Think Differently with Red Blaze: CSR opportunities in India

by Cat Preston

With a rich cultural heritage, diverse populations and a booming economy, India presents a unique and compelling destination for business trips. While its picturesque scenery and sumptuous food options make it perfect for incentive travel, there is more to explore in this melting pot of culture.

Its rapidly changing socio-economic landscape presents many opportunities for meaningful corporate social responsibility (CSR) and diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. The country’s efforts towards sustainable development, women’s empowerment, education, and healthcare present a wealth of opportunities for organisations to make a significant impact. Moreover, India’s wealth of cultural and historical touchpoints offers unique learning experiences, and the chance to make a difference to the lives of its citizens.

During a recent trip to India, we got to experience this firsthand and had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the local culture and community. We wanted to write about two  examples we got to enjoy when visiting India recently.

The Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Delhi

The Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, a majestic Sikh temple in Delhi, is a testament to the power of service and unity. Dating back to the 17th century, the temple stands as a beacon of hope for people of all faiths and backgrounds. It was here that Guru Har Krishan, the eighth Sikh Guru, provided solace to those suffering from a deadly epidemic in 1664. Today, the temple continues to serve people through its large kitchen, the langar, which prepares and distributes up to 30,000 free vegetarian meals daily.

The temple also has a school, an art gallery and a museum that showcase the history and teachings of Sikhism. The temple is open 24 hours a day and welcomes everyone with love and respect. The temple is one of the most prominent and popular attractions in Delhi and a must-visit for anyone who wants to experience the diversity and harmony of India.

The langar, operated by volunteers, embodies the principles of equality, generosity, and community. This is a powerful message for our approach to solution development, emphasising the importance of inclusivity and shared responsibility. 

Important points to note:

  • Keep your head covered with any scarf or handkerchief when present inside the complex.
  • Shoes are forbidden on the Gurudwara campus. They would need to be left at the shoe-counter, near its entrance.
  • Wear clothes that aren’t revealing.
  • Photography is prohibited within the Gurudwara.

The Pink City Rickshaw company, Jaipur

Jaipur, in India, is an exception when it comes to the presence of women rickshaw drivers. The Pink City Rickshaw Co is a unique initiative by ACCESS Development Services, a non-profit organisation. Its goal is to provide new employment opportunities to 200 women from low-income households in Jaipur. These women have been trained to operate custom-designed e-rickshaws, which they now own. 

This initiative not only empowers these women economically but also promotes environmentally friendly transportation, addressing the country’s pollution levels. The e-rickshaws they operate are powered by clean and sustainable electricity. It’s a win-win situation for both the women and the environment. 

Experience the medieval mystique of the walled city in these unique and custom designed, eco-friendly rickshaws driven by smart, enthusiastic and well trained women.

The lessons learned from this vibrant and diverse country can have far-reaching implications for both business growth and the pursuit of a more equitable and sustainable world.

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