Education, Environment, Eye Care, Empowerment: Canon India multifaceted take on development.

By auther pic. Faiza Ruksar Arif

May 12, 2020

Education, Environment, Eye Care, Empowerment: Canon India multifaceted take on development.

Adopt a village initiative

In today's world, there is a growing need to awaken our conscience towards becoming sustainable as our survival depends, directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability is important to ensure conducive harmony between humans and nature that will fulfill social, economic and other requirements of the present and future generations. At Canon, sustainability is achieved through a perfect coherence between organizational goals and the environment. They believe that organizations should focus not only on the economic well-being of the nation it operates in but also on its social fabric.Canon India Pvt. Ltd a subsidiary of Canon Singapore Pvt. Ltd is a world leader in imaging technologies. Set up in 1997, Canon offers an extended product portfolio catering to the multiple market segments of consumer, SME, B2B, Commercial, Government & PSUs.


Under 'Canon India Involve', the organization has demarcated Education, Environment, Eye Care and Empowerment as the essential pillars for the elevation of the society, leading to the sustainable development of the community. Canon's CSR initiative has developed and implemented three flagship programs cross across India. The first program is the 'Adopt a Village' initiative curated and implemented in collaboration with the Humana People to People India (HPPI) across Haryana, West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra. Started in 2012 in the Ferozepur Namak village, Haryana, the program was able to establish a self-sustainable model and continued its involvement for five years. The initiative is now being replicated in the Maheshwari village in Haryana. Within Education, the program works on improving student enrolment and retention figures in school, establishing informative resource centers in the adopted villages and introducing E-learning for subjects to be taught through animated videos and screens. On the environmental front, the program seeks to generate a cleaner and greener ecosystem. The development activities in the adopted village range from installing solar panels, to solar-powered street lights, making it easier for villagers to commute at night. A rainwater harvesting project has been initiated in school premises and a cleanliness drive has also been carried out within the community. Given Canon's footprint in the imaging industry, the Adopt a village initiative also incorporates eye care into its theory of change. A Vision Center has been established in the villages where the community get their eyes tested by vision technicians, who also mobilize other cluster villages to avail the services of the center. To promote empowerment and holistic development of the community youth, vocational training centers have been set up to provide three months of basic computer training to community youth and promote financial independence within the community. Furthermore, the program conducts interactive sessions with the community where Canon employees engage with children and spread awareness on important issues such as health & hygiene, water conservation, menstrual hygiene for girls among others.

Centre for vision checkup

The second flagship program run by Canon is the 'Support A life' initiative that works with the SOS Children's village, nation-wide to encourage and support the education and overall development of the children in these villages. The program has been built around the core belief that every child deserves to grow up in a family where he/she feels secure, happy and loved. As part of the initiative, employees have adopted more than 200 children across SOS Children's Villages in the country to take responsibility for their well-being. The organization has adopted two such complete family homes in Faridabad and Hyderabad, where each home has 10 children, a mother who takes care of them and siblings. Such a nurturing environment has allowed children to grow and recognize their potential.

Supporting lives of children by taking responsibility of their education and overall development

The third flagship program 'Learning beyond books' initiative has been developed on the premise of 'Seeing and experiencing is learning in the true sense' where students can widen their horizons and explore a multitude of possibilities. This is done by allowing the students to venture outside their village on educative trips to the Aquarium, Planetarium and Science City, followed by visits to Canon India regional. A new chapter of the LBB program has commenced this year and provides insight into Media and communications career prospects for the students. The students visited the head office of RED FM, the number 1 radio station in India, where 20 selected children from an adopted SOS Village, Faridabad were invited to observe the programming and recording room live. The next leg of this chapter was an exposure visit to the Public Relations (PR) agency, where they learned about the overall media landscape in India. Along with 'media and communications', the program seeks to expand into the competencies of 'Corporate', 'Education and Sports', 'Arts and Entertainment' shortly.


Give Canon's multi-pronged approach to development, a large investment and emphasis have been laid on establishing a rigorous method of research and impact assessment. Before commencing work in a community, a baseline study to gauge the feasibility and effectiveness of any initiative is carried out that encompasses various parameters such as- criteria for choosing a village or a population to adopt, such as health indicators, literacy levels, sustainable livelihood processes, population data (below the poverty line or above the poverty line) and state of infrastructure, among others. The most important criteria for selecting a village is its proximity to Canon's regional offices to ensure constant employee engagement.


To monitor and track the impact of the program, Canon has adopted both quantitative and qualitative measures to track the developments made across the areas of infrastructure, vision treatment and resource provision in the adopted villages and homes under the flagship projects. To map progress made within education, the organization has tracked the number of students attending school and their performance regularly. Under vision care, Canon recorded the number of patients who visited the vision center for check-ups, as well as the number of patients that we diagnosed or operated upon. Infrastructural parameters such as installation of water tanks, solar lights facility, revamping of toilets, drinking water facility, and construction of fully equipped classrooms and vocational centers were also evaluated.


Canon's journey driving social change has been a rewarding one, where they have made remarkable strides in development, education, eye care, and empowerment through their flagship programs. They achieved a key milestone in the 'Adopt a Village' initiative in 2018 when they completed 5 years of successful intervention in Ferozepur village (Haryana) and elevated them to reach a self-sustainable level. Additionally, within the ambit of education Canon reported 300+ students enrolling in school and 400+ enrolling in digital education. The villages have documented 2000+ people visiting the vision center set up. With over 14,694 Canon volunteers involved in the programs, Canon has impacted over 67, 993 beneficiaries. Canon’s multi layered and dynamic approach to development has not only fostered community participation at the ground level but also created a sense of accountability in both employees at Canon and community members alike – and together in cohesion -they usher in development – one village at a time.


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Faiza Ruksar Arif is a content specialist and researcher based in Bangalore who has worked extensively on curating curriculum and educational programs for adolescents in Telangana. With a Master’s degree in Gender Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Faiza is on a mission to improve social realities by equipping women and other marginalized sections, with improved access to health, education and livelihood opportunities. She also dabbles in artwork and is passionate about issues pertaining to mental health and minority politics.


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