Largest private sector lender HDFC Bank on Thursday said its social sector spending increased 18.06% to Rs 634.91 crore in FY21 from Rs 535.31 crore in the preceding year. The 18.06% growth in its corporate social responsibility (CSR) spends was faster than the 16.80% jump in its consolidated net profit. Entities above a certain threshold are mandated to spend at least 2% of the average net profits of the immediately preceding three years on CSR activities. In a statement, the bank said the spend in the pandemic-hit FY21 included Rs 110 crore allocated towards Covid-19 relief efforts. Its interventions under the ‘Parivartan’ initiative impacted 8.5 crore lives across the country, the statement said.
“We are humbled to have been able to make a difference in the lives of people, in a year that was difficult for many,” said Ashima Bhat, its group head for business finance, strategy, administration, infrastructure, ESG, and CSR. The bank focuses on long-term sustainable initiatives that address the root cause of the problem as against any short-term relief, she said, adding that in a year that saw restrictions of many kinds due to Covid-19, it worked harder to remain committed to these initiatives and project goals. The bank’s social initiatives are aligned with United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well, it said, reiterating the commitment to be carbon neutral by FY32. Works undertaken under the ‘Parivartan’ programme included rural development, education promotion, skill training, healthcare and hygiene, and financial literacy and inclusion.
It undertook a holistic rural development programme in 1,970 villages in 21 states, while under the ‘Teaching the Teachers’ initiative the bank trained over 19.67 lakh teachers, benefitting over 2.07 crore students. It also constructed 23,500 toilets, conducted over 1,800 sanitation drives, and organised 1.18 lakh health camps, the statement said.
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