- Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes a body to have less hemoglobin than normal.
- It is a rare burdensome disease requiring lifelong repeated blood transfusion, as well as other expensive medical interventions for survival.
- It is estimated that more than 10,000 Thalassemia children are born every year in India.
- Permanent cure of Thalassemia lies in Stem Cell Transplant also known as Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT). Further, it is found that the treatment is more successful if BMT is done at an early age.
Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana
- The Union Health Ministry has been implementing the Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana (TBSY) since 2017 with the support of Coal India Limited as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.
- The Coal India CSR-funded Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) program is a unique initiative aimed at providing a one-time cure opportunity to underprivileged Thalassemia patients who have a matched sibling donor but do not have the financial resources to cover the cost of the procedure.
- The program has successfully completed 356 bone marrow transplants for Thalassemia patients across 10 empanelled hospitals in India during the two phases.
Why in News?
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the third phase of Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana (TBSY).
What is CSR?
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business philosophy that dictates that companies around the globe should deviate from the narrow path of chasing only financial gains and wealth buildup and embark on a journey of sustainable development.
- Businesses can invest their profits in areas such as education, poverty, gender equality, and hunger as part of any CSR compliance. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has notified that companies’ expenditure to fight the pandemic will be considered valid under CSR activities.
CSR in India
- India harbours one of the earliest and richest traditions of CSR in the world in the form of philanthropy.
- We can find Chanakya, also called Kautilya, the cardinal force behind Mauryan Imperialism, commenting and emphasising on the importance of observing ethical practices and principles while conducting commercial activities.
- Our scriptures have also repeatedly echoed the importance of sharing business earnings with the deprived segments of the society.
- In modern India, CSR was attributed with a whole new dimension with the “Trusteeship Theory” of Mahatma Gandhi, which considered the businessmen of India as trustees of trusts that looked after public welfare.
- India is the first country in the world to make CSR mandatory, following an amendment to The Company Act, 2013 in 2014.
- Any company that has a net worth of at least Rs 500 crore, a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or a net profit of Rs 5 crore is obliged to spend 2% of its average profits over the last three years on CSR.
- Businesses can invest their profits in areas such as education, poverty, gender equality, and hunger as part of their CSR compliance, as regulated by the law.
- In 2021, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs amended the rules of CSR.
- According to the new rules, non-compliance to the CSR rules and obligations will no longer be treated as a criminal offence. These will now be treated as civil wrongs.
- A company may engage International Organisations for designing, monitoring and evaluation of the CSR projects and for capacity building of their own personnel for CSR.
- Any surplus income being generated through a company’s CSR activities can not form part of the company’s profit. The surplus shall be reinvested into the same project or shall be transferred to the Unspent CSR Account.
- Any CSR expenditure that exceeds the required amount can be carried forward to the next three years.