Reports & Articles
The Corporate Director Podcast, The Social Compact: Informal Workers' Rights in India
Sonvi Khanna, Associate Director of the Social Compact at Dasra, and Meher Pudumjee, Chairperson of Thermax Limited discuss the “S” in ESG and their work championing informal workers’ rights in India, through Social Compact.
Sankalp Global Summit, 2022, Deepening Impact: Unravelling Layers of Informality in Business Ecosystems
Keeping the voice of workers at the forefront, the session brings together a panel of diverse stakeholders including corporates who have triggered impact for their contractual and supply chain workers; and others that are wrapping their effort and minds around the challenge of ideating solutions for a floating population of workers including daily wagers and gig workers.
Skoll World Forum, Inclusivity through a lens of gender equity and fair pay
The last two years of the pandemic have increased the socio-economic divide, pushing the large demographic of informal and migrant workers into greater vulnerability. It is time to look at labor as more than just a cost center, understand their intersectional identities, acknowledge their basic needs and empower them as a key stakeholder contributing to business. This session explores the complex narrative of this inequality through the lens of wages and gender equity.
CNBC TV18, Big Deal with Nisha Poddar
In this episode, the 'Social' aspect of ESG goals which the corporates are focusing upon is being discussed. Nisha Poddar speaks about 'Social Compact' with Meher Pudumjee of Thermax, Sustainable Investor Anita Marangoly George and Pirojsha Godrej of Godrej Properties.
DPW 2022, Around the World in Intersectional Ways: Exploring Layers and Practice
Intersectionality is a powerful framework for examining power relations, discrimination, privilege, and other root causes of inequality. It emphasizes the layered impacts of historical, material, and social locations, such as gender, class, race, caste, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, migration status, and geography. This session spotlights the work of non-profit organizations from across the world, covering distinct SDGs, and applying intersectional approaches to their contexts.
DPW 2022, Walking The Talk: Stories of Collaboration For India’s Informal Workers
At the onset of the pandemic, many of India’s 400 million informal and migrant workers were adversely affected by the lockdown. The visuals of their arduous journeys inspired a movement driven by compassion. Two years later, stakeholders across sectors and geographies, have started taking concrete steps for their well-being. This session, brought together by Social Compact and UNSAF showcases the stories and journeys of India’s majority workforce. It includes voices of diverse stakeholders from the community, industry, NGOs, international agencies, and philanthropy.
Informal Economy: Pathways to Promote Responsible Business
This state of affairs raises a legitimate question as to how responsible business practices should be promoted in the informal economy in South Asia. Promoting the transition from the formal to the informal economy is one such pathway. Yet, other short- and medium-term strategies should also be explored to develop a more comprehensive regulatory response. The session aims to shed a light on the relatively under-explored issue of informality and highlight the complex nature of business and human rights issues associated with informality in South Asia.
UN South Asia Forum on Business and Human Rights, India Country Session
The session on ‘Accelerating India’s journey towards realizing BHR goals, through convergence of diverse stakeholders’ brought together by Social Compact and Partners in Change brings insights on the role and potential of these distinct constituencies influencing BHR goals, and advocates for adopting a partnerships approach to building a strong and well connected ecosystem that mainstreams, enables, and holds business accountable to upholding human rights through their daily run and growth plans.
India Migration Now Webinar Series, Mainstreaming Migration in India
In this session on ‘Enabling access to social welfare for migrants and the role of intermediaries’ businesses, CSOs, funding agencies, and knowledge partners come together to further a conversation about the different empowering / disempowering role intermediaries play in relation to social welfare access. The Panel will include Social Compact member Samana Tejani (Director, Gits Food Products Pvt Ltd.), Dr. Sumita Kale (Indicus Foundation) and more!
Beyond CSR: Creating Shared Value and Building Sustainable Social Ecosystems
Looking out for those who help us in our growth trajectory is the key to evaluating success. And this is especially true for businesses. But are today’s corporates tuned in to the needs of those who contribute to their continuing success? Some are, if not all, and these few go beyond their mandated corporate social responsibility to create shared value. Listen to Rati Forbes, Head of Forbes Marshall Foundation, as she shares her experience in creating shared value with like-minded corporates.
Living Wage Week Celebration with Gagan Sethi
Social Compact is part of Living Wage Foundation (UK's) Network and participated in the week long celebrations, also marking 20 years of the movement. The Living Wage week explored how multinational employers and investors can ensure that workers across global operations and throughout supply chains are paid a real Living Wage.
No Cost Extension Podcast with Deval Sanghavi
Deval Sanghavi speaks to Anu Aga and Meher Pudumjee, a mother and daughter philanthropic team who are deeply committed to equity and inclusion. While many families grapple with intergenerational philanthropy, Anu and Meher are examples of how different perspectives can come together to shape a long-lasting philanthropic engagement.
Sankalp 2021, 'Responsible Business = Successful Business: Mainstreaming dignity and equity for all workers'
What does mainstreaming mean at different levels - on the ground, in an organisation, across the industry, and within the global paradigm? The session brings together various champions spearheading efforts within their own spheres to speak about their initiatives towards realizing a new aspiration for India’s most vulnerable workers while engaging a diverse group of stakeholders with a synergistic call to action.
Civil Society (C20) Summit, The Global Tipping Point and the Promise of Leaving No One Behind
The session was organised to strengthen the rationale and narrative on achieving sustainable economic recovery by ensuring Decent Work – in the context of informal workers and global value chains – and to facilitate a discussion and debate about systematic exploitation of workers amongst policy makers and stakeholders working in supply chains. Deval Sanghavi, Co-founder, Dasra along with other speakers from India and South Africa shared the impact of the pandemic on informal workers in the business ecosystems and how ensuring “living wage” could be a tipping point to ensure “Just Transition”.
The Indian Express THINC webinar presented by Omidyar Network, Migration: Creating Livelihoods - What can Policy Do?
As India recovers from Covid and ramps up vaccinations, the policy priority is fast shifting from securing health to boosting economic growth. But until we pay special attention, India might simply re-enter a phase of jobless growth. What can be done to avert it? More specifically, what can be done to boost the livelihood opportunities for migrant workers.
Janta Ka Faisla, Vision for the Future
Janta Ka Faisla (JKF) is a platform for deliberative democracy that seeks to address the needs of migrant workers and represents them as full citizens of India. Social Compact champion Pradeep Bhargava addressed questions from the jury pertaining to the deteriorating conditions of labourers, and the need for government and the industry to take ownership of the issue of informal workers in the country.
DPW 2021, Workers In Visibility : Ensuring Dignity and Equity for Vulnerable Workers in India
COVID-19 is like an X-ray that has exposed the unsustainable relationship between labour and capital in India. It has also created an opportunity to address the systemic issues that perpetuate these unsustainable conditions. Hear from leaders in civil society, the funding community, and the private sector as they discuss the challenges that informal migrant workers face, the systemic gaps that enable these conditions, and how civil society and the private sector are coming together to dismantle and bridge these gaps.
Sankalp 2020, Common Action Conclave: Why have a Social Compact - Addressing inequity affecting India’s Migrant Workers in a sustainable manner
As the lockdown and ensuing exodus of migrant labour brought India's industries to a momentous pause, some industry leaders saw in it the opportunity to reflect and hold their companies accountable to greater wellbeing for the informal workers in their company ecosystem. In response to this intention, Dasra brought together a pioneering industry- NGO initiative - the Social Compact,
Originally published in Placeholder (Mon 2023)
Assessing the 'S' in ESG: Worker well-being is good for business, by Sonvi Khanna and Pradeep Bhargava
Indian industry’s USP needs to move beyond the high-quality-affordable-pricing story to include higher worker well-being and productivity.
Originally published in Voices, Business, TOI (Oct 2022)
A look inside one of the most unsafe workplaces, by Sumant Banerjee
The poor state of health and safety of workers is not due to a lack of adequate legal framework. The problem lies in non-compliance.
Originally published in Mint (Oct 2022)
Indian Philanthropy has a worthy record that could shine brighter, by Neera Nundy & Rumana Hameid
Much good work has been done and there’s much left to do that collaborative efforts among business families could focus on
Originally published in Mint (Aug 2022)
How to move beyond tokenistic schemes and ensure security? By Anusha R.
A tripartite solution-ing (between NGOs, State BOCW Welfare Board and District Labour Commissioner’s office) is proposed in this article to unlock the 1,951 crore rupees worth of unspent funds (as of 1st February 2022) in Gujarat State Building and Other Construction (BOCW) Welfare Board for the benefit of workers.
Originally published in Youth ki Awaaz (Justice Makers' Writing Program) (June 2022)
Social Compact: Co-Creating Socially Responsible Businesses the Indian Way
Social Compact has brought together 28 diverse stakeholders to contribute to a colloquium of 13 articles for Vikalpa: The Decision Makers Journal, including voices from the industry, NGOs, sector experts and more. The articles cover various thematic areas like - worker inclusive & successful businesses, collective action for building an inclusive industry ecosystem, social responsibility beyond CSR; gender responsiveness in business and the business & human case for Social Compact.
Originally published in IIM Ahmedabad's Research Journal - Vikalpa (May 2022)
Needed: Synergy between profit and worker welfare, by Anu Aga
India must reimagine a future of business where profits on the top of the business chain are not enhanced by compromising the rights and well-being of informal workers.
Originally published in Hindustan Times (March 2022)
Family Philanthropy and Next Generation Givers, by Deval Sanghavi
With the recent crisis resulting from the pandemic, there is an even greater need to accelerate and strengthen the family giving space. In India, Family philanthropy has always played a key role in contributing towards nation building, and corporates can continue to make significant impact even outside of CSR contributions by impacting lives through their business practices.
Originally published in The CSR Journal (Feb 2022)
How can India's migrant force form a better identity to smash vulnerability trap - A roadmap
Thinc Migration, the eight-part webinar series, by The Indian Express brought the issue back into the mainstream. In the fifth edition of the series saw a mix of esteem speakers. They addressed issues from the aspects of corporates, academics and research.
Originally published by Financial Express (Aug 2021)
The Future of Work(ers), report by Intellecap, Ford Foundation & Dasra
By evaluating the 3 key constituents in this ecosystem – incoming workforce/ youth, existing workforce and employers in the industry, Intellecap was able to, through this report, build a roadmap that charts out the essential resources to improve the overall quality of the workforce, enable better market linkages, and support enterprises to raise the overall standard of living for their employees. This report brings to light its extensive research findings, from across 5 states in India, during the course of the pandemic to understand the aspirations, needs & challenges of the labor market in India.
Independently published by Intellecap (July 2021)