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BSE supports NGOs -
The Human Face Of BSE
The bourse has a separate wing for community activities 
Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) stock is rising considerably in the eyes of a lot of underprivileged groups. The BSE has set up a full-fledged wing to oversee its corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. 

Dr Manoj Vaish, executive director & CEO of BSE, tells us ....we started the CSR Department in September 2003.

According to Dr Vaish, “As an organisation the BSE is conscious of its responsibility towards society. Our initiatives are aimed at providing a sustainable livelihood through youth-friendly programmes.” As a first step towards CSR, the BSE enabled some NGOs to host their programmes in its convention hall subject to their distance from political and religious organisations. NGOs like Save the Children, HelpAge, Pratham, Ashoka, Dignity Foundation and Magic Bus have hosted their events in the BSE convention hall.

The BSE has spent around Rs 35 lakh in various projects ranging from Adopt-a-Granny of Helpage India, a library project for underprivileged children and on cataract operations for 500 economically weak old persons.

..Dr Vaish says that the BSE chooses (NGOs) on a system of evaluation. It judges the NGOs on a few parameters like their history, their objective, mission and vision statements, their trustees, their transparency standards and the corporates with whom they have tied up in order to ascertain the quality of work done. “Finally, we also look at the reputation of the NGO,” Dr Vaish says.

Dr Vaish adds that the most popular CSR activity amongst employees is offering mentorship to underprivileged children through the NGO, Akanksha. “We attend to these students every Saturday. Our employees are interested in imparting economic education to them in order to empower them financially,” he says. “They are also keen on helping slum women form self-help groups. We begin by teaching them the basics of finance and marketing to help them start their own business.”

The BSE has partnered with the Akanksha Foundation in its mentorship programme to help underprivileged children in their studies and personality development. Some of the employees of the exchange act as mentors and help the children of Akanksha. They have formed a charity trust named Pay Back to Society, where they conduct classes for the Akanksha children, collect and donate old clothes to the NGO Sneh Sadan, and donate food and school textbooks.

Rahul Chandok, Beyond School Manager, Akanksha Foundation, says the children of Akanksha have gained in self-confidence since the mentoring programme began. “The aim is to help them develop their personality by talking to them about etiquette, current affairs and other relevant topics. They make presentations on things they have read and love talking in English,” he says.

The BSE employees have also come up with the Economic Education and Entrepreneurial Development programme for underprivileged youth. This was launched as recently as July 6 in collaboration with the Kherwadi Social Welfare Association. “The course aims to teach the basics of economics and business skills to school dropouts. The students are able to realise that what they are studying has relevance to their lives,” Dr Vaish says. He adds that this specific programme is “meant to give young adults from economically weak backgrounds an opportunity to learn and understand the business skills which will help them to earn a living in the process.”

The BSE also supported social work college Nirmala Niketan in its fund-raising activities, and has launched 20 libraries at various locations through Pratham, an NGO that educates poor children. In association with Helpage India, the BSE has adopted and is supporting 20 elderly persons with food and financial assistance for a period of three years.