With farmer suicides already crossing the 600 mark, the Marathwada region of Maharashtra is reeling under the worst drought of recent years which is becoming a graveyard for the starving farmers and their families due to massive crop failure. Facing its third successive year of below normal monsoon, farmers and their families who feed billions are the ones who are bearing the brunt of unfailing droughts resulting in lack of consistent income necessary for their subsistence including proper food and water for them.
With an objective to extend help to drought affected farmers and their families, Dainik Bhaskar Group has initiated ‘Annadaan’ (Food-grain donation) campaign across 34 cities in 10 states. Through this initiative, an appeal is being made to the citizens to contribute their bit by donating food-grains, starting from 28th Spetember-20th October, as a token of support towards the drought hit farmers. Dainik Bhaskar Group endeavors to utilize the power of ‘Annadaan’ towards this noble cause of providing food-grains to its growers who are deprived of food-grains because of the three consecutive devastating droughts. Interestingly, this initiative is aligned with the auspicious period of Pitrapaksha/Shradh during which people donate religiously not only to appease their ancestors but also exercise their individual social responsibility for the needy.
The initiative has been rolled out in 34 cities of ten states Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Under the aegis of this initiative, concentrated efforts are being made to collect food-grains in packed packets of one, two, five, ten kilograms, following which co-ordination with NGOs and volunteers will be done to collect and distribute the food-grains amongst the drought-hit farmers and their families in the Marathwada region. Also, readers were given the opportunity to call a phone number and place their intent of giving. In return, their queries get facilitated in terms of where and how to participate in the initiative.
Mr. Vinay Maheshwari, Senior Vice President-Sales and Market Development & Brand Marketing, Dainik Bhaskar Group, feels excited and said that “In alignment with our organizational vision of enabling socio-economic change, Dainik Bhaskar Group firmly believes that farmers are an integral stakeholder of our society and when the growers of food-grains are struggling for their subsistence , it is a matter of grave concern and we should concentrate our efforts toward helping them and their families in this challenging time. I am sure our fellow citizens will exercise their giving through ‘Annadaan’ to make it joyous for our farmers thereby contributing to the betterment of their life.”
When asked about the approach of the initiative, Mr.Vikas Singh, Associate Vice President- Brand Marketing, Dainik Bhaskar Group said that “Apart from driving ‘Annadaan’ through print ads and edit write-ups, we are also trying to engage different stakeholders of the society including our readers, employees, academic institutions, Govt. and NGOs to drive behavioral change towards this noble cause of donating food-grains. We believe it is a great opportunity to extend our product philosophy of leading ‘No Negative Life’ as we can leverage our strength to bring positivity in lives of the needy.”
At Dainik Bhaskar, corporate social responsibility is not merely compliance; it is a commitment to undertake initiatives in the areas of Environment Sustainability, Computer Education and other Community Development Initiatives. Over the years, it has focused not only on the business aspect of the group, but also on how it can be a catalyst in driving the much needed social economic transformation in the country.