Mr. Kaustubh Sonalkar is currently the Group Director – Human Capital Management (HCM), General Affairs, CSR and Corporate Communication at Welspun Group. Kaustubh is a National Bestselling Author of Fetch Your Own Coffee and has recently founded his trust called WISE (Woman of India Sustainable Empowerment) that works towards enabling young women and transgender people to make future-focused and sustainable profession across sectors. TransKonnect, WISE’s latest initiative, is a new-age social media platform designed to bridge the gap between Trans community and the ‘mainstream’ society, while ensuring a digital safe-space for Trans users who can express themselves without inhibitions.
1. Budget 2021-22 gave a much-needed push to education in India, your opinion on the announcements by the finance minister?
Setting up 100 new Sainik Schools in partnership with NGOs/ private schools and establishing 750 Eklavya model residential schools in tribal areas is a step towards making education available at every corner. It will serve as a strong foundation for the coming generations. Proposing Skill training in collaboration with other countries for workforces and privatisation of public assets will be a welcome move, this is a definite measure to increase job creation. Skill development and rural education will now create a cadre within the country to fuel growth. Saksham Bharat, Shikshit bharat will be the key towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.
2. How the private sector companies and NGOs across the country are playing a substantial role in filling in the gaps in the society during these tiring times?
2020 has been a lesson for the government, corporates and NGOs worldwide. The corporates pivoted towards inclusiveness, providing employment opportunities to the vulnerable communities, including transgender people and tapped the talents who were sitting at home with Work from Home policy. NGOs came to the forefront by feeding people across the nation and providing them shelter. The NGOs extended their hands towards the Government and helped them reach the extreme corners of the society to spread awareness on the pandemic and provide them with relief kits. The year demonstrated the need for improvement in our living standards – nutrition, healthcare, sanitation, environment, housing and education.
3. Do you feel the ‘Digital India’ initiative by our country and the advancement in this sector is the only silver lining in the upcoming days?
Ans: The pandemic has caused a sudden shift online. In 2021, learning content will be made available to communities across the country through the digital medium. The scope of employment opportunities will widen. Even if the pandemic recedes, making transactions, shopping, ordering essentials and communication will be made easier. Let’s not forget the economic value technology will add in the coming years, helping millions of Indians have a decent living standard.
4. How corporates are planning to align their programs with the Government’s vision of Skill India and Fit India?
A lot needs to be done around the healthcare system and the unemployment rate in the country. Skill India campaign by the Government is extremely important in the current scenario to fulfil the vision of becoming a 3-trillion dollar economy by 2020-2030. The corporates have extended their hand in the upliftment of the society by coming up with various schemes and policies. NGOs will also be crucial in fulfilling the growing needs of skilled workers in the country by sensitizing skill development missions across communities, given the government’s substantial aid. The corporate should also focus on the most critical aspect of our Nation, the Healthcare system so that we can be prepared well enough to combat any health complications in future. The Fit-India movement should take precedence in the coming days.