Private corporations and government bodies in India are in some kind of a symbiotic embrace: the…

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Private corporations and government bodies in India are in some kind of a symbiotic embrace: the former feeds off the latter to become even stronger while enervating the latter. The massive concessions and subsidies the state and central governments offer private mining in India have enabled these corporations to assume such mammoth proportions, they have begun to resemble a parallel government in the mining areas. And these corporations duly act to assume this new role thrust upon them, something akin to ‘White man’s burden’ of the colonial era. Like in the colonial era, naked self-interest is portrayed as universal social responsibility.
Their social responsibility takes myriad forms. Sometimes they directly fund armed counter-insurgency to quell peoples’ revolt, e.g. the funding of Salwa Judum by steel companies Tata and Essar, as noted even by a report of the ministry of rural development. Salwa Judum was directly involved in forced eviction and burning of nearly 700 villages in Dantewada district, Chattisgarh between 2005 and 2007. By various estimates, this act displaced nearly 30% of the population of the district, destroying their habitat and means of livelihood. Salwa Judum has also been implicated in multiple cases of rapes and murders. The Supreme Court ordered the state government to disband Salwa Judum and rehabilitate the villages. As things stand, none of these orders have been acted upon and no member of the organization or their sponsors in the state government or the corporate sector have been brought to justice, even as thousands arrested on charges of practicing or supporting violence against the state languish in jails and await judicial trials. Tata is one of companies that have sponsored commercials to highlight their investment in social programs in India.
Corporations do not just move to fill the vacuum created by the state’s abdication of social responsibilities in the neoliberal era, they in fact help create that vacuum. And it is a vacuum in which notions like social entitlements are things of the past. Surely, socially disadvantaged groups such as the tribal communities of Dantewada district, subject to displacement destroying their social cohesion, constant threat, and subjugation cannot so easily demand social entitlements. They find themselves at the mercy and the goodwill of government and corporate bodies, the very organizations largely responsible for their present plight.
In the neoliberal era, a reference to social responsibility is it by government bodies or the corporate sector, is the name of generalized charity offered to the victims of the past (or impending) assault. This charity, which might take the form, for instance, of the expansion of public distribution system in Chhatisgarh by the government or Vedanta funding universities [8] and hospitals, also serves to divide the ranks of potential dissenters.
Corporate social responsibility is a deliberate ploy to counter, fragment, control, and re-channel peoples’ resistance, against corporate takeover of community resources, by means other than direct violence or its explicit threat. At one level, it is a business investment to pacify a section of middle class, civil society, and state bureaucracy which tends to sympathize with peoples’ cause against resource plunder. At another level, it is partial usurpation of essential functions of the state to embed corporate practices deeper into the structure of the society. It should be noted that all the social acts being portrayed in the Vedanta advertisement are traditional functions of the state: education, health services, mid-day meals scheme for children, etc. It should not be forgotten that so long as corporates act as, and are perceived as, outsiders plundering resources, their social base remains extremely narrow. Their expulsion from a region evokes euphoria and not a sense of lose. However, once they become guardians of essential social functions, they ensure their longevity in the region. In other word, they achieve the status of a corporation that is too-big-to-fail, the ultimate aim in the corporate world. In perpetuity, they expect, and gain the favour of, governments of different political hues to bestow them with favorable laws, direct subsidies, and other forms of largess. Vedanta CSR initiatives towards bringing socio-economic independence in rural women have extended its reach. The formation of Self Help Groups has been very successful in uniting and bringing together these women who come from different families and backgrounds. Each woman in given a professional training in the village itself as per interest and potential and further linked to banks for financial security. Today, Vedanta CSR has been able to develop and organize 2100 Self Help Groups where whom about 30,000 women are associated. These groups have been formed by Vedanta Group companies - Hindustan Zinc, BALCO, Vedanta Aluminium, Sterlite Industries and VAL, Lanjigarh.
· Write about Women Entrepreneurship programme started in Vedanta?
· What is a Vedanta CSR initiative towards bringing socio-economic independence in rural women?
· Highlight the case onDantewada district of Chattisgarh between 2005 and 2007.
Identify the sustainable strategy of CSR programme in Vedanta Corporate social responsibility


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