CSR: Bandhan Bank spends over Rs. 78 Cr on social development in 2021-22 financial year

NEW DELHI (India CSR): Bandhan Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy states its objective to contribute positively to the economic, environmental and social well-being of marginalized communities through its CSR program. The Bank disbursed Rs. 78.43 Crore for 23 CSR programs implemented through 10 Project Executing Agencies (“PIAs”).

These CSR programs were spread over 671 project sites in 71 districts in 13 Indian states.

CSR initiatives reached 2,76,262 beneficiaries during the year, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 20,74,603 people

Targeting the poorest (THP)

Targeting the Hardcore Poor is Bandhan’s flagship program. The program is designed for households headed by ultra-poor women.

Through this program, beneficiaries benefit from a range of income-generating micro-enterprises (in the form of agricultural, non-agricultural and mixed, non-monetary assets) as well as hands-on support and training on the confidence building, entrepreneurial skills, consumer interaction, marketing and financial skills. They also receive a subsistence allowance to meet their daily needs until they begin to generate substantial income from the assets provided.

Within 18 to 24 months, these ultra-poor women begin to graduate, lift themselves out of extreme poverty, and reconnect with mainstream society.

During the year under review, the Bank disbursed Rs. 27.88 Crore (Rs. 18.20 Crore in FY 2020-21) towards targeting the hardcore poor (“THP”)
program of Bandhan Konnagar, an organization registered under the West Bengal Company Registration Act XXVI of 1961, Executing Agency.

The funds were used to relieve 27,600 ultra-poor women, who received assets to start their own small businesses in the agricultural, non-agricultural and mixed sectors to build their livelihoods. These ultra-poor women were from 18 districts in Assam, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.

The Bank contracted KPMG Assurance and Consulting Services LLP to carry out an independent assessment of the impact of the Bank’s CSR programs.

This impact evaluation study carried out by KPMG indicated that during the period 2016-2022, more than 29,000 women moved from extreme poverty to above the national poverty line (1,059.42 rupees for rural areas and 1,286 rupees for urban areas) with a significant increase. in their income (at least an income above Rs. 4,000 and an average of Rs. 7,456 per month) and business assets and household assets. In addition, these women had improved their regular savings habits and their access to
safe and secure shelter.

The bank has contributed Rs. 18.49 Crore (Rs. 15.67 Crore in FY 2020-21) towards seven health programs of five PIAs covering 35 districts in nine states of India. Bank-supported PIA health programs covered 88,019 beneficiaries during the year.

Bandhan Bank’s journey is deeply rooted in its commitment to transforming lives and building communities. The Bank manages its CSR programs through various CSR Implementing Agencies including Bandhan-Konnagar.

Each Bandhan-Konnagar program has been designed to have far-reaching effects in education, health, livelihood promotion, sustainable livelihood development, climate action, financial literacy, skills development and job creation.

CSR approach

Bandhan Bank limited (the “Bank”) is aware of its corporate, social and environmental responsibilities and recognizes that a good corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) policy leads to better stewardship of all stakeholders. The Bank’s CSR is not just philanthropy, but it is a strong commitment to contributing to social and environmental growth and prosperity and is essential to the sustainability of its business.

CSR objective

The aim of the Bank’s CSR philosophy is to develop the community in which the Bank operates and to bring about lasting improvement in the lives of economically, physically and socially disadvantaged people living at the bottom of society and to initiate or support programs aimed at creating conditions for better livelihoods in these communities.

The Bank will also support measures aimed at preserving and enhancing the environment and natural resources. The CSR policy will act as a
mechanism for regulating the Bank’s CSR activities and comply with the laws and regulations in force and adopt best practices.

CSR vision

In line with the Bank’s vision, the Bank’s CSR initiatives will continue to enhance value creation, improve the quality of life and inclusion of those who are not adequately and efficiently served by the formal financial sector in the mainstream of society and to attract into the growth cycle by providing products and services and forming partnerships and alliances for the fulfillment of its role in society as a responsible business.

CSR programs

The focus of the Bank’s CSR programs will be the local areas served by the Bank and based on the priority needs of local communities. The Bank may undertake any or all of the activities in the area or areas referred to in Schedule VII of the Companies Act 2013 (the “Act”), including the following:

a. Health care: preventive health, nutrition and food security, sanitation and drinking water
b. Education: financial and digital literacy, skills development and sustainable livelihoods for disadvantaged children, women, youth and people with disabilities
vs. Reducing inequalities and promoting gender equality: empowering women, empowering people with disabilities and other measures that reduce inequalities faced by socially and economically disadvantaged groups
D. Environmental protection: management and conservation of natural resources, and mitigation and adaptation to climate change
e. Development of rural areas and slums: Improvement of infrastructure and living conditions, and sustainable agriculture.
F. Disaster management and relief operations

Joel C. Hicks