|We often hear about the non-profit projects carried out by companies based on their social responsibility. We sometimes read about companies offering donations and charity to NGOs and charity organizations for helping the needy. All this is based on the so-called ‘social responsibility’.|
Companies that gain profits, are not paying taxes or even Zakat, and do not support the society are not worthy of any respect and must be investigated. A company cannot exist without the support of the society.
Let me explain a simple concept related to social responsibility without involving any complex definitions and scientific terms. For instance, we have a company that gains reasonable profit of KD 100 million. This company has allocated five percent (about 15 million) of the profit for the purpose of social responsibility. This money can be used for executing a non-profit project such as a small hospital that carries out daily surgeries. This project can provide job opportunities and offer medical services at low costs. The company finances the hospital and if the allocated amount is not enough, the company covers the shortage that year and reduces the donation of the next year accordingly. Some reserves can be kept aside for emergency purposes such as lesser profits gained by the company in the future. Also, a fund can be established to receive donations from those who like to participate in financing the running of the hospital so that the general plan of the company is not affected.
Social responsibility can also involve payment of the debts of defaulters who have been imprisoned. The company can pay off their debts and it can consider half of the amount as a gift or charity while the other half can be paid back by the defaulter on installment basis without any interests. The defaulter can also be employed in the company, which is an excellent form of support because many companies refuse to employ released prisoners. The debt can be deducted from the salary of the defaulter. In this case, many targets can be achieved at the same time, which are releasing the prisoner, paying off his debts, providing him with a job opportunity and eliminating the possibility of the prisoner becoming a criminal in the future.
Social responsibility is not just about distributing Iftar meals under the flashes of cameras. It is not about sponsoring festivals and activities in schools that have no sustainable impacts. Social responsibility is an integrated activity of cooperating with social organizations for creating an environment to encourage creativity and development. Social responsibility means to give a hand to the weak until they become strong enough, to the young until they grow older and capable and to the poor for helping them to survive.
The society is an integrated system. The responsibility of managing the society is not limited to the government alone. Everyone should do whatever they can to transform the society into a blossoming green tree that can provide shade to everyone. Companies are one of the tools for achieving the development of the society. Greediness and isolation can neither develop countries nor introduce solutions. There is a saying — ‘It takes two to tango’.
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi