Corporate social responsibility and COVID-19: India's business sector takes action
Researchers at Jaipur National University have examined how companies have been affected by COVID-19 lockdown in terms of their programs of corporate social responsibility. Manish Kumar Dwivedi and Vineet Kumar writing in the International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management looked at this issue from the psychological, social, cultural, and economic perspectives.
They report that in the wake of the enormous hardships being faced by people in India, many companies have taken their CSR very seriously in response. They have, they explain provided financial assistance in the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund). They have also contributed in different ways to fighting the virus. "CSR activities include engaging in the manufacturing and distribution of masks, sanitizers, and personal protective equipment (PPE), providing meals to the downtrodden and making arrangements for quarantine centers," the team writes.
At the time of writing, there have been almost 170 million cases of COVID-19, the novel disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. It has led to the deaths of approximately 3.5 million people. There are many emergent strains of the virus and one of those, a double mutation variant known as "lineage B.1.617," is wreaking havoc on the population of India and has spread to many other parts of the world. Given the nature of this pandemic, the pressure is on governments to enlist the help of corporate entities in combating the disease and releasing us from the grip of this pandemic.
For their part, governments must rise to the challenge too and invest in and strengthen public healthcare. The researchers add that India, specifically, could do well to learn the lessons of how to respond to this pandemic, and perhaps future pandemics, by the approaches taken by Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and China. This is critical given that social distancing and lockdown measures that are plausible in some richer less densely populated parts of the world are not viable in many parts of India, for instance.