Building Leadership & business Innovation
At Mahindra, we strongly believe that creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals. This is why, CSR has been an integral part of Mahindra’s DNA since its foundation in 1945. Our businesses seek to provide solutions to problems that the community is facing. CSR is not a one way flow of investment, we look upon CSR and community interaction as potentially a mother front for business innovation, because when we interact with people, we get to understand their requirements, which helps us develop new business ideas and models.
CSR activities help in building leadership too. We have a rigorous employee volunteering scheme called the Mahindra Employee Social Options which has played a crucial role in energising the people at Mahindra to give back to society.
Developing the Sense of Ownership
The problem has been the ‘upkeep and use’. With the help of NGOs & our own volunteers, we are creating an ecosystem that will ensure better maintenance & hygiene standards. This also comes with the sense of ownership. Until the users of the toilets understand this, the change would not take place on ground.
As the toilets were built in rural areas, we had to handle it like a project with the design and construction being handled by Mahindra Consulting Engineers (MACE). There was research on the availability of water; the location of construction and many other parameters.
In Bihar, we have actually constructed a model village at Pattori, built under the Kosi Relief and Rehabilitation Scheme. Pattori is located in Singheswar Block, Madhepura District of Bihar one of the remotest parts of the state without external connectivity linkages, electricity, water supply, sanitation and an area that is prone to frequent natural disasters.
This project was also conceptualized, planned and developed by MACE as an eco-friendly model village with the aim of transforming the lifestyle of the affected community and narrowing the gap between the privileged and underprivileged sections of society. MACE undertook a holistic planning approach and used innovative themes and ideas while developing this village.