By Dipali Chaudhari on 5 July 2012
What does it mean to be actively involved in CSR? KPIT Cummins’ Dipali Chaudhari shares her experiences, demonstrating why active involvement in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is far more rewarding than just participating through donations.
Courtesy: Marcie Casas
Today, as I write my first blog, I don’t mind admitting that I feel proud being a part of the ongoing CSR initiatives at KPIT Cummins. I do hope these little thoughts of mine can inspire others to share and give – it really is a great experience. I also take this opportunity to applaud all the KPIT volunteers involved on behalf of all of us.
KPIT Cummins has actively assisted several excellent Corporate Social Responsibility activities. There’s the ‘School kit donation drive’, ‘Annadaan’ (food donation drive), ‘Surajya’ and ‘Swaroopwardhinee’ (NGOs dedicated towards basic education, adult literacy, vocational training in less privileged areas) to mention just a few. While all of these initiatives do benefit from a great employee response, I’d like to encourage each of us to go further than simply offering a donation, because hands on, active involvement is very rewarding.
Till date, I have been a passive participant in a few of these initiatives, but few months back I had an opportunity to join the work carried out by ‘Surajya’, visiting vasties (slum areas) with the team. To give you a background on what’s involved, every weekend, KPIT Cummins’ employees travel to some of the lesser privileged slums in Pune area, and conduct interactive sessions wherein they share knowledge and moral values with the local children. These children always greet the volunteers happily, and are forever eager to learn. It truly is an experience in itself. At the same time, I’ve realized that there are so many children out there, across different regions and states, deprived of their basic needs. Obviously, we need more volunteers.
Think back to your childhood. Did you share your chocolates or toys with other children? The act of sharing is taught to all of us; it is part of every culture. I still remember an incident from my life – it was my state-level board exam and one of the students could not pay his school fees due to financial constraints. As a result, he was not allowed to give his exams and the school management had denied him his hall ticket. It was then that I realized that I could pay his fees, which coincidently was the same amount that I had received as prize money for one of the Maharashtra Talent Search Examinations (MTSE). Talk about a spontaneous decision! I’m sure each one of us has faced similar experiences, where the urge to give, made such simple sense and made us happy.
Unfortunately, what was straightforward in childhood and even early adulthood can become confused and cynical as we get older. People will tell you that community initiatives are just a front and that they are not worth contributing, or it’s all just money laundering, or just another way of getting in spotlight and so on. True, these beliefs may be applicable in some situations, but only some. However, instead of criticizing, we need to do our part to ensure that all initiatives are transparent and ethically strong. We need to change our perspective and get actively involved, not only in the corporate CSR initiatives but also locally.
It’s worth learning from a few celebrities – Sushmita Sen, for example, adopted a daughter and inspired many others to do the same. Aamir Khan, through his TV program Satyameva Jayate, is doing his part to eliminate unethical social practices. But remember, you don’t need to be a star. We all know about the great legends like Baba Amte, Mother Teresa and many others who have helped change the face of our country through simple acts of caring. All initiatives of this kind, both big and small, play an important role in the sustainable growth of our society. They form the backbone of every developed country.
I believe, if someone smiles your way in the morning, you’ll smile at many others during the day. Sometimes it’s as simple as that! Is it difficult to put up smiles across a large crowd through simple acts of service…it is not!
‘A single person cannot, but millions of us united together can bring a change.’
So, on that note, I sincerely request each one of you to contribute to society in your own way. It’s great to donate, but if you can get active, in whatever way, even better.
Take it from me, or any of the active volunteers in KPIT; the rewards are definitely worth it!
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