Canon India’s flagship CSR program, ‘Adopt a Village’ today took Karanjoti village in the Thane district of Mumbai, Maharashtra under its wings. Kazutada Kobayashi, President and CEO, Canon India inaugurated the program, bringing cheer to the residents of the village on this special occasion. With a focus on Canon’s ‘3e’ which comprise of Eye Care, Education and Environment, this village adoption initiative started in 2012, has already made a discernible difference to Ferozpur Namak village in Haryana and Maharaja Katte village in Bengaluru.
Speaking about Canon’s efforts in this direction, Kobayashi said, “Canon has been in India for close to two decades now and we are committed to giving back as much as possible to the community. There are many ways to measure success and at Canon India, we want to contribute by making Indian villages become self-reliant. The latest addition to our holistic ‘Adopt a Village’ program is the Karanjoti village in Maharashtra. In the past two years, our efforts under this program have shown outstanding results in Haryana as well as Bengaluru, particularly with regards to improvements in school enrollment, infrastructure and the functioning of the Vision Center. We are keen to bring about the same positive change in Karanjoti and in as many other villages as possible. Our target is to have six villages under the ‘Adopt a Village’ program by 2016.”
Canon India is keen to become a successful catalyst for change in Karanjoti. Over the next three years, the aim is to improve the school enrollment ratio by ensuring inclusive, quality education and dependable infrastructure. Organizing capacity building for teachers and sensitizing the students as well as the larger community will play an important role in this. Immediate steps will be taken to set up an activity resource center which shall provide books, art and craft material, colors and sports equipment for school children, make provision for safe drinking water and actively co-ordinate with local education authorities for infrastructural improvements in the school.
The newly inaugurated Vision Centre, being set up by Canon India will provide effective eye care facilities to the villagers of Karanjoti and neighboring areas. The activities of the Vision Center will be monitored by a designated city hospital. Canon will make arrangements such that patients needing further investigations or surgery will be transferred to better equipped hospitals.
Canon has also taken the first step towards improving the village environment by planting tree saplings in order to create a green haven in the area. Going forward, general health and sanitation awareness will be promoted through active collaboration with the community.
“Businesses must reconnect company success with concerted efforts to improving the society they operate in. Canon’s corporate philosophy of “Kyosei” means living and working together for the common good. Our CSR initiatives also reflect a similar sentiment. We work hard to ensure that we undertake the relevant steps to help our ‘adopted’ villages become progressive self-reliant rural communities. The goodwill generated by this lends a positive vibe to our entire business and all our stakeholders feel a sense of pride in having contributed meaningfully to their community”, Kobayashi added further.
Canon’s commitment to furthering long-term, sustainable development has led to a remarkable change in the two villages where the program is currently active. For instance, there has been significant increase in the number of teachers in the school at Ferozpur Namak. From 9 teachers in November 2012, there are 45 teachers working in the school now. Even the student enrollment has gone up by 45% and the number of girl students has increased by nearly 135%. The other major highlight at Ferozpur Namak village is the Vision Centre set up by Canon. The Centre is fitted with Canon’s eye-care machine and has treated over 5000 patients, completed 343 surgeries and also held over 60 eye-care camps in the village and neighboring areas.
Adopted in June 2014, Maharaja Katte village in Bengaluru is also making significant progress along similar lines. Here, Canon is focusing on improving the quality of education through Teachers’ Capability Trainings, establishment of a computer lab and a series of community engagement programs. The Vision Centre is also successfully catering to the eye-care needs of the people in the district.
Canon India’s rural outreach programs have the complete support of its employees as well as business partners. Regular volunteering opportunities are organized to build a close connection with the villages as such engagements help to further develop the vibrant culture of social responsibility that already exists in the company.