IBM (NYSE: IBM), Corporate Service Corps (CSC), an IBM Global Citizenship program held in Vadodara where the panel discussion focus on ‘corporate pro-bono engagement – a step towards fulfilling UN’s sustainable development goals’. The programme was attended by IBM CSC consultants, representatives from Vadodara Municipal Corporation, NGOs and educational institutions across the globe.
The discussion focused on around the role and impact of corporate skill based employee volunteering in helping India achieve the ambitious UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The SDGs are officially known as, ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’
Three of the 5 projects in Vadodara are focused on health care: Disease mapping mechanism for Vadodara Municipal Corporation, Public Health Department; Framework to track ” Beti Patao Beti Bachao” project implemented by UNICEF across the state and the tracking of Gujarat State Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GSNP+). The other 2 projects will focus on solid waste management. Highlighting the importance of volunteering for fulfillment of SDGs. Bharat Dangar, Mayor, Vadodara Municipal Corporation said, “The fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goals requires the collaboration between the private and public sector. The Municipal Corporation is continuously working towards digitizing the health services for providing more efficient and effective services to citizens.”
Sharing the experience, Thomas T Thomas, Program Manager, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, IBM India said, “Corporate Community involvement is no longer about charity; it is about making a sustainable difference. Through its pro-bono consulting and employee volunteering programs, IBM is supporting Governments with its technology and talent to empower communities and better the quality of life for people across the country.The CSC program was attended by IBM international consultants engaging with the Vadodara Municipal Corporation and leading non-profits in the region. SDGs have made a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030. IBM is committed to use technology as an enabler to develop innovative solutions to India’s toughest developmental challenges.”
Speaking at the event, Praveen Kumar G, Head of Programmes, VSO India said, “VSO has been working in India for more than four decades now. We are creating volunteer initiatives that have a lasting impact on the ground with communities we serve as well as balance business and employee interest in changing people’s lives. Our volunteering programmes allow companies to connect with their workforce by supporting humanitarian pursuits that are important to their employees. These community activities help employees touch base with a different reality.”
Other speakers included; Veena Bandyopadhyay, PME Specialist, UNICEF-Gandhinagar and Archana Joshi, Director, Deepak Foundation.