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What Is ISR and How Corporates and NGOs Can Play An Important Role In ISR?

author: Akshay Gujar | 17 Apr 2020

What Is ISR and How Corporates and
NGOs Can Play An Important Role In ISR?


The true essence of human life lies in giving back to the world we take so much from. It is neither charity nor any art of giving but simply the science of maintaining a symbiotic relationship with our surroundings. An individual becomes socially responsible when he decides to adopt a lifestyle that not only works for himself but a few others along the way. The day you become the change you want to see in others you become a socially responsible individual. The tasks that you undertake from their onwards get defined as your Individual Social Responsibility (ISR).


The good thing about such practices is that they are contagious and have a tendency to influence and inspire others simultaneously. The moment a person decides to hold the baton, the inspiration spreads within many and they start following the baton holder. NGOs and corporates are such baton holders that enjoy massive following. Any ethical practice adopted by them can easily turn into a mass movement leading to the very change that was once a dream.


On a large scale, ISR relates to individuals being more responsible in their day-to-day life. Their work and lifestyle affect people in their immediate circle of friends, family, and beyond that. The transformation begins from within and slowly turns into habits that give their life a purpose, satisfaction, and gratification by helping others.


Social responsibility is an inner instinct that motivates people to invest in social causes and funds. Such behavior not only adds to one’s self-esteem but also earns them a reputation in the eyes of others. The best example of ISR was recently presented by Afroz Shah.


Afroz Shah is a Mumbai based lawyer who took up the task of cleaning the40 km long Versova beach. Just a normal professional, in October 2015, he and his then 84-year neighbor decided to do something about the piles of decomposing waste washing up on Versova beach. Without any resources or help, the two decided to start cleaning the beach themselves, one part of wastage at a time.


Every weekend, they went to the beach and cleaned as much rubble as possible. Slowly, more and more people started volunteering to help them and a small effort turned into a movement. For more than three years, Afroz and his team manually picked up trash from Versova beach while teaching sustainable waste practices to people living along the coastline.


The biggest reward for their efforts was noted when Olive Ridley Turtles finally returned to the beach to lay eggs after decades. It was a huge success and the team received the Champions of the Earth Award by the UN. Their clean up drive was joined by more than 70, 000 adults and 60, 000 students during three years of their work.


This is a small example of what can happen when an individual takes ISR activities seriously. There are countless such stories that stand tall in several spheres like ecology, education, sanitation, world nutrition, and so on. Some took monumental tasks on their own and were slowly joined by others while some had innovative ideas that were turned into reality by NGOs and corporates.


A small example of the latter is Champa Devi who hails from a small village called Aidaan Ka Baas. Champa was married off at a very young age and her life was immersed in household chores and domestic responsibilities. Despite that, she always wanted to do something more than that and wanted to do something for others around her. Her breakthrough came when she joined the AU Udyogini Programme.


A mother of three, she is currently leading a sales team of women that market homemade “mangodis” (dried lentil fritters). She leads a team of thirteen women who make and sell mangodis all over the area.


A mother of three, she is currently leading a sales team of women that market homemade “mangodis” (dried lentil fritters). She leads a team of thirteen women who make and sell mangodis all over the area.


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