The aim of the CSR Team at Infosys Bangalore is to build awareness about the socially relevant initiatives of the organization, enroll people and execute the initiatives. One of the noteworthy initiatives (among the many programs initiated over the last 2 years) of this well established CSR team at Infosys is the Notebook Drive. This was made possible through the contribution made by 25,000 employees of Infosys. It helped the CSR team to distribute notebooks to 19238 children from 235 schools across Karnataka. This initiative for the underprivileged government school children raised Rs. 7 Lakhs in three days. The partnering NGO, The Dream school foundation helped 100’s of volunteers to reach out to places like HD Kote and remote villages of Magadi to distribute these notebooks.
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There are various teams in Infosys actively involved in providing additional support to the government schools during the weekends, setting up computer labs in schools, tapping the potential of retired teachers in Bangalore to take tuitions for children in anganwadis and orphanages. Suja Warriar, member of the core team of CSR initiatives in Infosys says, “some of the programs which we are working on are infrastructure improvements in rurual schools, rural school children hygiene/health awareness programs, conducting medical camps and developing learning capabilities in children. All these are voluntary initiatives by a group of employees.”
Education has been a major area of activity in CSR for AOL India. The CSR activities were started in AOL India in 2006 by Kumar Talluri, Vice President heading Platforms in AOL India, who motivated and guided the employees of AOL to start a CSR team. The first program that was launched as a part of this initiative was an adult education program for the support staff in the field of English and Basic computers. What started as a small initiative 2 years back has expanded beyond AOL to the other organizations in the campus. Together, the organizations are planning to come up with a centralized education system for the support staff.
One of the core members of the CSR team at AOL India, Suma Seshagiri says, “Ambedkar Education Society was a school in a very bad condition. It lacked basic amenities. The English teacher, instead of teaching the children, was engaged in cooking mid day meals for the school children. AOL, with the support of Akshaya Patra, arranged mid day meals for the children of Ambedkar Education Society.
To improve the quality of teaching in the school, AOL hired new teachers and sponsored their salaries as well. Meanwhile, the CSR Volunteers at AOL mentored the 10th class children of Ambedkar School. After school, students would come to the AOL campus and a few volunteers would take tuitions for these children. “Students who passed their exams have joined government colleges and they still keep in touch with us. They still remember us for helping them and aspire for a better life,” says Suma.
The CSR team at AOL India raised funds to sponsor many activities, including providing mid day meals to a school with a strength of 270 children, sponsoring a classroom for Parikrama, and setting up chemistry and computer labs for Rakum Blind School. The team also conducted summer camps for kids during their summer holidays. AOL India team was awarded the Andrew Heiskell Award (named after Andrew Heiskell, former chairman of Time Inc.) for community service. The Award funds were donated to Rakum Blind School for buying braille printers. The vision of Kumar Talluri and the CSR Team at AOL is Digital Divide which includes improving technology related skills and training in addition to providing basic access to computers and internet. ⊕