Adhar Silver Jubilee Symposium A PATH BREAKING EVENT
Silver Jubilee is a significant juncture in the life of an institution, more so in the case of a non-profit, voluntary organization like Adhar. It is a milestone when we can look back, feel proud of our achievements, and celebrate them. It is also a landmark point, from where we can strategize for the future. Therefore, we at Adhar have organized a range of events during the year- some of them, savoring the milestone, and some, looking ahead at the next 25 years. One such forward-looking event was the Adhar Silver Jubilee Symposium, organized on December 5, 2018- commemorating the week of the International Disability day. The theme of the symposium was “CSR for the especially abled – Ways to make it more meaningful”. (CSR stands for Corporate Social Responsibility.)
The symposium had three objectives:
- To express our gratitude to Adhar’s friends who have strongly supported us during the 25-year journey.
- To establish a thought leadership platform for the specially-abled -with special reference to intellectual disability.
- To increase Adhar’s outreach, in India and overseas if possible so that we can get greater resources for building an even better future for our stakeholders We gave the event a corporate flavor, by organizing it at the MCA Club, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai. The event was well attended by our target audience – friends of Adhar, both individual and corporate supporters, and people who wanted to know more about Adhar. The interesting mix of speakers at the Symposium gave us many points to ponder over and act.
- Ms. Shweta Shalini, Advisor to the Chief Minister, Maharashtra and Executive Director at Maharashtra Village Social Transformation Foundation, opened the deliberations with an inspiring speech on various issues about intellectual disability,
social responsibility, and government policies. She brought out the need and the opportunity to lobby for and get intellectual disability as a specific area for statutory CSR requirements.
- Mr. Prashant Joshi, Chief Operating and Risk Officer, IndyStar Capital Finance Limited shared his corporate perspective of CSR, how to focus on practical factors and the need for volunteering by corporate employees.
- Mr. Kaushik Datta, Programme Lead/ Specialist, National CSR Hub, TISS, brought out the research and academic angles in CSR as a career and enablers of social development. The Chief Guest, Mr. Jonathan Hwang, Cultural Officer – US Consulate, Mumbai spoke about the steps taken by the US government in the specially-abled people space. He also pointed out areas where Adhar can look to the US Consulate for guidance. Mr. Milind Sarwate, Founder, increase Social Value Advisors & Resources (ISVAR) anchored the proceedings and summed up the deliberations. It was the first time that we had organized an event of this scale with multiple objectives. What made it a meaningful success was the dedicated hard work of the three teams involved- Adhar, SocialKonnekt who master-minded the social media and event marketing, and ISVAR, who strategized and scripted the event. The success of this event has enthused us to plan that every year, around International Disability day, we will hold a similar thought leadership event!