JEETY: Going Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility

SOME TIME AGO a Nobel Laureate Economist, Milton Friedman wrote that social responsibility of a corporation is to make money for its shareholders, and that anything to the contrary was a “subversive” threat to the very foundation of a free enterprise society to justify the rejection of the idea of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and failure of corporations to play significant roles in the socio-economic development of their society. In fact many companies rolled out excuses during crises that in as much as they are willing to assist their communities or pursue causes in favor of institutions and societies ravaged by shocks and unfortunate situation, they too are in dire need for survival and must first help themselves to survive before looking out to extend a helping hand. Thus at the end of the day, venerable groups are unattended to in times of crisis because those who are capable of doing so are shifting from engaging in the cause.

LIBERIA IS OF no exception as stories are abound on how so many corporate institutions and well placed individuals find it difficult to make interventions when there are unfortunate situations that adverse impact on venerable people and communities. However, out of the many who turn their backs away when they are needed most in difficulties despite their capability and capacity, there are exemplary figures who over time have gone beyond the corporate social responsibility initiative to get involved to provide succor and relief to many people and institutions in the wake of difficulties.

IN LIBERIA MR. Upjit Singh Sachdeva, affectionately called “Jeety”, former Consul General of India to Liberia and a renowned captain of industry has been one of the outstanding sources of hope and joy since the COVID 19 pandemic over a year ago and also other difficult times in Liberia. His own businesses have equally gotten the shocks of the global disease and ordinarily like others he would have justified a noncommittal attitude to look the other way while many Liberians grappling with the effects of the deadly virus swim in difficulties. He has been on the frontline to put off the fire and has been all over the place finding solutions.

USING HIS OWN resources, his first intervention was targeted and continue to do so with vulnerable Liberians, like the less fortunate in our midst, popularly called the “zogoes”, unemployed people and the elderly who are finding it difficult to feed themselves so as to mitigate the scourge occasioned by the pandemic. He has been consistent with the program to date.

HE HAS ADDED inmates at the Monrovia Central Prison at South Beach to the list of beneficiaries where he has been ongoing on a regular basis to give food and non-food items such as mattresses, soaps, toiletries, clothes, towels, etc.

BESIDES THESE INTERVENTIONS, Jeety is presently undertaking a capita project at the provide pipe borne water to the facility that will also benefit its environs. What is so worth mentioning is his perspective on the welfare of the inmates where he maintains that why they are there serving the punishment for various offenses committed, it is very important that they be catered for as a way of restoring hope in them so that upon serving their terms, they will come out as better citizens.

WE WANT TO commend him in addition to what the government has done to acknowledge his extraordinary contribution to the socio-economic upliftment of the citizens from all shades of our demographics.

IT IS ALSO on record that he has been in the forefront to mobilize resources from the Indian community where they have been deeply involved with supporting the JFK Medical Center with equipment, drugs and accessories as a way of boosting the capacity of the health sector in the country.

THE LAUDABLE RESPONSES further accentuate Jeety’s credentials as an extraordinary businessman that prides in the age-long dictum of being one’s brother’s keeper. His robust approach to corporate good encapsulates a culture of genuine empathy that transcends corporate social responsibility.

IT IS IN this respect that we call on other businessmen and institutions to emulate the good example of Jeety by not only looking at the profit making aspect of their ventures but taking on the human face of responsibility assist in times of difficulties

WHEN THE PANDEMIC is eventually contained, and the story of how the country fared during the period is documented, the Jeety will feature prominently.

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