The past year gave the world more—more responsibilities, financial uncertainty, extreme weather events, societal unrest and stress.
It also gave us less—less personal interaction, travel, entertainment, communal events and volunteer opportunities.
It was, more or less, a strange and challenging period for most people.
It also was an unusual year for organisations, like Deloitte, that are committed to helping people fulfil their aspirations and potential. To overcome the lack of in-person connections, we found innovative ways of developing and supporting our people to help them feel heard and valued. We also lent our professional capabilities and resources to the fight against COVID-19, while still advancing our goal of connecting underserved segments of society to education and jobs.
The importance of quality and equitable education is universally acknowledged, but we have many miles to tread before we are able to achieve it. Nevertheless, a multitude of forces have been taking considerable strides to bridge these gaps in India, and introducing systemic change in the education ecosystem is a dire need.
It is imperative that we realise the potential and role of different stakeholders, to create a conducive environment (physical and pedagogical) for the holistic development of students. With this mission, Deloitte India supports initiatives run by multiple non-profits who share our purpose.
Self-development is fundamental for success – personally and professionally, however there isn’t enough emphasis on this in the formal education system. Inevitably, students from underserved communities suffer the worst, given their lack of access to resources and training. For girl students, opportunities and guidance are particularly limited and their low participation in the national workforce is testament to it.
To create more avenues for women, Deloitte India works extensively on skill development for students from underserved regions.
While discrimination is multifaceted, gender bias is one of its most prominent forms, which sparks inequality and inequity. In India, women, particularly those at the grassroots, get caught in an intersectionality of differences. We are committed to work towards enabling these women to break these shackles.
Our ambition is to support programmes that train women at the grassroot level, so they can exhibit leadership and take ownership for creating systemic change in communities.
One of the primary focus areas for Deloitte US offices in India has been to enable inclusive, equitable and quality education for all.
In line with this focus area, Deloitte US offices in India play an active role in enabling an early intervention programme in collaboration with Asha Charitable Trust in Bengaluru and Sri Vidya Center in Hyderabad. We support these programmes which help in identifying the level of disability impacting the beneficiaries, and accordingly ascertain relevant therapies and required interventions. The goal is to support these beneficiaries into mainstreaming them.
As part of its community initiatives, Deloitte US offices in India are focused on empowering women to be employable, self-sufficient and support their families.
In line with this focus area, Deloitte US offices in India support SAFA in Hyderabad and Creation Welfare Society in Delhi, wherein women are offered skill development training such as tailoring, jewelry making, knitting etc. The aim is to strengthen the role of marginalised women from urban slum communities.
Deloitte has confronted the COVID-19 pandemic as an organisation that strives to take care of its people, as a trusted adviser to clients, and as a corporate citizen committed to making an impact in the communities where we live and work.
At its peak, India witnessed more than 200,000 new cases daily, overwhelming its public health system. In response, Deloitte launched an innovative initiative called “Sanjeevani Pariyojana” (The Life Project) to “expand the hospital ward.” Developed by the state government of Haryana in collaboration with Deloitte, this suite of interventions provided those with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms the care they needed to recover at home. This helped to create capacity at hospitals to treat critical-need patients.