Sharad Pradhan, Divisional Head-CSR & Govt. Relations, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd.
Sharad Pradhan, CSR Head, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd, shares valuable insights on Honda’s commitment to reduce the deep gaps in socioeconomic status in India, focusing on gender issues and child welfare
What is the overall CSR vision of the Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Ltd. (HMSI) and how have you been fulfilling it?
HMSI is committed to build a sustainable business with strong social relevance and a commitment to inclusive growth and contribute to the society by supporting causes on various matters including environmental sustainability, promoting education, promoting sports and other rural development activities.
The company is engaged in directing its resources for improving the quality of life of the people. Our focus lies in addressing social issues like education including special education and employment enhancing vocational skills, road and traffic safety, sports, environmental sustainability and rural development. The company believes in aligning its business goals with its CSR vision.
What is the distinctive contribution of HMSI in enabling livelihood opportunities for the community?
HMSI’s CSR operations are mainly concentrated in the States of Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat. HMSI has a strong inclination towards community development or development projects focused on communities. The company emphases on educating women, children and other students from the weaker section of the society by imparting necessary skills that would help them turn self-reliant. Besides these locations, HMSI is currently running skill development academy in five different locations, namely, Pune, Lucknow, Karnal, Bhuvneshwar and Bangalore for training individuals in the automotive sector to advance their employability and thereby enable livelihoods.
HMSI has also opened a training centre in Bechrajee Gujarat, where its manufacturing plant is located, exclusively for training women in skills that would help them make a decent living and secure their future. We are happy to report that within a span of two years our women trainees have made remarkable strides in the socioeconomic front and find more dignity and respect in their household as well as within the community. With enhanced interpersonal skills, trainees have been able to have a say in decision making at social levels – community, family and also in peer groups. We look forward to impacting more women through specialized vocational courses like beauty and wellness, tailoring and computer that have better scopes for entrepreneurships.
In the area of employability, do you see synergies between your business purpose fulfillment and social responsibilities?
When the company opens two-wheeler plants in different regions, it creates thousands of job opportunities for people in that region. We believe in creating job openings and then training interested individuals from underprivileged communities to fill these openings. This way we boost the Skill India mission in its entirety by creating a wave of economic development.
How do you perceive your partnership with LabourNet and what difference has it brought to the beneficiaries?
HMSI’s CSR vision is well aligned with that of Labournet’s. While our CSR objectives address promotion of education including special education and employment enhancing vocational skills, the core objective of LabourNet is to enable livelihood by building a sustainable ecosystem through Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship. Therefore, HMSI has partnered with LabourNet to provide vocational training to 3000 youth especially SC / ST / Minorities and weaker sections of the society from Honda Centre of Technical Excellence located in Haryana in five different trades that are mapped to local interest.
LabourNet understands each community where centres are being run and because of this reason our partnership has helped in social and economic upliftment through focused, community-oriented skill development programs. While all those who were given training at HMSI LabourNet centres cleared assessment and received certificates, we are happy that our skill intervention activities have already helped many of the trainees in securing sustainable jobs. There are marked changes in the overall personality of the trained individuals due to improvement in interpersonal skills and confidence level.