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Let’s imagine a hopeful picturesque post covid-19 era world and make an honest attempt to fill in accurate details of the corporate world especially magnifying on various CSR programs. Life for everyone, for the foreseeable future, has been drastically changed and curbed. With the decision of the government of India to treat covid-19 as a notified disaster pawed way for Ministry of Corporate Affairs to clarify that CSR spending towards covid-19 relief to be eligible for CSR activity. This announcement turned out to be advantageous for companies who wanted to meet statutory requirements of the Companies Act by contributing funds towards covid-19 relief. With companies now having the authority to provide aid in a situation that is changing rapidly, the move is expected to benefit local communities, where businesses have operations and complement the state’s efforts to combat the crisis that has disrupted economic activity. These private sector institutions will provide support and expand upon government’s 15,000 crore rupee plan to strengthen healthcare infrastructure. The CSR funds made their way to cash infuse covid-19 related activities specifically in healthcare, eradicating poverty and malnutrition, and sanitation as well as for disaster management, including relief and rehabilitation. CSR funders have taken steps to address immediate relief activities, however, their short-term work will have unintended consequences on the long-term impact of NGOs. This status quo posses the question of the state of CSR spending in our post covid-19 era world.

CSR funding being diverted from traditional activities through NGO partners to address immediate covid-19 relief has placed a lot of uncertainty between funders and NGO partners. Informal and verbal agreements are shrouded in doubt of being followed up placing NGOs at a tough spot. There has been a 30% – 60% decline of traditional CSR activities overseen by partnered NGOs. Many CSR funders with plans to continue funding covid-19 relief, they have mentioned to reduce some CSR commitments with NGOs. With NGOs expressing a bottleneck in CSR funding, they are being driven to think about their long-term sustainability in our picturesque post covid-19 era. Complimenting CSR funders’ covid-19 relief plan by leveraging core capabilities of the NGO will help NGOs to adapt to changing priorities as well as ensure ground presence.
As many as 72 changes to the Companies Act 2013 have been approved by the Cabinet as a response to aid business during covid-19, one such change lets companies allocate CSR spending that can benefit employees. Having reduced budget after funding covid-19 relief, it would be pivotal that companies prioritize CSR projects that not only help them fulfill statutory requirements but also gives them social ROI that gives them a boost. One such smart CSR investment would be Corporate Carpooling Project undertaken by GreenCar India.

In our picturesque post covid-19 era, majority of Indians won’t be able to make large purchases such as vehicles negatively impacting the automobile sector, due to laying off or payroll cuts by employers. Social distancing is likely to practice after the crisis paving way for a shift in employee commute. While daily commuters may prefer avoiding public transport, the possibility of job or salary cuts would weigh on their capacity to buy a personal vehicle. Thus, for many employees finding a safe, reliable and cost-effective means of transport to the work place takes utmost priority. Employers can introduce a carpooling culture into their office culture to show that they care for the health of their employees while compensating for pay cuts through carpooling schemes funded by CSR allocated funds. CSR funders can not only aid in covid-19 relief by supporting their employees through carpooling but also ensure a tangible ROI at their very own doorstep. It is the employer’s duty to make sure that the employees that do come in to work at the office are safe. Carpooling is an efficient way to reduce the number of cars on the road and also to reduce the use of fuels. Employees can use a carpool service, such as GreenCar India, to cut down exposure to strangers. Since personal cars are used for carpooling, mostly from known people and to known destinations, the risk is lowered decreasing the fear of coming in contact with coronavirus. The same cannot be said about public vehicles.

Carpooling is a means through which the employers save money, spend CSR funds effectively that fetch a ROI, motivate employees to come to office by instilling confidence in the commute, propagate ideas of corporate citizenship and aid in covid-19 relief. Investing in Corporate carpooling program by partnering with GreenCar India is responsible, sustainable and impactful at the individual, societal and communal levels.