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  Social Responsibility

Published on: June 12, 2020, 8:55 p.m.
Creating change
  • SAMIL gives educational scholarships to its customers’ children

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India

Pre-owned automobile specialist Shriram Automall India Limited (SAMIL), like many other large corporates, has a range of CSR activities – but the most effective of them is its initiative to ensure that its customers’ children can continue their education without any hurdles. “Most of our customers belong to the transport fraternity, so education sometimes takes a backseat for them,” explains SAMIL chief executive officer Sameer Malhotra. “However, we realise the value of good education and offer a scholarship programme to help them.”

Incorporated back in 2013, SAMIL’s education scholarship programme is tailored to support students belonging to economically weaker and underprivileged sections of society. Today, the company distributes around 1,000 scholarships.

The support is towards a student’s expenses for pursuing school education without any disruption from the eighth to 12th standards. Those studying in a government-run school, or even a private one that does not charge exorbitant fees, are eligible for a scholarship of Rs3,000 a year till class 10 and an increase to Rs3,500 from there on till class 12.

The main criterion is that the child’s parent should be either a driver of a commercial vehicle or a small transporter who has owned a commercial vehicle for at least a year, with a monthly income of not more than Rs25,000. The child must also have scored more than 60 per cent marks, and should not be a beneficiary of any other grant or donation.

Other CSR activities, in the belief in giving back to society and the holistic development of the ecosystem, include providing unique solutions to transform several drivers and machine operators to owners, ensuring their financial and social security, as well as making a substantial contribution in uplifting farmers and transporters in their businesses.

Tree plantation at Automalls across the nation is one step to fight the problem of global warming which is becoming worse by the day. Almost every Automall plants a tree on either its business anniversary or World Environment Day. There are also tree plantation drives through the year; Malhotra himself has planted trees in 70 cities during the last seven years.

During the past two months, SAMIL has striven to protect its employees, customers and other stakeholders through different kind of safety initiatives, organising and free medical camps and distributing masks to doctors, nurses and police personnel. The nature of the pre-owned automobile ecosystem made drivers and security guards the most affected due to the lockdown; so the company ensured that several of them got food and groceries.

Recognising that drivers, especially truck drivers, are one of the most affected groups due to the nationwide lockdown, SAMIL now plans to come up with an extensive plan to help them, spending a ‘substantial’ - but as yet undecided - amount of its CSR funds for them in the next one year.

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