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Putting spotlight on root causes of under-development

Mar 22, 2017

A round table discussion is expected to trigger a discourse on the transformational role of the media in linking business responsibility with social justice.

New Delhi: Business is booming in India, but the benefits are not trickling down to everyone, particularly the last mile people. Even most of the philanthropic and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in India are being carried out following a charity or a responsibility approach, but the basic structural causes of underdevelopment still remain largely neglected.

After promulgation of the Companies Act - 2013, the media has kept the spotlight mostly on the discourse triggered by policies of the government or practices of companies. Today most of the business responsibility initiatives in India seek to attend to obvious problems, but the real structural causes of underdevelopment remain largely neglected.

While even large scale welfare measures are being taken up under business responsibility initiatives, redressal of root causes of social, economic and environmental challenges get largely ignored by businesses and consequently media reporting is missing.

With a strong belief that India can develop meaningfully only when social equity and justice are guaranteed for every human being, two NGOs -- National Foundation for India and OneWorld Foundation India -- are working together to strengthen the linkages between business responsibility and social justice for public welfare and social transformation. The challenge in India is not just to address these issues, but also to build awareness and understanding on the issue.

Given this backdrop, the round table discussion on ‘Business Responsibility and Social Justice: The Role of Media’, which is being organised by National Foundation for India and OneWorld Foundation India, seeks to take stock of the media landscape on the subject and trigger a discourse on the transformational role of the media.

Acclaimed journalists and educators like Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Editor, Economic and Political Weekly; Vinod Sharma, Chief of Political Bureau, Hindustan Times; Subhomoy Bhattacharjee, Consulting Editor at Business Standard; Rakesh Khar, Editor - Special Projects, Network 18; Akrita Reyar, Group Editor (Digital) at Zee Media; Charanjit Ahuja,          Editor-in-Chief at Tehelka; Jayanta Roy Chowdhury, Senior Editor, The Telegraph;  Asha Ramachandran, Features Editor, The Statesman; Vartika Nanda of Lady Shri Ram College, and Anand Pradhan, Associate Professor, IIMC, amongst others are going to participate in the round table.

The media round table follows a recent panel discussion on ‘Social Justice Philanthropy: Old Challenges, New Opportunities’, organised by National Foundation of India and OneWorld Foundation India, which saw eminent corporate and civil society leaders flag the challenges and point to the emerging opportunities.

Besides, National Foundation of India and OneWorld Foundation India have also partnered to produce and broadcast a series of radio programmes on social justice philanthropy on AIR FM Rainbow.

Through a series of radio programmes on social justice philanthropy on AIR FM Rainbow, NFI and OneWorld sought to look at development issues and how social justice philanthropy can help to address them.

The objective of these radio programmes is to initiate and strengthen direct conversations and interface with existing and potential private sector philanthropists in India through a diverse mix of dialogues and actions.

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