The Bajaj Group’s humanitarian philosophy was articulated by Shri Jamnalalji Bajaj, who had advised that all business activities should look for opportunities for philanthropy and that these philanthropic contributions to society should be above any thought of business gains. As the Government of India implemented Corporate Social Responsibility rules in 2014, the Bajaj Group of Companies significantly scaled up its activities in the social development space. The Group has collaborated with more than 300 NGO partners – the projects supported are in health, education, women’s empowerment, and environmental sustainability – and has made fund allocations of over ₹ 13,000 crore till date.
Healthcare and child welfare are the two main focus areas in the Group’s philanthropic work. Specifically, the Group companies support interventions in fighting malnutrition; reaching out to underserved communities with holistic healthcare facilities; and provision of shelter for street children.
The absence of affordable healthcare is one of the main challenges for India, and this drawback leads to high maternal and infant mortality rates and malnourishment as well as widespread communicable and non-communicable diseases. The Bajaj Group strives to mitigate this through a wide variety of projects that provide vulnerable communities with access to best-in-class treatment for paediatric cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, heart ailments, etc.
In addition to direct tertiary care (which is the level of care where sophisticated healthcare infrastructure is required), our programmes with our NGO partners Bandhan (Konnagar, West Bengal) and CRY (Rajasthan) also seek to provide healthcare to expecting mothers and children in rural areas.
Ensuring child health in the first few years of their life, when the growth spurt occurs, is a key priority. The prevalence of underweight children in India is among the highest in the world, and malnourished children often either perish early or grow up with diseases. The Bajaj Group has supported a diverse range of interventions addressing this issue in 500+ remote tribal villages across India – conventional nutrition support in districts of Maharashtra (Gadchiroli, Nandurbar, Palghar, Amravati); technology-led mother and child healthcare in tribal areas of southern Rajasthan; and revival of traditional millet superfoods by gene campaign in Uttarakhand.
The Group’s support for child protection and shelter programmes –implemented by Rainbow Homes, SOS, Pride, Tara Mobile Creche, Janaseva Foundation, Seva Mandir, and others – provides vulnerable children with protection and also education and life skills. In many cases, a safe shelter for the children enables their parents to undertake their economic activities. Together, these protection-focused interventions reach more than 2.5 lakh children, and entail a commitment of over ₹ 100 crore.
On March 26, 2020, the day the Government of India imposed the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Bajaj Group pledged H100 crore to the fight against COVID-19. Working with the Government of India and a network of 200+ NGO partners, the Group made a commitment to ensure that resources like healthcare and other necessities of life reach those who need it the most. The Group made a contribution of ₹ 47 crore towards the upgrade of key healthcare infrastructure across Pune, Sikar, Udham Singh Nagar, and Aurangabad.
The focus was on upgrading the Urban, Rural and Peri-urban facilities via the provision of equipment and consumables, and by supporting the operation of COVID-19 care units and isolation wards. Critical equipment was provided to the tertiary care facilities in our core districts and 21 facilities were targeted for key healthcare upgrade in a phased manner. These facilities have played a key role during the second wave of the pandemic.
In related programmes, the Group reached out to people left in deep distress by the stoppage of economic activities following the lockdown. More than 20 lakh meals were distributed in Pune and Aurangabad; 10,000 dry ration packets and equivalent were distributed in Sikar; and more than 40 lakh meals/ration equivalent were given to migrants in Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, and Rajasthan.
Supporting distressed livelihoods was a key part of the Group’s strategy in the first wave of the pandemic. Projects were initiated with Jankidevi Bajaj Gram Vikas Sanstha ( JBGVS), Sasakawa India Leprosy Foundation, Pradan, Sahjeevan, Gramin Evam Samajik Vikas Sanstha, iCreate India, SVP-Jagruti, Aarohi, and Reanalysis (in collaboration with JBGVS) to start pilots on livelihood, focusing on geographies that had seen the return of migrant workers, so that they would not remain unemployed.
Banking, financial service and insurance (BFSI) is a growing sector in India that requires very specific attitude, skills, and domain knowledge. To help fresh graduates and final-year undergraduate students to make a career in BFSI, a special course has been designed by Bajaj Finserv. This course, CPBFI (a customised certificate programme in banking, finance, and insurance) not only increases the employability of the Indian youth, but also creates a local talent pool for the BFSI sector in Tier 2 and 3 cities.
To design the course, the Group has partnered with a top management school and experts in the field of mental health.
The CPBFI training is imparted by a team of corporate trainers, who go beyond the curriculum and share their corporate experience with the students, becoming their mentors in the process.
A final round of interviews is conducted by recruiters from Bajaj Finserv and its subsidiaries, where the students gain experience of a corporate recruitment process and receive feedback about their own readiness for the industry. Bajaj Finserv has already conducted 2 job fairs on a pilot basis. Going forward, a placement division would be set up to provide employment opportunities for the CPBFI alumni in BFSI and allied sectors. The project is functional across 9 states and 55 districts and more than 9,500 students have benefited from the programme.