“Show me that you care” – Fundraising for Palliative Care
Aug 24 2023 / Posted in Fundraising
- By Pouruchisti Wadia, Associate Programme Director, Romila Palliative Care and Nurse Aide (SNEHA)
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. By practising corporate social responsibility, also called corporate citizenship, companies can be conscious of their impact on all aspects of society, including economic, social, and environmental.1
In India, CSR is a voluntary activity and a mandatory obligation under the Companies Act 2013. The rules in Section 135 of India's Companies Act make it mandatory for companies of a certain turnover and profitability to spend 2% of their average net profit for the past three years on CSR.
This has ensured that non-profit organizations like SNEHA have one more source of funding besides the government, foundations and individual donations. Generally, Corporates decide their primary focus areas to which they would like to donate. Often, NGOs work on complex social issues, which take a long time and continuous dedicated efforts to make a dent, let alone a significant impact. Companies may not appreciate that and may, for various reasons, keep changing their focus areas, prompting their NGO partners to start looking elsewhere.
Not surprisingly, palliative care is not a popular focus area for corporations. In my previous blog, I did touch upon some challenges which would explain why this may be so. Here, I would like to highlight our beacon, the CIPLA Foundation, the exclusive philanthropic arm of CIPLA Ltd. Their vision statement and guiding principle is “Caring for life”. Driven by this purpose, they established the CIPLA Palliative Care and Training Center (CPC) in Pune in 1997 and have already touched around 22,500 lives. They provide palliative care through in-patient facilities and home care services, totally free. Being care providers themselves, they have always understood our work and been true partners rather than mere CSR fund providers. Understanding the difference palliative care makes to the patients of life-limiting illnesses and their families, it soon realized that the need is far greater than that which can be met by current service providers. To address the inequity in access to palliative care, they formed a consortium of Palliative Care organizations, including SNEHA, and established the Saath-Saath Helpline2. Across India, the CIPLA Foundation now supports 28 partners running 31 projects, all providing palliative care! Whilst this is an incredible feat, we all believe this responsibility needs to be shared by more corporates. This will only be possible if increased awareness about this lesser-known patient-centric, holistic approach exists.
We at Romila Palliative Care Centre are equally committed to increased awareness of palliative care. If there is an increased demand, there will be an increase in the services, and more people will have access to palliative care. We plan to conduct awareness sessions with our CSR partners across SNEHA programs, not just with the decision makers to share the load with the CIPLA Foundation but with lay persons working in corporate houses across Mumbai. We urge CSR companies to choose one passion area and work on the same issue for multiple years with multiple partners to see a high measurable impact.
At a more personal level, I have had to work for a while to persuade near and dear ones to choose palliative care.
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1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is explained with examples- https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/corp-social-responsibility.asp#:~:text=Corporate%20social%20responsibility%20(CSR)%20is,its%20stakeholders%2C%20and%20the%20public.
2. 1800-202-7777- Palliative Care Helpline