The world is a burgeoning place, unevenly balanced between the haves and the have nots. But even as this disparity mushrooms, there are many privileged who have taken it upon themselves to do some good in society. Among these are malls, using their social connect and status to do their bit for the underprivileged in the society.
As Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the country continues to develop, malls are coming up vibrant campaigns and exceptional innovations to counter increasingly complex societal challenges. IMAGES Group picked the top 10 malls that impressed with their CSR activities in 2016-17. They were all nominated this year for the IMAGES Award for Excellence in Social Inclusion & Community Initiatives Award. The awards ceremony was held at the India Shopping Centre Forum 2017, in Mumbai last month. The winner of the award was Virtuous Retail.
1. VIRTUOUS RETAIL
VR Bengaluru collaborated with “Make My Wish” to grant the wishes of orphans and underprivileged children from chosen orphanages and child caring agencies in Bangalore. The mall gathered the wishes of these children and distributed them to expat and Indian connections who were happy to grant these wishes. This initiative concluded in December with the “Make A Wish Children’s Carnival”, a special day for these kids which the mall made even more special.
VR Surat has also worked along with various partners at the centre and beyond to organise activities like Green-walk, Say No to Drugs, Nukkad Natak, Neon Run, Say No to Child Labour, Blood Donation Camps, and Health Check-Up Camps.
Apart from this the mall also organized events on Women’s Day, Mother’s Day. Events like Book Donation and Water Donation were also a part of their way of giving back to the society.
For the first time ever, the mall also made an eco-friendly, edible Ganapati idol at the centre for 10 days on the festive occasion of Ganesh Chathurthi. On the last day of the festival, the idol was immersed in milk and given to underprivileged children.
2. AMBIENCE MALL, GURGAON
Mend a Heart – a CSR initiative by the Ambience malls to help the unprivileged by raising funds for them; On Independence Day 2016, Ambience Malls, Gurgaon and Vasant Kunj, along with Smile Foundation, initiated a CSR campaign called ‘AuctionAtAmbience’ for the welfare of deprived children. The money made from this activity was given to the Smile Foundation.
3. FORUM FIZA MALL
Active in the Swatch Bharat mission organized by Ramakrishna Mission every Sunday, the FFM team participates once a month in cleaning up the entire neighborhood.
They also religiously celebrate Earth Hour every year. This year they had a waste segregation awareness campaign and a bicycle rally as a part of the save environment move.
FFM has partnered in all major CSR campaigns of Mangalore and contributed towards several noble causes. Some of these movements are healing hearts, cancer awareness campaign, autism awareness campaign, and my school bag campaign. FFM has organized the maximum number of CSR activities in 12 months – more than any other mall in the area.
4. HIGH STREET PHOENIX, MUMBAI
HSP & Plan India carried out an awareness drive on World Child Labour Day. The mall also has an annual tradition of supporting education for underprivileged children. Their #OneFor Love community building campaign for the cause of children welfare has been a huge success this past year.
The mall has also made it a point to club social awareness campaigns with special occasions for Halloween, Christmas and Easter events. The ticket sales proceeds from all these events were donated to the charity, Every Drop Counts.
5. INFINITI MALL, MALAD
The Infiniti Mall, Malad organized a Breastfeeding week to normalize breastfeeding in Indian society. They also held a Blood Donation campaign, and an Organ Donation flash mob.
Last year, SNDTC College students collaborated with the mall towards an awareness program for the Autistic, people with Cerebral Palsy and the Hearing impaired.
The mall also conducted a flash mob activity in collaboration with the Mumbai Police to promote traffic rules and road safety.
6. INORBIT MALLS (MALAD, VASHI, BANGALORE, HYDERABAD)
The Tree of Smiles Initiative: This gave an opportunity to consumers to voluntarily give away any item, product, or stationery to the children from Magic Bus. Around 2086 gifts were collected for underprivileged kids during this initiative in 2016.
Inorbit Mall Malad celebrated World Wet Lands Day to create awareness on preservation of mangroves. A special Marathon Run was organized which witnessed a massive participation of 500 people from different walks of life and of different age groups. The participants pledged for the preservation of mangroves for having a pollution free environment and having a clean green society.
7. LULU MALL, KOCHI
Under the property named Lulu Smiles, Lulu Mall has a history of CSR tradition and has been doing a lot of health awareness and socially responsible campaigns since its inception. Health awareness campaigns like ‘Gift Blood. Gift Life’, Blood Donation Camps, Stem Cell Sample Donation Camp, Osteoporosis checkup and BMD screening camp and Diabetes Check-up and consultation camp on World Diabetes Day are the best examples of the health and social awareness initiatives by Lulu.
Lulu Mall has actively supported the Chennai Flood relief (Anbodu Cochin Voluntary NGO); Stationary Collection for tribal kids in association with ‘Sanchari’.
On World Environment Day, the mall conducted a campaign approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to create awareness on the increasing food wastage and food shortage the world is facing.
On the International Day for the Elderly, Lulu Mall facilitated an experiential visit of the mall for 340 senior citizens from old age homes. Similar visits for underprivileged children were also conducted on Children’s Day.
8. ORION MALL, BENGALURU
The CSR activities of Orion Mall mainly comprise of Orion Festival of Giving, a 15-day event that invites people to donate their belongings (in reasonably good condition) – clothes, books, toys, accessories, and footwear – at the donation counters at Orion Mall. In return customers get discount vouchers that can be redeemed at participating outlets at Orion Mall. The donated items are given to the Smile Foundation for distribution.
A Blood Donation Drive on World Blood Donation Day was also organized in association with Rotary Bangalore Metro in the mall.
The mall also works closely with various NGOs including APSA (The Association for Promoting Social Action). All lost & found articles in the mall, as well as money is given to street children, to facilitate their education and stay at APSA, Nammamane.
9. SELECT CITYWALK, DELHI
Select City Walk is associated with numerous NGOs:
Puppy Adoption: Supporting People for Animals in adoption of Homeless Puppies to help them get homes and have lesser number of strays on the streets
A permanent Stall at the Centre for Tihar Jail for TJ’S Products to support them in their initiative of Redefining Life Behind Bars for the inmates
Awareness Against Tobacco
Holy Cow – Cow Saving Drive
Jamunwala Park: The Junkyard was right there, in front of the Shopping Centre. It was an eye sore to many, with a number of safety concerns to passers-by and the local residents. With the initiative and vision of the Management of Select CITYWALK, efforts were made to approach the right civic bodies and extend a proposal to adopt the park and change it into a haven for residents, especially children. Thus began the journey of transformation of the Junkyard into the Jamun Wala Park, a step towards the betterment of the Society.
Donating Walks: A shoe donation drive in association with GREENSOLE, an NGO based in Mumbai, which through a process, refurbishes old, worn-out, broken shoes into wearable footwear. The mall collected 500 pairs and converted them into wearable slippers and gave them away to the needy on Christmas.
Charity Initiatives: Collection of old clothes, books and toys from shoppers in permanently placed donation boxes, which is given to NGOs like Khoj, Chintan & Prayas, and Angel Home.
10. VIVIANA MALL, THANE
Viviana mall continues with its trend to be associated with charities and NGOs. The mall has been regularly inviting kids from backward areas of Maharashtra to visit malls and enjoy the things they have never had the pleasure of discovering in their lives. The mall has also sponsored education of girl children.
Children associated with NGOs were invited to be a part of the Ganesha festival at the mall last year, given an opportunity to make eco-friendly Ganesha idols, play in FunCity and eat at the food court.
The mall provides support to local / deserving enterprises like rickshaw drivers. Rickshaw drivers were asked to visit Viviana mall and pick up customers from the mall 99 times in a span of one month and in return they got groceries worth Rs 2000.
On World Disabled Day, the mall organized a fun evening for differently-abled kids and provided them with a platform to showcase their dancing, and singing talents.