F.A.Q.

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We get asked about our work often. So here are the answers to your most pressing questions.

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1. What is the aim of the CSR work done by SST?

We want to give rural folk in India a better life. We assist them in finding solutions to their problems. This helps them realise that they are the change makers. As a result, they can lead lives with better income, health, education, sanitation and infrastructure.

2. How is SST linked to TVS Motors?

SST is the social arm of TVS Motor Company, one of India’s leading makers of two-wheelers, and Sundaram Clayton. SST was set up in 1996 as an initiative by TVS, motivated by the desire to improve the lives of India’s rural poor.

3. What is the SST model?

SST is a not-for-profit agency that works with 280 field staff. Our staff live and work in villages. They are totally devoted to development in rural areas. We partner with local and central government agencies and other institutions and companies to find solutions to the problems faced by the communities we work with.

4. What are the broad principles followed by the SST programme for change?

  • SST does not work on the donor-recipient model. It seeks community involvement and ownership in all the projects. The community takes responsibility for the continuity of the programs. SST acts only as an enabler.
  • SST seeks the active participation of government agencies and the private sector in partnering the change. It helps communities avail of the existing government programs for their benefit.
  • SST does not stand as a guarantor for any loans extended to the community. It encourages the community to form self-help groups, farmer co-operatives and youth clubs that are responsible for loan repayment.
  • SST workers are all field workers. They live and work inside communities. Trust is core to the work they do
  • SST applies best practices such as TQM or Total Quality Management to its programs, so the change is well thought through and sustainable. The programs are mapped scientifically, making it easier to predict outcomes.

5. What is the total outlay for the program?

It varies. At present it is Rs.77 million (Rs.770 lakhs).

6. How long do these programs run?

That depends on the pace of change within the community. It takes a year to create awareness and alter attitudes. So by the end of the first year, communities accept they need to make changes. Usually, it takes 3 to 4 years to make a sustainable impact in a village. Typically by year 5, the Trust reduces its engagement from the community as the change is self-sustaining and people take ownership of the change.

7. What is the criteria for selecting villages in which the Trust works?

It tends to be clustered around the manufacturing facilities of the TVS group. It could also be around areas affected by natural disasters such as cyclones and tsunamis.

8. Does SST accept donations?

Yes, it does.

9. Does the trust accept volunteers ? Is there a criteria?

Yes. However, a volunteer should satisfy three conditions which include continuity of work, skills which are not available with the community and they should have a very close relationship with the community.

10. Is SST interested in any kind of solution providers for the community work it does?

Yes. SST is always exploring low-cost, eco-friendly innovations for the community. These solutions must use locally available resources, be sustainable and easy to implement and maintain.

11. Are there any areas in which SST is always looking for more innovation?

Yes. We are deeply committed to finding cost effective eco-friendly solutions to better waste management and energy management. This could include sewage treatment solutions, energy conservation, hygiene, and potable water solutions. We are also keen on innovations in education and skills development. We are open to collaborative work in these areas.

12. Will SST be willing to help other firms implement their CSR work?

Yes, to the extent that SST can show through its case studies and learnings how to tackle community issues. It will share its development model, but it does not carry out CSR on behalf of others.

13. Does SST work with other agencies?

Yes, it does, as long as the development goals are in line with the community needs and the model is sustainable change.

14. How do I contact SST?

Please use the ‘Contact Us‘ page on this website.