The local branch of the Life Insurance Corporation of India, a company which has been conducting
long-term insurance activity in Mauritius for decades, contributed this week a sum of Rs 500,000 to support the activities of the NGO SOS Villages d’Enfants Maurice as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
This is one of a series of donations made by the company to make for a better-balanced society in Mauritius in which inequalities of income and wealth have left behind a number of vulnerable people at the bottom of the ladder.
The sum donated by the insurance company’s represents its this year’s support for the cause of vulnerable groups in the population, a cause which the Indian life insurer has made its own since a long number of years. The money will be used to support village-level family houses and to provide a balanced diet to children in need as well as their medical and daily family requirements. Mr Biswajeet Ganguly, Chief Manager of LIC of India Mauritius Branch stated that it is the policy of the group to provide support in the fields of health, education and adding to the means of people who are vulnerable members of society.
It will be recalled that questions were raised in the past about whether companies operating in the country were attentive enough to fostering the social and economic environment in which they carried out their activities. Policy-makers came to the conclusion that not all companies were consciously supporting the society in which they earned profits. They also feared that some corporates donated CSR money to their own selectively to certain NGOs related to them after it was made a requirement for them to contribute voluntarily to the social cause.
In past years, the Ministry of Finance made it compulsory for companies to contribute a small percentage of their earnings to CSR or, alternatively, to pay up this amount as a tax to the government so that the latter could use the funds so received to help targeted vulnerable groups in society. One would have wished that companies would, on their own, have objectively undertaken donations to the beneficiaries in the government’s specified list of CSR beneficiaries.
Companies like the LIC have thankfully made it part of their mission to voluntarily and objectively sustain the entire environment which makes it possible to undertake their activity. While it is true that a positive and sustained social, economic and environmental set-up helps companies make profits, it would have been far better if they heartily shared with society part of their gains instead of looking at CSR essentially as a means for buttressing their profits.
The LIC deserves to be congratulated for its altruistic approach to the issue of the CSR and we would have wished that all local companies adopted it in the same spirit.