Oceanic Pharmachem: Maximizing educational outreach efforts for a lasting CSR difference
Oceanic Pharmachem Private Limited (OPPL) believes that companies have to begin thinking more strategically about interventions in educational activities to create a global workforce.
Education is considered the backbone of a flourishing society; but the crux lies in the quality of education.
In India, out of the 229 million students enrolled for class I-XII, only a minor section receives proper education with good teachers and teaching aids. According to UNICEF, 40-50 per cent in the 15-18 years age group drop out of schools, which leads to child-labour, without access to professional skilling. In 2015, about 290 million people aged 15 years and older lacked the basic reading and writing skills needed to accomplish simple tasks such as reading a medicine label or filling out an application, costing the country over 53 billion dollars a year in GDP revenue. Despite major progress in the public education sector over the years, approximately 1 in 4 working youths is illiterate and less than 1 in 5 completes secondary education.
Today, education faces the rising challenges of standardized testing, strained budgets, teacher retention, and global workforce competition. Businesses have to take a more targeted approach in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs and seek to impact areas that have a correlation with their own business goals.
OPPL recognises education as one of the building blocks of our nation and consider it as a priority area for its CSR activities. The aim is to nurture young minds and educate them, so that they contribute to the nation’s development. Realising the importance and relevance of education, a number of initiatives have been undertaken in this respect to benefit the communities the company is operating in, by helping to increase the literacy levels of these areas.
As an integral element of being a socially responsible organization, OPPL has instituted its CSR policy, wherein it sets across a certain percentage of its gross revenues for such purposes. The Company will undertake initiatives in the areas of:
1. Education of underprivileged children with an emphasis on learning achievement
2. Use of digital media for education, including PCs, laptops, tabs
3. Livelihood generation & Professional upskilling
4. Such other projects or programmes as may be approved under the Annexure to the CSR provisions of the Companies Act
OPPL, in its vision for holistic CSR in education, has sponsored more than 100 bright students for higher education, in the last year.
OPPL also has an open policy of matching employee contributions and of supporting causes chosen by employees, which are not covered by company’s CSR policy.
The company also looks forward to actively partnering with non-government organizations in such initiatives.