Gandhi's Ideal of Trusteeship: The Role of Business in Society

A Dialogue with Rajashree Birla, Chair, Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives & Rural Development

Sunday, April 27, 2008, 2:00-3:30 p.m; Reception 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Cal Poly Pomona Campus, Bronco Student Center, Ursa Major

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Event Description

What did Gandhi mean by his ideal role of trusteeship for business leaders? How can his ideal of trusteeship serve as a source of inspiration and guidance for today’s business endeavors in the domain of corporate social responsibility? Mrs. Rajashree Birla will address these timely and important issues, and will share with us her vision of the proper role of business in society. The dialogue will be followed by a reception.

Rajashree Birla is a pacesetter in the area of corporate social responsibility. She chairs the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development, the apex body responsible for development projects and social welfare work across 40 companies in the Aditya Birla Group. The Centre’s work covers more than 3700 villages with 7 million people, and involves running 41 schools and 16 hospitals, including the Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital in Pune—a Super Specialty facility. She is also on the Boards of Directors of all the major companies of Aditya Birla Group in India, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Egypt.

Mrs. Birla serves as the chair of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility. She chairs the advisory board of the University of Kanchipuram and also serves on the Aditya Birla Group Scholarship board, which provides scholarships at IIMs, IITs and BITS (Pilani). She is co-chair of the advisory board for the Habitat for Humanity-India. She is a trustee of Population First, India, and of the BAIF Development Research Foundation, Pune. She has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, Delhi. As a patron of arts and culture, she heads the Sangeet Kala Kendra, a center for performing arts, as its President.

Mrs. Birla has received numerous awards and honors for her community and philanthropic activities including: India Todays Reader’s Digest Pegasus Gold Award 2007 for “the work that truly exemplifies the highest values of society;” the Economic Times Corporate Citi zen Award of 2001-;02 in recognition of “her efforts in making a qualitative difference in the lives of the underprivileged;” The Citi zen of Bombay Award 2003 conferred by the Rotary Club of Mumbai; The Woman Achiever – 2001 award from the Archana Trust; and The Pride of India recognition by the Rotary Club of Mulund in 2004.

Birla family had significant involvement in India’s independence movement and was a major supporter of Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent campaigns against the British rule. The family continues to actively support Gandhian institutions and initiatives.
Co-hosted by the Center for Business and Design, College of Business Administration.

For more information, contact: Prof. Tara Sethia, Director, Ahimsa Center (909) 869-3868. or Prof. Nirmal Sethia, Director, Center for Business and Design at (909) 869-4152.

Dialogue is Free. RSVP Required by April 24, 2008. Space is Limited.

To RSVP, please send an email with a subject "April 27, 2008 Dialogue" to: ahimsacenter@csupomona.edu

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