Corporate Social Responsibility
Drive Social Change
Writer Corporation believes in creating future value. It supports social welfare initiatives and adopts sustainable measures as part of its social outreach program.
In 1981, way before Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) found acceptance amongst companies, Writer Corporation started the support to KRIPA Foundation. KRIPA helps people afflicted and affected by chemical dependency and related HIV problems.
Today, KRIPA has evolved today into the largest non-government, secular organization under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
As part of an all-round development of marginalized communities, Writer Corporation also reaches out to remote rural pockets providing infrastructure for education, water portability, and sanitation, to bring qualitative changes into the lives of the underprivileged.
Drive Conservation & Sustainability
It all started with a deep connection to nature. The two brothers - William De Souza and Denzil De Souza - discovered Shillim Valley, a unique bowl-shaped eco-hotspot, nestled in the Sahyadri mountain range.
They soon understood that the forested valley was under constant threat from unsustainable 'slash and burn' agricultural practices by the local Adivasi community. This was a farming practice that evolved from a lack of economic alternatives and from the sheer need to survive. As a result, the Adivasis put the immense beauty of this wilderness and its entire ecosystem at risk.
Each year, the two brothers witnessed the annual burning of virtually every forested hillside.
Radha Veach, a horticulturist, took on the ambitious goal of establishing a native species reforestation program. Committing to stay on-site, she scoured the forest for native seeds and grew them in a nursery on the banks of Pawna Lake.
The program's logic was simple: a forest can regenerate fastest when its own species are allowed to act in symbiosis. At the same time, the men of the village were given economic status through jobs to guard the property, put out forest fires, prevent slash and burn, and stop wildlife hunting. Women were employed in the nursery and in the large annual pre-monsoon plantation program.
Today, Shillim Eco-Wellness Retreat conserves more than a million trees and safe harbours diverse flora and fauna. Once the reforestation program took hold, attention turned to thinking about the kind of project needed to sustain the maintenance and preservation of the forest. Through the meeting of similar minds, the idea to build an 'off the grid' Eco Retreat became apparent.
Margie Ruddick, landscape architect, national design award winner, and master-planner, and Steven Harris, a design architect based in New York, came together to form the core team to re-imagine Shillim.
Their plan was to reforest the land and sustain development through an Eco Retreat. The Retreat would be built in nature without disturbing its natural beauty. Each room would offer the guests a blend of panoramic views with the thrilling experience of living in a forest. Finding the right balance between flora, fauna, and human habitation was critical.
As the Shillim journey unfolded, one of the brothers fell ill. After many soul-searching months, an expansion of the original mission occurred.
The project would become much more than an eco-retreat. It would be one of the foremost wellness destinations in the world, providing an exemplary sanctuary to the body, mind, and soul.
A wellness destination from where, after spending a few days or weeks, a guest would return re-energized to everyday life. Wellness programs would combine with art studios, leisure riding would combine with a cooking school, and organic farming would complement deep meditation practices - to create experiences all in tune with the wilderness setting.
Shillim now has developed a purpose beyond conservation. It has taken 25 years to hold and conserve the valley. It took 10 years to design and build Shillim Retreat. Conserving the earth would resonate well with conserving health.