Mumbai, India

From disaster relief to social entrepreneurship, the Mumbai Charity Committee is using all the local office’s assets to give back to the Indian communities

 

2016 has been an exceptional year of philanthropic activities for the Mumbai Charity Committee, which has seen Trafigura’s staff in India supporting initiatives of disaster relief, mentoring social entrepreneurs, fundraising for unprivileged children, starting a project of micro-credit to improve the economic condition of the most disadvantaged strata of the Indian population, and supporting many other charitable projects. 

Between the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 the Mumbai office has raised $ 77,810 – an effort that has contributed to make the difference in many parts of India where the actions of the committee were directed.

In the picture: Front row left to right – Tejinder (Tony) Hara, Oliver Dsouza, Sonum Sharma, Somkant Thakur, Anand Deyanandan. Second row left to right – Ninad Bhide, Ayush Sharma, Ayush Kakkar, Vinay Pillai, Sumeet Jadhav, Yogesh Rane.

Boosting economic inclusiveness with Rang De

A smart initiative was set up by the Charity Committee to tackle the fraudulent situation affecting the credit system in India. “To support small entrepreneurs and families and prevent them from relying on usurers, we are participating in a micro credit programme promoted on the social platform Rang De” explains Tony Hara, Chairman of the Charity Committee and CEO of Trafigura Global Services. “On this platform, an account has been created for Trafigura employees: everyone can access, visualize the profile of the borrowers, where they live, what they want to create with the money they borrow, how much money they need and in how much time they will give you back the money. This is a project we would like to further spread across our office because it can really make the difference for many families while requiring little effort (and expenses) from employees. In India, financial inclusiveness is something very rare and people who are excluded from access to wealth fall into deadly traps of local usurers who ask for absurd interests that borrowers will never afford to pay. Therefore, it is fundamental that people who are financially included share this privilege with those who are excluded”.

 

Unlimited social entrepreneurship in India

Socio-economic growth can be addressed also by supporting creative and innovative solutions provided by exceptional individuals who want to trigger positive change in the environment where they live. These are social entrepreneurs. The Mumbai Charity Committee provides invaluable support to one of the Trafigura Foundation’s partner organizations, the launch pad for social entrepreneurs called UnLtd India. The Foundation is financing a selected portfolio of 9 projects addressing urgent social issues in India. Managers from the Trafigura’s office in Mumbai are mentoring some of these projects and sharing their business expertise with social entrepreneurs. This is the case for Ninad Bhide, Head of Procurement at the Mumbai Office and member of the Mumbai Charity Committee, which is supporting the programme Sustainable Agro International (SAI) created by the social entrepreneur Jitendra Sinha. “Jitendra’s project aims at providing livelihoods to marginal and small farmers, helping them set up an agro-forestry model that converts their barren land into a revenue generating asset thanks to the cultivation of Eucalyptus trees,” says Ninad. “I’m supporting SAI in framing up the business plan as well as helping with negotiation inputs for the purchase of seeds, saplings, fertilizers and other agriculture products. I have a call with SAI once a week where we discuss weekly progress and I help with any issue that I can address.

In the picture:UnLtd India’s project Sustainable Agro International (SAI).

Emergency – Disaster relief

The consistency of the monsoon’s seasonal precipitation can reach catastrophic dimensions, causing major floods that wipe out houses, belongings and lives. Unprecedented rainfalls hit the zone of Jamur Kashmir and dreadful floods in the Southern region of Chennai were declared a national calamity. The Mumbai staff immediately replied to these events, starting fundraising campaigns with an exemplar readiness and promptness (in Chennai, Trafigura was the first company in India to reach out people hit by the floods), supporting with financial aids the organisations Goonj and Seeds. Another important fundraising action has been undertaken to help the population hit by the 2014 earthquake in Nepal. 

 

Helping children with special needs

Poverty and the lack of health cares are major plagues affecting Indian people and limiting chances of survival for kids living in slums. This situation is even more dramatic for children with disabilities: the Mumbai Charity Committee decided to support the Urmi Foundation, which help kids with developmental disabilities uplift their academic and social conditions within special schools and communities built around them. Moreover, the Mumbai staff has provided funds and dedicated time to the Desire Society, an organisation that looks after kids with HIV who cannot afford medical healings, and has organised a joyful show over Christmas to cheer up the little guests of the association.

In the picture:The Mumbai Charity Committee co-host a charity event in partnership with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra at the National Centre of Performing Arts on 8 July 2016. 25 underprivileged children from the NGO Muktangan have attended to the event and had the opportunity to interact with James Gaffigan, the Chief Conductor of the LSO and Numa Bischof-Ullman, the Executive Director for the LSO.