Troubled Waters

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HSBC’s Film on India Wins Best Film at London Ceremony


This week saw HSBC’s film “Troubled Waters”, in partnership with Water Aid, winning the coveted Best Film and Community Investment Awards at the annual tve (Television for the Environment) Global Sustainability Film Awards, which took place at BAFTA, London.


The unique event, which is the only CSR presentation of its kind, was co-conceptualised by leading UK based NRI Mrs. Surina Narula MBE in 2012, to provide an innovative platform to showcase the potential of businesses to drive positive environmental and social change and still make a profit. The awards invite businesses and other organisations across the world to submit films highlighting their achievements in corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social justice. 


The glittering event was attended by stalwarts from the sustainability, media and entertainment industry including acclaimed British actor Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) and Anthony, Lord St John of Bletso, President of tve Global Sustainability Film Awards 2015. 


This year’s awards attracted over 250 film entries from across the countries. Entrant HSBC NOW & Water Aid UK, received two esteemed awards at the event for Best Film and Community Investment. The submitted video is set against the backdrop of Narendra Modi’s rise to power in India following his ‘toilets, not temples’ campaign. The movie explores the challenges behind Prime Minister Modi’s goal of a toilet for everyone by 2019. Shot in Rakhi Mandi, an urban slum in India, the film gives viewers a peek into the life of Radha Verma who is determined to build a toilet to protect her daughter after she narrowly escapes attack while going for open defecation on the railway lines. The film talks of how a part of India lives without access to basic sanitation and the structural complexities of solving this problem.


Indian companies have increased their CSR spend following the 2% tax rule implemented by the government last year, which makes it mandatory for companies to plough back at least 2 per cent of their net profit to help uplift society. The ruling has ensured that Indian corporates allocate a certain part of their profits for the betterment of the biggest stakeholders in their business — the society. This also reflects the growing commitment by corporates, citizens and government leaders worldwide to the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development which were launched in September 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly. If fulfilled, we could eradicate global poverty, reduce inequalities and tackle climate change by 2030.


Lauding this step, Mrs Narula will be launching the tve Global Sustainability Awards in India in October next year to further shine a spotlight on the need for such initiatives and pave the way for a more transparent form of communication between the public and organizations. 


Mrs Narula is a highly renowned and respected international entrepreneur and philanthropist, with over twenty years of experience in developing business ventures, and founding and managing some of the world’s most renowned charitable organisations.


Speaking about the launch of the event in India, Mrs Narula says: “These awards are to encourage multinationals engage in a more meaningful dialogue with its community. ‘Sustainability’ has become key to several Indian organisations and, now with the Indian government launching its CSR policy for corporate organizations, it has become imperative for organizations to ‘think’ about the problems plaguing its society and generate awareness around them.


“We are very excited to bring the awards to India, which is not just my place of birth but also a nation of hope. Being a developing nation, India witnesses extreme poverty and illiteracy.  By encouraging CSR based activities and motivating employees by rewarding their creativity, we are creating a nation of analytical individuals, which is an absolute need of the hour. Film is a great form of visual communication and has the potential to empower, provoke thought and encourage change.


“We plan to reach out to organizations, especially the younger batch of employees, and make them sensitive to the issues plaguing in their neighbourhood. Indian companies can surely be at the forefront of putting people first before profits.”


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