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December 2016 Cover Story

Published on: 2016-12-19 13:55:28     4947 times read    1  Comments

At present, many businesses in Nepal have integrated CSR and philanthropic activities into their day-to-day operations. The consciousness of social responsibility has led them to share their profit with the society and getting engaged in multiple areas of social well-being. We have chosen some business houses, companies and banks that are in the forefront of CSR activities in the country. 

NEPAL TELECOM

Promising Steps  at Community Level
Nepal Telecom has numerous CSR activities in its portfolio. The state-owned telecom services provider has been a major contributor in many sectors including in health, environment, sports, education, ICT, agriculture alongside various other social groups with its CRS initiatives.

Nepal Telecom provided notable services during last year’s earthquake. The company provided free mobile call services amounting to Rs 1.46 billion immediately after the disaster receiving widespread applause nationally and internationally. “We are trying to reach remote community areas of the country via the internet,” says Pratibha Vaidya, Spokesperson of NT. She adds, “We are studying to assist health-post and schools of such areas via the WiMAX connectivity.”

NT is planning to conduct more remarkable activities in CSR in the upcoming days. The company plans to come up with new CSR strategies based on using mobiles and the internet. As per Vaidya, NT is planning to provide skill enhancement trainings to individuals at various community levels. 

Meanwhile, the Bagmati River Clean-Up campaign is another noteworthy social initiative of NT focusing on environmental protection. The company on a weekly basis sends bulk SMS to its customers inviting them to participate in the campaign held each week. Likewise the company is also distributing materials related to sanitation to communities once a year on the occasion of its anniversary. Similarly, the company has been protecting the greenery along the Maitighar-Tinkune road section of Kathmandu for the past five years.  

In the same way, NT in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD), distributed a total of 5,500 SIM cards, of which 1,500 and 4,000 units were distributed in the first and second phase respectively. 

According to Vaidya, the company is establishing ICT centres at one community school each in the earthquake affected districts of Gorkha, Dhading, Rasuwa, Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk. NT contributed Rs 250 million to the PM’s Disaster Relief Fund while the company also raised Rs 20.7 million from staff for the same fund. The company has made a commitment to contribute Rs 1 billion for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of heritage sites and community schools etc over the period of three years. “As a part of our CSR activity, we will be contributing to rebuilding the Dhararha destroyed in last year’s earthquake.”  

Disaster risk reduction is another area of CSR for the company. Joining hands with the Nepal Red Cross, NT is providing mobile alert services in landslide prone districts of the country.   

The company is also supporting the physically disabled people of the 2006 People’s Movement by providing one unit of SIM/RUIM cards without charge. “In the coming days, we will be providing SIM/RUIM cards to the differently able people having blue, yellow and white cards respectively,” informs Vaidya.

Meanwhile, the company is in the process of constructing public toilets at Tilganga and Pashupati areas. The company has also provided free ambulance and police calls. Also, to minimise road accidents, the company is disseminating free bulk SMS to their customers. Nepal Telecom has also provided a free child help line to Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN) and is also providing the same kind of services for organisations working on child protection. The company is providing video data at 50 paisa per minute for the hearing and speech impaired. 

Similarly, the company is motivating football and cricket players in the sports sector. It has been sponsoring the men’s and women’s football teams of the Nepal Police since 2068 BS and 2070 BS respectively. The ICT company has also been sponsoring the senior men's and women's cricket team since 2071 BS Chaitra. 

NMB BANK

Conserving Heritage
As CSR activities go, NMB Bank has an independent organisation, NMB Social Initiative formed by the employees of NMB Bank and its subsidiary, to carry out activities in social development. The bank especially focuses on heritage conservation, inside and outside the valley and has been continuing the initiative for the last five years. NMB Bank in association with Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office organises NMB Bank Heritage Walk every year. The Bank also organises ‘fund raisings’ for heritage preservation by keeping a donation box at the Bank’s premises during the week-long event.  Earlier, the bank renovated and maintained the Goraknath Temple at Thapathali and Luchu Bhuju Ajima Temple at Ganabahal, Kathmandu with the funds collected from the Heritage Walk campaign.

The Bank has said it will contribute Rs 10 for heritage conservation to its NMB Social Initiative's account whenever a new account under the Alakapuri Savings scheme is opened. 

Also, NMB Social Initiative in association with Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office, Nepal Army and Bhadrakali Guthi organised a cleanup programme of the Bhadrakali Mandir premises to mark World Cleanup Day.

NMB Bank launched its corporate campaign with the theme Aatmanirbharta in April this year. The campaign focused on the importance and the need for every individual and eventually the economy to be ‘self reliant’. It features projects that the Bank has financed over the years, ranging from agriculture to project financing which have not only changed the lives of its customers but influenced change at a macroeconomic scale. During the post earthquake scene in 2015 and the subsequent fuel crisis that left the economy crippled, the bank organised a campaign on the importance of ‘self reliance’ in reconstruction and the country’s economy.

Apart from these activities, the bank has been active in supporting victims of natural disasters. NMB’s Malaysian joint venture partner donated Rs 1.5 million to the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund through the bank after the April 2015 earthquake. The bank further pledged a total support of Rs Eleven Million Five Hundred Thousand for earthquake victims in affected areas. Similarly, the bank had also organised a two day relief distribution programme for flood victims in five different rehabilitation centres at Surkhet in coordination with the Surkhet District Office in September 2014. Likewise, the bank felicitated Dhan Bahadur Malla, a notable social entrepreneur of Doti in the same year. Meanwhile, NMB Bank has also organised health camps in various parts of the nation.  Besides these, the bank has been conducting different CSR activities on various occasions as well.  

STANDARD CHARTERED BANK NEPAL

CSR for Sustainability
Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Nepal has been giving utmost importance to its CSR activities. With its key CSR theme on sustainability, the bank is among the institutions at the forefront aiming to deliver greater good to society.  “Sustainability is embedded in our brand promise, here for good, and affects every single thing we do, the way we make decisions, the contribution we make to local economies and the impact that we have when we bank the people and companies driving investment, trade and the creation of wealth across our foot prints,” mentions Diwakar Poudel, Head - Brand and Marketing and Corporate Affairs of SCB Nepal. 

“We support communities to address local social and economic needs,” he says. According to him, the bank works closely with local partners and employee volunteers to deliver programmes focused on health and education.

The UK-based multinational bank has global community investment programmes including Seeing is Believing to address avoidable blindness, Positive Living for raising awareness around HIV/AIDS and Financial Education to build financial capability of community stakeholders. 

Seeing is Believing: The initiative has developed to become a global flagship community programme of the bank after its initiation in 2003 as a staff-driven effort. In Nepal, the bank has helped to restore the eyesight of over 7,000 Nepalis partnering with the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO) and other local eye hospitals across the country. 

The bank currently is funding a USD 1 million equivalent project for the period of 2014-2018 with TIO. “The objective of this project is to construct two permanent eye centres in two districts, upgrade Bhaktapur District Community Eye Centre (DCEC) into a Secondary Level Eye Centre (SLEC) and upgrade Nuwakot DCEC into a periodic surgical facility,” informs Poudel. The project also aims to create awareness about eye care among school teachers through training programmes, to train 750 primary school teachers on basic eye care, screen school children and supply 3,810 spectacles and provide cataract surgery service to the needy through the cross-subsidy model. Furthermore, SCB Nepal has extended the same amount of financial support to Biratnagar Eye Hospital for infrastructural development under the Eastern Region Eyecare Project (2008-2012). The bank has been annually organising Nepal Walkathon, a fund raising and awareness event on avoidable blindness and encouraging the visually impaired. 

Positive Living: Launched in 1999, this global initiative of SCB is an education and awareness programme that aims to reduce new HIV infections to promote safer lifestyle choices to its staff and communities. The bank has a network of HIV Champions (15 in Nepal) who are actively raising awareness about HIV through workplace education. 

Financial Education: Increasing the financial literacy of youths and communities is the main objective of this education campaign. 

SCB Nepal is also engaged in environment campaigns. The bank in 2013 improved the energy efficiency of its head office by seven percent in a bid to minimise the environmental impact of its operation. The bank has also been exercising to reduce the level of paper consumption in recent years. Meanwhile, the bank has also been organising various environmental protection programmes. These include tree plantation and maintenance initiatives at Harihar Bhawan, Bisankhunarayan and Laboratory School, Kirtipur premises. 

The bank has also been supporting the victims of the 2015 earthquake. SCB Nepal is providing financial assistance of over USD 400,000 to a reconstruction project in Kavre partnering with Habitat for Humanity.  

The bank has the Standard Chartered Nepal Community Partnership Forum (SCNCPF), an NGO established by the bank and represented by its staff to drive community initiatives.  “While the bank plays an active role in the community space and is constantly making investments, SCNCPF also organises various charity and fund raising events to raise funds for the causes that the bank is engaged in,” says Poudel. 

NCELL

Relating CSR with National Priorities
Ncell as a responsible corporate citizen has always been actively engaged in CSR activities. “Our projects are designed focusing on sustainability and they aspire to bring about direct benefits to the people and communities,” mentions Sanju Koirala, Corporate Communications Director of Ncell. According to her, the company consciously aligns CSR in areas of national need and priorities and makes attempts to utilise technology to derive greater benefits to the people and communities. “We have policy and guidelines on corporate responsibility to guide us in CSR process,” shares Koirala.

Ncell has its focus in education, environment, livelihood, health and other areas as well. The mobile service provider has spent Rs 388.55 million so far on CSR projects. In addition to this, Ncell is also spending Rs 1 billion for rebuilding of schools and other infrastructures that were damaged due to the devastating earthquake  of April 2015.

“As a part of Axiata, Asia’s leading telecommunications group that has vision of ‘Advancing Asia’, Ncell values education, bridging digital divide and supporting talent. Education remains our top CSR focus areas,” says Koirala. The company has numerous projects in education like Adopt a School, Digital Library, Scholarships to Girl Child and Scholarships to engineering students at Institute of Engineering (IoE), Pulchowk campus. Under these projects, Ncell has equipped 44 community schools with classrooms, furniture, drinking water facilities, toilets, sports and educational materials, and supported the establishment of 15 digital libraries to support digital education. Together, these have benefitted over 25,000 students in rural Nepal.

The company, under its girl scholarship programme, supported girls from remote districts of Karnali and other regions who got good grades among female students in SLC to further their education.  The company has also been conferring scholarships and excellence awards to topper students of Bachelor of Engineering (BE) Electrical, Electronics and Communication, and Computer faculties of Central Campus Pulchowk, IoE.

Ncell App Camp has been another major project that the company ran in 2014 and 2015 aiming to unleash the country’s digital talent, by providing them capacity building training to build businesses around the mobile app idea and to set up their own startup businesses. Numerous finalists of the app camp have either launched their own startup or are engaged in product development.

 “Environment has been another area of CSR priority of Ncell,” informs Koirala. The company has been organising environment awareness campaigns both inside and outside the Kathmandu Valley. For instance, Ncell has planted 50,000 trees in 33 hectares of barren land in Dhanushadham Protected Forest (DPF) and implemented an awareness campaign in the Dhanushadham community aiming to contribute to reforestation and environment conservation. The awareness project has contributed to local communities cohabiting and contributing to conservation of the DPF. As a result of this initiative, DPF has also been declared as ‘Illicit Felling and Open Grazing Free Zone’ in 2016.

Ncell is also adopting clean energy as a part of its environmental responsibility. “Over the last few years, we have significantly adopted solar power to operate our base transceiver (BTS). Presently, about 15 percent of the company sites (mobile towers/BTS) are backed up or fully operate with solar power,” says Koirala.

 “As a responsible member of our community, Ncell has always been providing various support to the communities and people at the time of need,” Koirala mentions. In 2014, Ncell contributed Rs 201 million to the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund for relief of the families affected by floods and landslides in different parts of the country. The company also provided free phone balance to customers affected by landslides and floods in Jure (Sindhupalchowk) to ensure smooth communication in the affected areas. 

During the devastating earthquake of last year, Ncell quickly deployed mobile BTS to support communication in temporary shelters/open areas. It also provided free balance and SMS resources worth more than Rs 1.6 billion to customers, enabling them to stay connected with their family/friends and rescue and relief providers. Ncell is also spending Rs1 billion over three years for the rebuilding of schools and buildings affected by the earthquake. 

Since July 2016, Ncell has also been collaborating with Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) and is disseminating flood early warning SMS alerts to the people living downstream of major rivers, helping them to remain safe and prevent loss of property during floods. Under this collaboration, Ncell provides forecasting and early warning information through mass SMS to the people living downstream of West Rapti, Narayani, Kankai, Koshi, Bagmati, Karnali, Babai and Kamala rivers, among others. 

The company also supported in the health sector. Under its ‘We Care’ initiative, Ncell has helped to construct a Day Care Dialysis Centre at Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), enabling the hospital to expand its capacity to provide critical renal health care services. The company has also provided support to Manmohan Cardiothoracic Vascular and Transplant Center (MCVTC) in Maharajgunj to set up world-class cardiothoracic Intensive Care Units (ICUs). The support to these hospitals amounts to Rs 30 million.

Ncell has also been implementing projects aiming to improve livelihood of the people in different communities. Its clean water project in Eladi, Dipka and Thuladi villages of Syangja district has strengthened the livelihoods of 75 families in those villages. Installation of Hydraulic Ram (Hydram) Pumps, construction of water distribution channel, micro-enterprise and farming trainings and linkages of farmers with markets have enabled the community members to access water for multiple purposes in the village itself and created opportunities for them to make an extra income by growing high-value vegetables using drip irrigation.  

 The project is the first of its kind in Nepal, as it uses a remote monitoring system using SIM metering technology which has been implemented to measure the distribution of water for domestic and irrigation needs. The community members contribute fund based on water usage for the operation and maintenance of the system. Launched in 2014, the project was implemented in partnership with Renewable World, an INGO with expertise in clean energy, Center for Rural Technology, Nepal and Andhikhola Community Development Center.

Similarly,Ncell has been contributing to the promotion of Nepali culture and heritage (art, literature, music). Ncell has also been contributing in the development of Nepali sports by supporting football, cricket, golf and inter-college basketball. 

Furthermore, the company as a part of its CSR has also worked for the promotion of ethical culture and business ethics. It has also provided financial assistance to orphanages like BalMandir and old age homes. 

CE CONSTRUCTION

Strong Social Commitment 
For CE Construction, CSR is an integrated part of the business. The company has been doing various CSR activities over the years. Its activities are basically focused on areas like environment, health, safety and society. 

The company puts emphasis on producing environment friendly products. CE, with an objective to minimise the pollution which is created by the brick manufacturing industry is using bricks produced by Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln (VSBK) technology, which is one of the cleanest methods of brick production around the world. Also, the company is collaborating with a technology transfer project named CESEF (Cost Effective Social and Environment Friendly Building Materials and Techniques) which is initiated by Skat Consulting and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation in Nepal. The objective behind the collaboration is to bring technology optimisation in cost, consumption and energy. 

CE Construction makes a special effort to ensure the safety of its employees at job sites. Besides providing them with full-fledged protective equipment such as hard hats, closed shoes, gloves, safety nets and safety belts, the company also reminds its staff about their safety and cleanliness on the site by using safety notes and by providing on site trainings regarding safety measures and proper equipment handling. 

CE has been following the approach, "Giving back to the society" since its inception. Though the company doesn’t allocate a fixed budget for its CSR activities, it actively provides its support in the areas where they are needed the most. “We conduct CSR activities on a project basis. We identify problems in an area and go with the needed resources," informs Suman Thapa, Assistant Marketing Manager of the company. 

Meanwhile, CE has also been constructing roads and doing frequent plantation programmes in the areas where it has been developing hydropower projects. 

Besides these, the construction company has been supporting the Nepal Orthpedic Association. It organises frequent blood donation programmes and also supports the Blood Bank by arranging needed blood in case of emergency. CE also funds women empowerment programmes and provides a budget on an annual basis to the Nepal Blind Association. Also, the company supports the Bagmati cleaning programme by providing jackets to some of the campaigners. The company also encourages spiritual practices among people by organising meditation programmes. It also supports 11 orphan children in a school in Kirtipur with the help of funds from company staff. 

SURYA NEPAL

CSR Excellence 
Surya Nepal is considered to have one of the best integrated CSR strategies among the companies in Nepal. Like its parent company ITC Group, the company also has considerable CSR undertakings in the four main areas of community empowerment, tourism, ecological conservation and health. With the stated objective of “Creating Enduring Value for the Society”, Surya Nepal is conducting CSR activities employing four CSR strategies namely, SNPL Asha, SNPL Khelparyatan, SNPL Prakriti and SNPL Suswasthya. A recipient of the prestigious National Excellence Award for being the best managed company in Nepal, the company has also received the National Safety and Environmental Award for its work in the community.

SNPL Asha: Through this strategy, the company focuses on community empowerment. Under this platform, the company is providing vocational training for example in garment sewing and candle making to needy women helping them gain a measure of economic independence by creating sustainable income generating opportunities.  The company has signed a MOU with Morang Chambers of Commerce Industry and has provided employment to 300 women in the local industry in Morang. Surya Nepal also supports public education institutions aiming to enhance the quality of primary education.
 
Similarly, the company provides technical knowledge to farmers about tobacco farming. 

It also organises an educational tour for farmers to exemplary cow farms in Chitwan and fodder tree nursery bat Palpa in order to help them explore themselves in the farming sector. 

The company also has a dairy initiative to enhance milk productivity by improving cattle breeding. Surya Nepal has established two cattle development centres at Santapur and Judibela of Rautahat district focusing on artificial insemination, fodder management, veterinary services and training development while also organising animal health camps and vaccination camps.   

In addition to this, Surya Nepal is also a pioneer of the Annual Social Entrepreneurship Award. The award recognises the best entrepreneur who focuses on employment generation and sustainability. The event was organised for three consequent years in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and each winner receives a purse of Rs 100,000. 

SNPL  Khelparyatan: With this CSR strategy, the company puts its main focus on strengthening the country's economy by promoting sports tourism. SNPL is sponsoring golf tournaments to develop professional golf in Nepal.  The long running SPNL Golf Tour is one of the major golf tournaments in the country. 

SNPL Prakriti: With the stated mission of “Creating Enduring Value Through Environment Preservation”, through this initiative, the company focuses on preserving the environment with various activities around the country.  The environmental commitment of the company has led to its participation in the 'Green Birgunj' campaign where it is active in planting trees in road partitions. 

In addition to this, the company organises tree projects like eucalyptus and poplar tree plantations to boost greenery.  Meanwhile, Surya Nepal has also been encouraging the use of organic fertilisers by providing financial and technical support to farmers in the production of vermin-compost. The company also extends its support in constructing water harvesting ponds in waste lands.   

SNPL Suswasthya: Under this CSR project, the company organises various activities such as free health camps, bed support to patients of spinal injuries, eye camps and dental camps to the underprivileged groups.  Besides donating ambulances and organising blood donation campaigns, the company is collaborating with Nepal Orthopedic Hospital to raise funds for community health programmes.

Apart from these core activities, infrastructural support like the construction of drainages and community toilets are also a part of the company’s CSR initiatives. 

NIMBUS HOLDINGS

Cultivating Partnerships
With the zeal to improve and enhance the quality of the lives of farmers, Nimbus Holdings works with farmers to increase their productivity, to support their families and invest in their farms to build a stronger economic foundation. The CSR activities of Nimbus include free trainings for farmers, free insurance of the livestock of farmers using Shakti Feed, free consulting on livestock and poultry management, along with the establishment of demo farms.  Nimbus has also employed females who are under the protection of Maiti Nepal at Nimbus Krishi Kendra, the company owned one-stop agri-input centre. 

According to Dr Sital Kaji Shrestha, Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs at Nimbus, the CSR activities are developing a bond between farmers and the company.  "Our CSR activities add the sustainability dimension to our business and help promote equal opportunities, health and safety, and value and respect for people," he says. Calling the activities of the company a fruitful partnership, he says that oneof the most important benefits of the CSR is to promote greater efficiency and deliver customer satisfaction through team work. 

Nimbus has assigned “Inclusive Growth” and “Giving Back to Society” as its main CSR themes. "Being socially responsible  has always been the priority of our work culture," says Shrestha, adding, "Activities like training farmers in areas related to poultry, cattle and maize, employing girls from Maiti Nepal in Nepal Krishi Kendra, demonstrates the philosophy and fundamental beliefs of our social commitment.”

The company organises such activities on a routine basis. "We focus on sustainability and participation of all stakeholders in the activities and try to bring behavioural changes in farming practices thus increasing efficiency and profitability," says Shrestha. 

The parent entity of four agri business companies, Nimbus has been organising CSR activities in 65 districts of the country where it has distribution and supply chains. "Nimbus’s CSR policy envisages uplifting the technical and professional ability of its farmer partners thus creating a positive impact in their day to day lives,” says Shrestha.  The impact is made through various on-ground free training sessions given to farmers to better manage their livestock, use sustainable farm practices and uplift crop output through modern farming techniques. According to Shrestha, with the motto of Cultivating Partnerships, the company treats all stakeholders, especially the end users of its products and services, as partners. 

This commitment led Nimbus to launch an insurance scheme named Shakti Helping Hands in 2014 for farmers using Shakti Feed, a livestock pellet produced by Probiotech Industries, to feed their commercial broilers and layer birds in the event of an H5N1 Avian Influenza outbreak in their farms.  “With the belief that enterprises can only develop successfully and be prosperous if all its stakeholders are prosperous and in a position to grow, are resilient to economic and natural shocks/disasters, Nimbus started Shakti Helping Hand to provide compensation to farmers who suffered due to outbreaks of bird flu, and to give poultry insurance,” says Shrestha. 

The company has a substantial budget for its CSR activities. As per Shrestha, Nimbus allocates Rs five million every year for the purpose and has spent Rs 60 million in CSR till date. 

Nimubs Sahayogi Haath: In 2012, the company launched the 'Nimbus Sahayogi Haat' initiative with seed money of Rs 7.5 million to further strengthen its CSR undertakings. Similarly, Nimbus also established the 'Bird Flu Relief Fund' during the Bird Flu epidemic of 2012 to encourage farmers to report the disease without the fear of bearing huge losses. The company has partnered with the Department of Livestock Services and Nepal Veterinary Association to compensate the farmers who have lost their livestock due to the disease.  

PANCHAKANYA GROUP

 

A Responsible Business House
Panchakanya Group has been active in various CSR activities from the start. This leading industrial group has a special focus on conserving cultural and religious heritage along with educational and awareness campaigns.  It frequently mobilises its staff to volunteer in different community related activities. It has organised a number of cleaning and tree plantation programmes at various temple areas. Similarly, it has constructed Panchakanya Devi Mandir in Fikkal, Ilam and a road in the area. Other activities include construction of 'sattals' (resting houses) in some temple premises and providing financial assistance to different temple management organisations. 

The Group conducted a CSR initiative named "Paint a School" in 2012. During the programme, its employees painted the interiors and railings of Shree Ganesh Secondary School located at Kharipati, Bhaktapur. Similarly, it constructed a primary school building in Charpane-1, Jhapa in the memory of Mohan Maya Shrestha, late mother of the Group’s Chairman Prem Bahadur Shrestha. It has also provided financial assistance to Lalit Bahumukhi Campus, Pulchowk and Nepal Bhasa Academy, Kirtipur for various purposes. Also, by collaborating with the NGO Child Reach, the Group has financially assisted the construction of Roshi Higher Secondary School in Katunje, Kavrepalanchowk and Chilaune Secondary School at Sindhupalchowk. Other educational support included assistance in the construction of Shree Pasupati High School at Rupandehi Madhwaliya VDC and a school building in Amlekhgunj of Bara. The company also provided physical infrastructure worth Rs 500,000 to a school being constructed in Deurali VDC, Gorkha and also helped Pamfa Bankariya, the first female student to pass her SLC from the maginalised Bankariya community. She was provided Rs 100,000 by the Group in order to help her study a technical subject at higher education. 

Along with providing financial assistance for the construction of Bhairahawa Multiple Campus, Panchakanya has also constructed a floor of a hospital in Bhairawaha.

Meanwhile, the Group also established 'Panchakanya Technology Innovation and Research Grant' in a bid to encourage Nepali scientists.  

After last year’s devastating earthquake, the Group initiated the building of a community hall in collaboration with Live to Love, a global humanitarian movement. Besides this, it distributed tents and other food items for the earthquake victims in different affected areas. 

Environment is another area of CSR for the Group. On the occasion of Panchakanya Day on Bhadra 19, 2067, the company planted 1,200 trees to minimise greenhouse emissions in 1.5 hectares of land in a community forest near Pharping at a total cost of Rs 110,000. Similarly, the Group also carried out plantation programmes in Dhobighat, Lalitpur, Rupandehi and Parsa Amlekhgunj area on the same date. The programme has been continuing with the Group marking the World Earth Day in April, 2016 by starting a campaign to plant trees on the footpaths in areas including Kupondole, Jawalakhel, Singhadurbar, Tripureshwor-Sundhara and Bhrikutimanadap. 

Panchakanya Group in recent years has been supporting expeditionary and sporting events as part of its CSR activities. The Group supported and helped the "Seven Summit Women's Team" financially. It also financially contributed to the4th Real Kathmandu Marathon 2010 and Mister Nepal (body building) competition held in Kathmandu.  

The company also provided 'Traffic Jackets' to the Traffic Police for their safety during night duties.  Likewise, the Group has been organising blood donation programmes on various occasions. 

EVEREST BANK

Making a Difference
Everest Bank Limited (EBL) has been organising various CSR and philanthropic activities. The bank has been extending its support to public and community educational institutions through EBL’s Adopt a School Initiative which was launched in 2013. Under the Initiative, EBL supports such institutions to improve their infrastructures along with the quality of education. Prior to this, the bank had actively supported public and community schools by donating computers and other items. In 2009, EBL donated 24 computers to 17 schools in different parts of the country. 

Similarly, the bank is also active in supporting differently able people partnering with the Differently Able Youth Organisation Nepal. It has handed over computers and t-shirts to the organisation. Similarly, it provided t-shirts printed with messages of awareness to the Ministry of Environment on the occasion of World Environment day in 2012. In 2011, EBL provided t-shirts to Mataya Jatra Organising Committee in a bid to conserve local culture. Meanwhile, the bank has also supported Sushmita Maskey financially for her expedition to Mount Everest which she had decided to undertake to raise funds to create awareness about rights of Nepali women.  

Some other important contributions of EBL include providing M/s Siddhi Memorial Foundation, a non- government non-profit organisation with a Hydrocholator Machine, a machine used for physiotherapy, in 2010 and financial support during floods in different years. After the April 2015 earthquake, the bank contributed Rs 5million to the PM’s Natural Disaster Relief Fund to aid the quake victims and distributed 500 blankets to keep disaster affected people warm during the winter. 

In addition, the bank has also been providing free remittance facility to people looking to donateto the temples of Pasupatinath and Janaki from across the country and India to the accounts of the respective temple management committees. 

As part of its CSR activities, EBL frequently organises blood donation camps and free health checkup camps in different parts of the country. For the betterment of security services, the bank has also helped the Community Service Committee to construct a police beat at Chabahil, Kathmandu. The bank has also been providing public facilities with pure drinking water. Some examples include Janaki Temple and Geta Eye Hospital, Dhangadi and the most recent at Ratna Rajya Higher Secondary School in Kathmandu. 

MUKTISHREE GROUP

Community Contribution 
Muktishree Group contributes 10 percent of its annual profit for CSR purposes. The Group through Madhab Raj Sumargi Smriti Kosh organises different CSR activities emphasising on education, culture and heritage preservation alongside some 
other areas. 

Bal Sarathi, an independent organisation of Muktishree Group located at Pashupatinath Temple premises is providing free education and meal services to children. “We provide one meal and education for free to the orphans and to the children whose parents cannot afford food and education,” says Ashmita Sumargi, Chairperson of Bal Sarathi who also looks after CSR activities of the Muktishree Group. According to her, the children come to the school for the meal and also get the opportunity to learn. Bal Sarathi School is taking care of 10 orphan children from different parts of the country and provides food and lodging to them. 

Similarly, Madhab Raj Sumargi Smriti Kosh in cooperation with Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) has constructed Bhojan Prasadi Griha for various ritual rites at a cost of Rs 60 million. The income generated from the Bhojan Prasadi Griha goes to PADT. 

The Group has been contributing financially to various temple management committees including the Gokarneshwor Kshestra Vikas Samiti and Koteshower Mahadev Khetra Vikash Thatha Bewastha Samaj for various purposes. It has also been supporting the construction of temples along with the upgrade of public educational institutions. 

Meanwhile, the group has been increasing its community level engagements by constructing earthquake resistance community halls. Using the Inco-panel, a weather proof construction material produced by the Group’s own manufacturing unit, it has built two such facilities in Makawanpur and Kavre districts with each hall having a capacity of 1,000 people. The halls will be handed over to the respective communities soon. In the meantime, the Group has completed two community halls at two districts. A total of 10 community halls are under construction in different parts of the nation at present. 

Likewise, Muktishree Group is financially contributing in infrastructure development projects. It has contributed Rs 10 million to open the Rapti road track in Hetauda through Madhab Raj Sumargi Trust. The Trust has also contributed Rs one million for the expansion of Hetauda Hospital. In the same way, the Group has provided Rs 500,000 to Mahendra Narayan Nidhi Memorial Health Cooperative for the construction of a hospital. Similarly, the Group has given financial assistance to the Chitwan Sahitya Parisad for the development of literature and publishing. In the upcoming days, the Group plans to organise free health camps. “We are planning to hold free eye check-up camps at different old age homes,” informs Sumargi. 

ASIAN PAINTS NEPAL


Shades of Better Future
Asian Paints Nepal has been engaged socially for a better society and environment under the main theme of “Asian Paints Shades of Care”.  The only paint company in the country with waste water Effluent Treatment Plant is active in maintaining the historically remarkable and publicly popular places including Ranipokhari in Kathmandu, Shahid Smarak in Hetauda and ANFA football stadium in Dharan. In addition, the company has also supported the Traffic Police Department Koteshwor, Kathmandu by painting its office building. The leading paints company of the country organises regular tree plantation programmes in the vicinities Asian Paints facilities.  Besides these, the company in a bid to improve public environment and promote cultural pride has also engaged itself in different projects for coloring Kathmandu by mural painting. In collaboration with the Art Lab, the company has supported artists to create various wall paintings with positive vibes under various themes like relationship, life, transformations and identities that.

Asian Paints Nepal has also prioritised education and supporting differently able in its CSR initiatives. The company is providing education to 50 deprived children by collaborating with Women for Human Right, Single Women Group (WHR), an organisation working for the rights of single women. Meanwhile, it has also distributed Braille equipments to visually impaired students studying in different schools throughout the country.  The company worked with Fellowship Society Nepal, an organisation working to provide education, health and employment to visually challenged people.    

The company also supported Mendies Haven, a home for deprived and neglected children by giving out essential goods like heaters, television and toys for the children in the organisation. Apart from these activities, the paints manufacturer has been active in painting classrooms and other facilities of various educational institutions in different parts of the country. 

Asian Paints Nepal has also contributed in constructing shelters to the last year’s devastating earthquake victims.  It constructed temporary shelters for 30 families in Parigaon, Naubise VDC of Kathmandu. Besides the shelters, the company has also build roads, waste management bins, solar lights in the quake affected area by associating itself with SEEDS, an Indian NGO to provide shelters and other facilities in the reconstruction site. Both the organisations handed over the facilities to the affected families exactly on the anniversary day of the earthquake.  

BHAT-BHATENI SUPERMARKET & DEPARTMENTAL STORE

Giving Back to Community
Bhat-Bhateni Supermarket and Departmental Store (BBSM) has been focusing its CSR efforts in sectors including education, sports, health and environment. The CSR policy of the company is Giving Back to the Local Community. BBSM has funded the emergency wing of the Teaching Hospital in Maharajgunj. The departmental storechain has also actively engaged itself in disaster affected areas by donating various basic items to the victims of natural disasters in various parts of the country. 

In the field of education, BBSM provides scholarships to two students of remote areas for a five year long MBBS programme. It has also constructed school buildings in remote areas.

Aiming to reduce environmental pollution, the company has constructed attractive green parks in Maharajgunj, Baluwatar and Koteshwor. BBSM has been actively promoting the 'Just Say No to Plastic Bags' campaign since 2009. The company has been implementing the campaign by completely replacing polythene bangs with environment friendly bio-degradable bagswith a certain cost in recent years. Earlier, the company used to charge one rupee for polythene bags given to its customers transferring it to an environment fund. 

Meanwhile, the company has been providing financial contributions to templesin various areas of Kathmandu, outside the capital and even in Haridwar, Indiain a bid to preserve Nepali heritage. 

According to Rukita Pradhanang, COO of Trikon Advertising Service which looks after the CSR activities of BBSM, the company is energetically contributing to the Nepali sports sector. It has been providing Rs 20,000 for national level swimmers on a monthly basis and Rs 100,000 for every record they break in an international sporting event. BBSM actively helps people from economically deprived and conflict affected communities by providing them employment opportunities in the company. In the meantime, it also supports the local farmers and entrepreneurs by purchasing their products to sell in its stores. 

CHAUDHARY GROUP

Enduring Social Responsibility
The Chaudhary Group employs some of the most integrated CSR strategies among the business houses in Nepal. Being socially responsible is historically embedded in the Nepal-based multinational conglomerate’s initiatives as it has been actively engaged in CSR and philanthropy activities since the days of the Group’s Founder Lunkaran Das Chaudhary. It has a separate CSR arm known as the Chaudhary Foundation (CF) to conduct activities in six priority areas of Livelihood and Skill Development, Post Disaster Response and Management, Enterprise Development, Education, Heritage and Spiritual Development and Health and Sanitation.

Established in 1995, CF has chosen Sustainable Social Reform as its main theme to take its initiatives towards a sustainable and focused model. It has introduced different programmes in social, economic and environmental sectors. 

Livelihood and Skill Development: CF has introduced two programmes CG Shipshikshya and CG Unnati under the Livelihood and Skill Development programme. The Foundation has a training centre located at CG Industrial Park, Nawalparasi that provides various vocational trainings in professions including masonry, carpentry, and electrical works, among others. In order to support people rebuilding and reconstructing houses after last year’s earthquake, CF has been organising a special project at earthquake affected districts. 

Similarly, the Unnati programme is promoting sustainable livelihoods through women empowerment. Unnati aims to support women from socially deprived communities by providing income generating opportunities. Joining hands with National Micro-Entrepreneurs Federation Nepal (NMEFEN), CF provides skills and capacity development training to the women through women micro-entrepreneurs.  It is helping the women to become self-reliant by teaching them to make handmade paper, along with hemp and bamboo products, textiles, cashmere, felt and organic food items. It also supports them from fundraising to marketing.

Post Disaster Response and Management: CF has a Post Disaster Response and Management programme to look after emergency relief operations and the management of victims in an event of a natural disaster. The programme quickly mobilized rescue, relief and recovery efforts immediately after the devastating earthquake of April 2015. Through the programme, CF has built 2,520 transitional shelters and 40 semi-permanent schools in 10 out of 14 highly affected districts. After the earthquake, the post-disaster response and management was divided into three phases. Phase one concluded with the distribution of emergency relief items of food, water and medical supplies to the affected people while also helped remove rubble in different areas of Lalitpur district. In phase two, necessary relief aid such as tents, bottled water, noodles, juice were distributed using CG Foods distribution and logistics network. Meanwhile, the ongoing phase three of the programme is focused on reconstruction and rehabilitation. The phase has been divided into three projects namely, CG Ashraya, CG Shikshyalaya and CG Sipsikchya to build transitional shelters and schools in the quake hit districts and provide demand driven skill-based vocational training to the youths of the affected areas.  Chaudhary Group has made a commitment of USD 2.5 million  through the Foundation to restore schools and homes.  

Enterprise Development: CF under Enterprise Development has Nepal Social Business (NSB) programme that has incubated about two dozen social business projects in ten districts in sectors like organic food processing, agriculture, garments, dairy and environment protection and metal crafts production. CF partners with Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) for NSB. The programme aims to create greater social impact and accelerate development works throughout the country. The Foundation has trained over 100 entrepreneurs and incubated 22 projects. NSB has mainly focused its activities in the mid and far-western regions of the country. In a recent move, CF and LCIF announced additional investment of USD 500,000 to promote enterprises. Nepal Social Business is now engaged in tourism development of Lower Dolpa region from Jufal to Lake Phoksundo. The project has envisioned keeping the lower Dolpo trail in a global trekking map which will ultimately uplift the livelihood of the region and help in overall development of Dolpa district.

Education: The Foundation’s Education programme is taking a qualitative approach to enhance public education through the Quality School Program (QSP) and Gyan Udaya Scholarship. QSP is focused on the enhancement of information and technology (IT) learning by upgrading existing IT facilities and services of educational institutions. It provides capacity development workshops and necessary resources as per the need of the institutions. In the meantime, CF is providing scholarships to deserving students from families with low income under the Gyan Udaya Scholarship on an annual basis. The programme has been implemented in selected schools of Nawalparasi along with Adarsha School of Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. Introduced in 2010, CF has provided the scholarships to more than 1,000 students.

Heritage and Spiritual Development: Under the programme, CF aims to preserve cultural heritage and provide inner peace and tranquility to the people. It has CG Shashwat Dham located at Nawalparasi for the purpose where Brahmin children are trained with the Gurukul-based ancient methodology to carry out various rituals and rites. Similarly, with the Pashupapti Aryaghat Revitalisation Project (PRP), CF is engaged in preserving one of the most sacred sites of the Hindus. Chaudhary Group’s Chairman Binod Chaudhary has been personally engaged in maintaining the Pashupatinath Temple and adjacent areas.

Health and Sanitation: This programme of CF focuses on improving the health of the people of rural areas through the WASH and Women’s Health initiatives. It conducts various WASH related activities to upgrade healthy living standards of people in various parts of the country.  The programme supports activities such as health promotion, safe drinking water and capacity building. These include distribution of information, education and communication (IEC) materials, community awareness, providing clean and safe drinking water to schools and operations and maintenance of WASH facilities.  Likewise, through the Women’s Health initiative, CF, coordinating with women's groups across various parts of the country, organises health camps and provides training to produce low cost sanitary napkins.  

Through CF, Chaudhary Group identifies and designs various CSR areas for its various business verticals as per the need of these program areas. CG Foods, for instance, has been engaged in research and development alongside training of nutritious food production in Jumla district. Through the social business initiatives, CF has incubated and invested on nutritious food production factor in Jumla with main objective to address malnutrition among children and lactating mothers of Jumla. CG Foods has not only done the R&D but also has been providing its mentoring for the operation of the factory in Jumla. Similarly, CG Cement is now engaged in CF’s Post Disaster Management program, where it supports in procurement and supply of construction material required for the rebuilding activities. 

CF’s CSR activities are scattered in various districts including Nawalparasi, districts of far-west and mid-west development region and earthquake affected mid-hilly region of the country. 

The Group’s CSR initiatives are also equally responsible towards its employees. It runs various programs such as Great Work Place to benefit the employees. The Group’s various CSR programs are not just for fulfilling the regulatory requirement or just doing philanthropic work, it aims to be part of the holistic development and bring sustainable social reform. The Group seeks to directly impact national goals in reaching the current sustainable development goals through the output of these projects. “Our goal is to contribute towards the National priority to become a developing country by 2022. As a private sector we are committed towards the development of this nation and we will continue to do so in coming days,” says Managing Director Nirvana Chaudhary.

Chaudhary Group’s Chairman Binod K Chaudhary is a renowned philanthropist in the country. He says, “Philanthropy should not be compromised and it is not an object of trade. It comes from your heart. It should be done for the wellbeing of others. 'Service to the people' is the most important ethics that any organization, person, or country should follow. Our overall objective is to make our country and people more prosperous and self reliant.” He was awarded with Asian Humanitarian Man of the year in 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters by an international organization We Care for Humanity for his active engagement in post-disaster works.  

BOTTLERS NEPAL

Protecting Environment, Empowering Women 
The producer of Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and other soft drinks in Nepal has multiple CSR initiatives at its disposal aiming to have a positive environmental and social impact. 

The company focuses on initiatives to reduce the effects of its operations on the environment, support livelihood opportunities, create a safe and inclusive work environment for its associates and enhance the economic development of communities where it operates. 

“We believe that CSR is a long-term approach to business that addresses the needs of communities, people and the company,” says Puneet Varshney, Director of Bottlers Nepal Limited. “We endeavour to grow sustainably and will continue to make significant contributions to the communities in Nepal, through engrossed support of our finances, time and expertise through various community upliftment programmes.” 

The company has prioritised its CSR activities in three key areas of Women Empowerment, WASH and Sustainable Environment along with community support programmes. 

Women Empowerment: Since April 2013, the company has been conducting the Shopkeeper Training and Resources (STAR) programme, a part of the Coca-Cola Company's global campaign to empower five million women worldwide by 2020.  Through a programme named '5by20', the company has been providing full-day workshops to women retailers at various parts of Nepal to empower women through entrepreneurship for inclusive growth.  According to Bottlers Nepal, the programme has a goal to empower 10,000 women retailers by 2020 and has already empowered more than 3,000 women retailers throughout the country till date. 

WASH: Bottlers Nepal is actively working to increase access of students to adequate sanitation facilities in schools. The company started this programme realising that many schools in the country do not have toilet facilities and only one-fourth of the schools have separate facilities for girls which lead to absenteeism or children dropping out of school. More than 17,000 students from 33 schools in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur have benefitted from this campaign till date. The company runs this campaign partnering with some INGO's prioritising issues such as clean drinking  water supply, sports facilities, sanitation, libraries, Green Audit and tree Plantation drives alongside rain water harvesting techniques. 

Sustainable Environment: The company is one of the partners of Nepal’s first PET bottle recollection initiative in Kathmandu. The initiative aims to contribute to a cleaner environment by using a responsible mechanism for collection and disposal of used PET bottles in Nepal. Through this initiative, nearly 300 tonnes of PET bottles have been collected from Kathmandu and successfully exported to India for recycling and reuse. The company has joined hands with Himalayan Climate Initiative, Coca-Cola Foundation, GIZ, UN Habitat, Practical Action and Ganesha Ecosphere for the “PET Bottle Recycling Social Enterprise”, which it hopes will eventually take the form of a self-sustained social enterprise. 

Community support programmes: The company has also been supporting communities in Kathmandu and Bharatpur where it has its production facilities in line with the company’s credence, with programmes that address their need for basic necessities such as access to drinking water and health facilities. 

(Prepared and compiled by Krishana Prasain, Nikeeta Gautam and Gagan Shrestha)


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Ojaswi Rana

On what bases were these particular companies chosen? Is the article based on these companies' CSR activities till date or those in 2016?

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