Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a business practice that combines the professional interest of the company with social and environmental responsibilities. It is used as a major strategy by corporate giants to win over their consumers. CSR helps them to paint a good picture by posing as environmental crusaders. But how many of them actually give a damn?
We bring to you the real picture of the giants!
Kodaikanal is named the Princess of hill stations and aptly so. A town surrounded by valleys, Kodaikanal is covered with meadows and grasslands, with rhododendron and dahlias blooming in the horizon till your sight can stretch. The Coaker’s walk is blessed with a rare phenomenon called Brocken Spectre wherein, the Sun and mist engulf the spectator from either side creating a halo of Rainbow. All of this will not exist anymore!
Hindustan Unilever Limited ‘allegedly’ dumped 7.4 ton of mercury containing broken glass from thermometers that they imported from the United States. Sacks of hazardous mercury containing glass spilled in parts of Shola forest resulting in air and water-borne mercury emissions. Department of Atomic Energy, India found the level of dumped mercury to be 1000 times more than the normal.
Hindustan Unilever Limited has denied all allegations, all the while failing to provide necessary documents of proper disposal protocols. They claim to have disposed on scraps of broken glass and having sent back the residual mercury to US for recycling.
The factory eventually closed down in 2001 after 18 years of operation and not before causing irreparable damage to the ex-workers, the local people and especially pregnant women. The extent of destruction reached to unborn babies being born with mental retardation, deformed organs and loss of memory.
2015 saw the upheaval of a revolution by Sofia Ashrafi stating that Kodaikanal won’t step down, until you make amends now!