SOURCE: Cisco Systems, Inc.

October 31, 2007 01:30 ET

Cisco Expands Social Responsibility Activities in India

Launches Harvest of Hope, Feed a Child Programme With Akshaya Patra

BANGALORE, INDIA--(Marketwire - October 31, 2007) - Cisco® (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced that it is launching the Harvest of Hope, Feed a Child Programme, part of an employee campaign aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions of Indian citizens.

A leader in global corporate social responsibility, Cisco is involved in the improvement of the basic needs and education levels of disadvantaged groups in India. The company announced the Harvest of Hope, Feed a Child Programme in partnership with Akshaya Patra, which aims to provide food to 5,000 children this year. Working with Akshaya Patra, Cisco will raise funds from employees from 1st November until 31st December for children from schools within a 20-30 kilometer radius of the Cisco Bangalore campus.

"Through employee volunteering and high-impact social investments, we deliver tangible benefits to our investors and the global community," said Tae Yoo, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Cisco. "Through the initiatives we're announcing today and others that have been in place to assist rural India, we have the unique opportunity to truly make a difference in India and build a foundation for economic development and social advancement of underserved communities," she added.

Ranked in the top 10 of the Global and North American indices of KLD's Global Sustainability Index, Cisco focuses on analysing the local communities in which it operates and identifying the issues that can be addressed by its global corporate social responsibility initiatives. The Cisco India Civic Council (a steering committee of Cisco employees responsible for developing strategic socially responsible programmes and civic engagement initiatives) has been working with various organisations, including Shristi Special Academy, Children's Lovecastles Trust, Samarthanam Trust for The Disabled, Mitra Jyothi, Ashwini Charitable Trust, Bangalore Hospice Trust, the National Association for the Blind, and SOS Children's Villages.

Dedicated to leading the development and delivery of innovative training programmes in information and communications technology (ICT) skills, particularly in fast-developing countries such as India, Cisco is also making significant investments in its education and certification programmes to equip more students for successful careers in networking. Recently, Cisco celebrated its 10th anniversary of the Cisco Networking Academy® programme. More than 160 academies exist in India today, serving more than 11,000 students (26 percent of which are female). Since this public-private partnership launched in 1997, more than 2 million students in more than 160 countries have participated in the Networking Academy.

Cisco also supports the LifeLines India programme in India, a multi-stakeholder partnership which provides small-scale rural farmers with access to useful farming advise via a voicemail system based on the Cisco Unified Messaging platform. The voicemail system assists farmers in obtaining information about crop prices and yields, animal care, and weather conditions; and in making more effective farming decisions.

Cisco's social investment strategy focuses on empowering individuals and organizations as well as transforming communities through public-private partnerships and the benefits of networking.

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