Corporate responsibility and social stewardship have always been integral to Dainik Bhaskar Group. Since its inception, the organisation has evolved on the ethos of a social responsibility, which in our view is not merely compliance. Rather, it is a commitment to initiatives in the areas of environment sustainability, computer education, and community development.
Dainik Bhaskar has always given priority to the creation of more well-informed communities and positively impacting the lives of the less fortunate in society.
Synergy between social cause and brand positioning
Amongst our yearly Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, the computer education programme is perhaps a first-of-its-kind initiative, aimed at imparting computer skills and Internet knowledge to senior citizens and housewives to use the Web in their daily lives. This programme was extensively driven in 34 cities across 10 states in India.
With an illiteracy rate of more than 25% and digital literacy almost non-existent among more than 90% of India’s population, our computer education programme has been instrumental in addressing the cause of digital literacy, which is integral to India’s inclusive growth.
India has experienced impressive economic growth in the last couple of years. But for this growth to be truly sustainable in the long run, we need to have a much larger section of the population participating in the national economic agenda and playing a critical role in the momentum of the growth engines.
This initiative was driven in alignment not only with our organizational goals of enabling socio-economic change, but also with the role of repositioning news media company as a catalyst in bridging the digital divide.
The initiative infused great confidence amongst the trainees and made them competent enough to be in sync with today’s generation. As part of the programme, a specially designed content booklet was given to the trainees that helped them in understanding the nuances of the following:
- Computer basics: Starting and shutting down a computer system, using Microsoft Word and a microphone and Webcam to interact with others in a new way.
- Internet skills: Browsing the Internet, creating an e-mail account, sending and reading e-mails, and searching information online for hospitals, banks, and recipes.
- Other digital skills: Using WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, and other digital applications.
The course allowed senior citizens to chat with their children and grandchildren in different cities or abroad. Housewives learned to make online reservations, shop online, and read mythological stories and ancient history online. The trainees were awarded certificates on successful completion of the programme. To date, the programme has had more than 56,000 registrants.
Integration of social cause with the product brand
At Dainik Bhaskar Group, we believe that media has a critical role to play in addressing our nation’s social problems, thereby helping the government to achieve inclusive growth of our nation.
The barometer of any social initiative’s success depends on awareness-building and active stakeholder engagement. We launched the initiative via print ads and on-the-ground activities across 34 cities in India. The initiative also was featured on the national editorial page. It was also extensively driven on the digital platform to generate awareness about the programme.
In addition to driving the initiative extensively through print and digital media, we also partnered with HelpAge India, an NGO advocating for the elderly. This kind of partnership promoted a sense of ownership and enhanced the overall sustainability of the campaign.
On the whole, the evolved model of CSR is not something that is static. Rather, it is about creating shared value by leveraging the core competence of our brand towards the betterment of the society.