In conversation with Ms. Ashwini Deodeshmukh, Head CSR & Sustainability Reporting at Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.

Ms. Ashwini Deodeshmukh is the Head CSR & Sustainability Reporting at Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd. She has been in the social impact space for the past 16 years, currently spearheading CSR projects for the company including the flagship pan India Employability program - DISHA and Community development projects across 9 locations. She is responsible for enabling consistent progress on sustainability targets by monitoring, collation, and reporting of data as per established Sustainability reporting standards. She is a graduate from LS Raheja School of Architecture and has further completed her MBA program in Sales and Marketing from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management.

Ms. Ashwini Deodeshmukh answered the following questions during the impact talk:

1. Before we begin, could you share with us the journey of the organisation towards sustainability and its key areas of work with reference to CSR?

2. There is a skill gap in India amongst the youth. What do you think are the major obstacles for young people specially from underprivileged communities in finding viable employment opportunities?

3. Godrej's Project Disha works on providing training to underprivileged youth in order to equip them with skills for employment. What kind of support does the programme provide and how has that translated into better employment opportunities for young people?

4. When it comes to reaching out to the youth and specifically young women, what approach does the programme take - have there been any challenges that you've faced and how have you worked on overcoming them?

5. Do you think the global pandemic has also brought a roadblock for employment opportunities for young people from underprivileged areas or communities? And if so, what kind of changes have you implemented to tackle the new challenges?

6. How does the vocational training provided by Project Disha incorporate green technology or sustainable methods and how important do you think these are in preparing the future workforce?

7. How do you see the efforts evolving over time, with regards to forging partnerships with the public or private sector, strengthening existing systems and bringing in best practices for everyone to benefit from?

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