A consultative dialogue on corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies, practices and youth perspective was held here at a local hotel on Tuesday.
The consultative dialogue was organized by the research and development foundation (RDF) which was attended by a large number of youths, members of civil society and government officials.
Speaking on the occasion Naseer Pirzada, senior CSR expert shared that CSR is not a charity but it is the responsibility of the organizations, when any organization is earning, it becomes their legal and moral responsibility to support the communities. He also mentioned that there is a proper mechanism for CSR funds disbursement and this could be verified by any stakeholder.
Mr. Zulifqar Shah, senior director PILER said that youth has great responsibility towards society and youth need to be aware of opportunities around them and take advantage from initiatives by different private organizations under their CSR, such as internships and job trainings. He also added that as good and responsible citizens it is our responsibility to support youth.
Nasir Ali Pahnwar, senior environmentalist said that sustainable development promotes prosperity and economic opportunity, greater social well-being.
Mr. Nasir said that youth has to take lead on promoting environmental conservation and natural resources for the current and future generations and taking care to natural resources, we can make sustainable development.
He said that no economic development could be sustainable unless it protects the environment. Mr. Panhwar said that high cost is paid when development policies and programmes fail to recognize the particular needs and aspirations of youth including the lack of social protection and job security. Youth must be put on development priority he added.
Ahsfaque Soomro, Executive Director RDF, said that the purpose of dialogue is to highlight the CSR activities from youth perceptive and to discuss how CSR can be made more youth-friendly.
Mr. Soomro stressed that as a responsible organization we always support communities and offer internships and training opportunities to the youth. Mr. Ashfaque said that we are fifth youngest nation in the world. Current youth bulge is 64 percent of total population in Pakistan, that needs fair employment, opportunities to grow and contribute to the economic and social development of Pakistan. CSR is one of the resource that the youth can tap to meet their development needs, Mr Ashfaque said. Youth should identify projects that diversify their skills and submit them to respective Deputy Commissioners and companies, he added.
Marvi Mallah, young leader from Jamshoro said that as young person I always wonder where all CSR funds goes as there are about 100000 companies registered in Pakistan in spite of so much CSR funds you cannot see much being done. She stressed that CSR should be youth focused and should help in youth development.
Mr. Kazim Syed, project manager RDF said that this dialogue would help in bringing the attention of people sitting at the helm of affairs on youth issues making CSR more useful for youth.
The youth said that CSR committees in respective district should have membership of youth from the area as they can safeguard the rights of youth to equal employment opportunities, resilient development projects that promote youth empowerment and development.
BY SAWN KHASKHELI