HDFC Standard Life is commercially exploiting a plot meant for social welfare charity purpose at Vashi. The plot was allotted for a child day care center to one Lata Nancy. After our report, her husband met NMTV News to give us justification for giving his premises on rent for commercial purpose. He however had none. He was quite frustrated and could give no logical justification for commercial exploitation of a social welfare plot given to him. It may be recalled that NMTV News had aired a report on November 13, 2010 about how HDFC Standard Life Insurance building situated in the heart of Vashi is actually a plot meant for social welfare and charity that is being commercially exploited by HDFC Standard Life. According to the agreement between the owner of the plot Lata Nancy and CIDCO, this plot is a social welfare plot meant to be used only on “no profit no loss” basis for charitable purpose. But in complete violation of the agreement, the owner of the plot Lata Nensee has given the entire premises to HDFC Standard Life Insurance on rent. The expose has been made by city’s eminent social activist Sandeep Thakur who says that it was in 1982, that CIDCO had allotted the particular plot in question for social purpose to Lata Nensee. According to the social activist, it is not possible that this has been done without the knowledge of CIDCO Manager of Town Services Vivek Marathe who has allegedly connived with the plot owner Lata Nancy. How else can a charity plot be used for commercial purpose? The owner Lata Nensee has so grossly violated the agreement with CIDCO that today the entire plot has been given away for commercial exploitation to HDFC Standard Life Insurance. When we had met Vivek Marathe – Manager of Town Services at CIDCO, no points for guessing; that he refused to speak to us. On the other hand when we had visited the HDFC Standard Life Insurance, Vasim Sondhe – the Manager refused to speak to us on camera and give any information while at that time the Nensee Toddler Academy that is operating from another premise at Vashi, Lata Nensee refused to speak to us. However after our report was aired, sources inform that under pressure to justify the commercial exploitation, Lata Nancy’s husband Rajnikanth Nensee Lalan met with us. Completely frustrated, he first outright refused to speak to us on camera. He also showed us a document that supposedly is the CIDCO permission allowing change of use. However even in this document it says that 1/3rd of the plot should be used as a day care center, which is not being done on the plot. When we point this to him, he took the emotional cover up. When we asked him if they had so many limitations why was he not giving the plot to another NGO to run a day care center? On this question too, Rajnikanth Nensee Lalan lost his cool. Clearly Rajnikanth Nensee Lalan, the husband of the plot owner Lata Nancy has no justification for using a social welfare plot for charity for commercial purpose. According to social activist Sandeep Thakur, CIDCO must seal HDFC Standard Life Insurance and give the plot to some other NGO or charitable trust. What’s more shocking is that HDFC – the bank that claims to practice ethical business and boast of practicing corporate social responsibility, is aware that the plot is meant for social welfare charity purpose but is still commercially exploiting the plot. They do not seem to have any justification for this unethical practice perhaps that is why the “Ethics Committee” of HDFC has still not replied to the letter written by Sandeep Thakur in this regard. With cameraperson Vinayak Dalvi, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
January 28, 2009