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Project Sarthi- CSR project by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited with a spent of INR 17.2 crores in the year 2018-19

By Gaver Chatterjee On 30 September 2019
Project Sarthi- CSR project by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited with a spent of INR 17.2 crores in the year 2018-19

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) has put a substantial part of its CSR funds into a much-needed issue not commonly addressed by corporate India. It is supporting Project Sarthi an initiative launched by the Subhash Chandra Foundation, to make people aware of their rights and duties, along with government entitlements. With the aim of strengthening the ability of citizens by providing robust empowerment platforms to them, ZEEL has pumped 17.2 crores into Project Sarthi.

Today even educated citizens in urban areas are quite clued-out on matters of rights, duties and government entitlements. With this being the case, an intervention like Project Sarthi is sorely required, in both urban and rural India, particularly amongst sections of society which are socio-economically weak. By connecting ‘change seekers’ to ‘change makers’, Project Sarthi gives those who wish to bring about change for betterment, the meansto take action and work towards that change. The project is the flagship programme of the Subhash Chandra Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Essel Group of which Subhash Chandra is the Chairman. The foundation, through its various initiatives has been enabling development in several areas, by empowering people and the society through capacity building. The objective of the foundation is to help create and support models across sectors (spanning from the mainstream to niche sectors), that provide for an equitable and sustainable society. The foundation’s approach is to support programs and institutions focused on developing, enabling and empowering society, through grant making, direct intervention and collaboration with sector entities and subject matter experts. Its key focus areas include programs on early child education, integrated rural development, entrepreneurship and empowerment. Other areas that continue to get immense support through the foundation include preventive healthcare, gender equality, environment and technology-led innovation projects focused on social impact.

Subhas Chandra launched Zee TV in 1992. The Essel Group which was celebrating 90 years of completion, launched its Project Sarthi initiative and its English global news network, WION – World Is One News, in May 2017 in the presence of none other than the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of the country Pranab Mukherjee.

Project Sarthi, (the word Sarthi translates into the one who drives in the right direction), aims to create a domino affect of positive change. Its intention is to facilitate a situation where citizens become aware of their rights and understand their duties. It aims to give them the means to raise their voices against the issues faced by them and in turn provide the right channel to address and resolve them.

Project Sarthi constitutes a network of like-minded institutions such as government departments, non-government organizations, corporate foundations and voluntary organizations, which are working towards the common goal of building a well - informed and empowered nation to bring about sustainable positive change.

The intervention areas of the project are the RTE Act Section 12 (1) (c) under which it particularly looks to restart education for dropout students, alternate livelihood (especially skill building and micro entrepreneurship) and women empowerment (particularly with a focus on prevention of female foeticide and prevention of child marriage). It also focusses on health (predominantly child immunization and awareness and access to early diagnosis) and social justice (with a keen focus on prevention of domestic violence).

As it expands its horizons, Project Sarthi is constantly increasing its number of partner sansthans (its on-ground partners to deliver impact). The process followed is that the change seekers connect with the team on the phone for solutions and the on-ground team, in collaboration with partner sansthans provide hand-holding support to these change seekers. Hence the project is constantly looking at increasing its number of partner sansthans to help it with a quick turn around.  Sarthi has a network of well over 1000 partner sansthans. The project provides rigorous training to its on-ground team members with special emphasis on training in soft-skills and knowledge of the social context of the states where it has a presence. It maintains a library to keep all the government schemes handy. This is updated on a regular basis.

In recognition of its path-breaking work, the foundation received an invitation to present the Sarthi case study at the India Social Work Congress organized by the National Association of Professional Social Workers. This platform aims to support scholars and practitioners identify effective means to address the challenges faced by society at large.

Project Sarthi, has been operational in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh since 2016. In 2018, the foundation expanded operation to the states of Bihar and Jharkhand, especially addressing the issues of domestic violence, health and livelihood. As of early 2019, Project, Sarthi has empowered more than 1.43 lac voices through its support services in the areas of education, livelihood, health care, domestic violence, early child marriage and micro entrepreneurship.

Tag : Women Empowerment Livelihoods CSR CSR Impacts CSR in India

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