Recently there has been a spate of employee engagement initiatives across corporate India. Here’s a brief roundup:
Jet Airways recently concluded its annual employee volunteering programme called Joy of Giving. This is the the internal, organisation-wide initiative that leverages the airline’s pan-India presence to engage with NGOs and contribute towards serving the less privileged sections of society, particularly children, women and senior citizens. The programme also promotes employee sensitisation towards the cause of philanthropy and humanitarian issues.
This year, employees visited NGOs and foster-care homes in multiple cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Udaipur and Kolkata. They not only spent time there but also donated cash and significant amounts of resources such as stationeries, food, household items, clothes and even movie tickets. They interacted with the children, participated in fun activities, and shared their flight experiences. This year the NGOs included Sunshine Foundation, Mother Teresa Foundation, My Home – Old Age Home, Mathra Chaya Mandiram Orphange, Samarpan Sansthan, Good Life Centre, Dindayal Foster, Anneshwa and Sandesh.
Further questions from CauseBecause were met with silence on the company’s side. We had reached out to Gaurav Sahni and Srirupa Sen.
On 31 January, HCL Foundation celebrated its Power of One initiative, which is an employee volunteering and payroll giving programme. It also forms an integral part of the Foundation’s work for positive urban transformation. Power of One is based on the belief that all that is needed is just one rupee per day or one dollar per week and one hour, one day, one month or one year of community service to make a significant difference in society.
Driven by so-called HCL Community Champions, employees can make contributions to communities through various activities: teaching, rehabilitation, counselling, mentoring, training and sensitisation programs, addressing a range of development issues including education, health, livelihoods and environment. Participation can take the form of Daily Payroll Giving wherein employees contribute one rupee every day in India (or one USD or one pound), all of which are directed to key initiatives and are over and above the CSR spends of HCL Foundation. The other way is Community Championship – here, HCL Foundation supports employees who volunteer on community service projects.
As per the Foundation’s claims, 50,000 HCL employees have so far participated in this initiative, dedicating approximately 150,000 hours this year and impacting over 200,000 people across India. 100 HCL employees have adopted 100 schools across 12 states, benefiting 50,000 students. The two key projects supported by Power of One initiative are MY SCHOOL wherein employees can give back through community service in a school of his or her choice, and MY SCHOLAR, which is a long-term scholarship programme to support the education of talented children from low-income families.
The Power of One Carnival was presented as a day of celebration of this initiative and featured cultural performances and activities led by children from HCL Foundation’s project locations, stalls by NGO partners, experiential workshops, various engagement activities, and music and dance.
Related questions from CauseBecause were not answered by the Foundation. CB had sent its questions to Devneeta Pahuja, Nidhi Pundhir, and Ajay Davessar.
InterGlobe Foundation (IGF), the do-good arm of InterGlobe Enterprises (which includes IndiGo Airlines among its roster of ventures), has been actively promoting the culture of corporate volunteering though initiatives in the areas of preserving heritage and culture, promoting livelihoods, and protecting the environment. It currently supports 11 projects impacting the lives of nearly 250,000 people. Some of the major initiatives are ‘No Open Waste’ – a waste-management project, Saksham – focused on employability-enhancement training, donation drives, and Gramjyothi, which promotes livelihood generation for women.
With a view towards engaging its employees on CSR, IGE organised a ‘heritage walk’ at Rahim’s tomb on 30 January to commemorate the efforts of volunteers for the conservation and cultural revival of Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khanan’s monument that had been taken up by the IGF with Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in 2014. Thirty-six employees participated in this walk. The project on Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khanan’s tomb is physical restoration in the form of repair of cracks and stabilisation and reconstruction of portions as per the original profiles, using traditional craftsmanship techniques. The project has utilised more than 250,000 man-days, generating employment opportunities for master craftsmen.
Earlier, events such as art installations during the Apni Basti mela, projects such as landscape development through tree plantation, and citizen journalism covering life stories of the craftsmen were organised. Over 100 employees have engaged in these activities over the years.
A related noteworthy step is the iServe programme that allows three days of official leave to all its employees to participate in volunteering, so as to foster and promote responsible citizenship. Over 200 employees volunteered this year for iServe activities.