribal hamlets on the fringes of Mumbai by partnering with grass root level NGO’s so that the incidents of TB can be identified and treated early before it gets fatal.
With this holistic, programmatic approach and the collaborative efforts of all the stakeholders, we hope to reach the goal of having a TB free Mumbai and very soon a TB free India.
TB Harega, Desh Jeetega!!