Ratan Tata gets Lifetime Achievement Award for his philanthropic efforts
Entrepreneur and social activist Ratan Tata has been conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Wockhardt Foundation at the annual CSR Shining Star Awards in Mumbai on February 24. The annual awards by the Wockhardt Foundation recognise the CSR efforts of companies across categories such as health, education, women’s uplift, skill development and animal welfare.
The award was collected on his behalf by his executive assistant Shantanu Naidu. Mr Tata expressed his gratitude on receiving the award saying, "I am honoured and humbled to be receiving this award that the Wockhardt Foundation has bestowed on me today. The Tata Trusts and I will endeavour to continue helping the underprivileged communities of our country, much like the Wockhardt Foundation itself."
Ratan Tata has always been very vocal about the need for companies to look at more than profits and working for the greater good. Tata said: “Business need to go beyond the interest of their companies to the communities they serve.”
Philanthropy has been in focus at Tata Trusts under his leadership, and the Group has been working to alleviate child malnutrition, focusing on maternal health, and aiming to alleviate poverty, along with providing 60,000 meals a day across their programmes.
Ratan Tata’s strong commitment to philanthropy began when he was working in the factory as a young man. His interactions with the workers made him aware of the hardships they faced. He decided then that he would make a difference to improve their lives.
In an interview with the Stanford Social Innovation Review in December 2020, he said “If I put it into one sentence, I think you really want to be doing things that make a difference. If you cannot make a difference, it’s just water trickling through a tap or leaking through a drainage system; it’s wasteful. Dr. [Jonas] Salk must have had a tremendous feeling of satisfaction when he developed the polio vaccine. Similarly, I think going after causes where you make a difference, rather than scratch the surface, is very much in keeping with the trend in new philanthropic endeavors.”
In addition to all the CSR initiatives of the Tata Group, Ratan Tata has also been actively involved in acts of goodwill in a personal capacity. Earlier this year, 83-year-old Tata travelled all the way from Mumbai to the Friends Society in Pune to meet a former employee who has been unwell for the past two years. The private visit was not publicised in any way, and there were no media present.
Ratan Tata has said, “Apart from values and ethics which I have tried to live by, the legacy I would like to leave behind is a very simple one – that I have always stood up for what I consider to be the right thing, and I have tried to be as fair and equitable as I could be.”
Edited by Diya Koshy George