Monday, October 13, 2014

Voting, CSR & Diwali!

“If I have the means, I have the responsibility to employ them.” …Terry Brooks

Terence Dean "Terry" Brooks is an American writer of fantasy fiction. He writes mainly epic fantasy, yet his above quotes tells us about his philosophy also! Three things happened in this week which is why I thought of taking this subject i.e. social responsibility! First we were part of a voting awareness campaign, courtesy one very honest & sincere              Dy. Collector Snehal Barge, second I had been called as a speaker by a small group of entrepreneurs called Business Mantra, for sharing my views about business & third its Diwali times so as usual wanted to write a letter along with bonus to my team!

On the face all three things will seem to have no relevance of each other yet some where they are connected by one single thread & that is responsibility towards the society! It started from our letter about voting awareness to our clients, explaining importance of their vote & reminding them about their duty towards voting! During that discussion with Barge madam, who is charge of election proceedings in Khadkwasla constituency, she shared her team’s efforts to reach out to the voters in rural as well localities which are cut off from urban means of communication, for making them aware about voting. The real challenge is to contact citizen from working classes who mostly work on daily wages & make them understand importance of their vote. And as many of these class, work in fields or farms or at some construction site, they are not connected to means of common media like TV or Radio or even by Whatsap or FB type social media also! So we thought of making a small leaflet with message to the parents by school kids that why they should vote, & barge madam immediately agreed to distribute in all Zillah Parishad schools across her constituency. Idea was, these leaflets will be distributed in all school children & they will be requested to carry it to the home & hand over to their parents. The concept worked great & barge madam distributed nearly ten thousand leaflets which we have made & the children were happy, as they feel responsible & part of the campaign. The real story is ahead, as I received snaps from many schools of the leaflet being distributed amongst the children & the same is being displayed by the schools.  

One particular snap caught my attention where the school kids were standing in rows on their school ground & many of the kids were without even footwear! I remembered shoe rack of my own kids & felt guilty over it as its overflowing by all brands of the shoes/sandals/chappls & here the future, through which we were sending voting awareness leaflet are standing barefoot in harsh sun of October heat!  We are an independent country now for more than 68 years & in city like Pune there are at least half of the kids in one snap of one of the school, who don’t have even basic need fulfilled like having a decent shoe! What moral right we have to call our self a progressing & developing & 2000 Century’s future city! On other hand each day I read hundreds of advertisements of shoe sales on the occasion of Diwali, displaying all top brands in the world. And citizens only, who too are voters, must be the clients of all these brands for sure; so does our responsibility ends by just voting? Just think if every person who buys such branded shoe decides to buy one extra pair along with what he is buying for his kids & give it to all these needy children, isn’t it a sign of real responsible citizen?

Second thing happened, when as I mentioned was being called at a talk by small group of business club. The invite came via my close friend Vikrant & though by now I am used to lectures but never have been called as a business man for any speech! Yet I accepted as when he said it will be just a sharing about what I do at my end in my profession. Thankfully the lecture cum sharing went pretty well & during open house i.e. question by audience, one lady asked my views about recent policy of Central Govt for making2% of turnover or profit of a business house allocate for CSR activities!  
Well, for them who don’t know what CSR means, its Corporate Social Responsibility; in simplest word what efforts big business houses took for sharing their wealth with the segment of society which isn’t as privileged or lucky like as we are! It covers many fronts right from environment conservation to working for urban or rural poor to child welfare & many. I said I personally don’t know about any such policy in place but making laws doesn’t reduce the crime, is what I feel! With due respect to all business men in the country, we have enough means to dodge any policy or law which we don’t want to follow is a fact. By making any policy or rule CSR won’t survive but what every individual thinks about CSR will decide its survival! In first place why we need a law to help someone who needs help & when we are in capacity to help! And why only corporate, isn’t every individual has some responsibility towards the society? It’s a real shame that we need to frame a policy to help citizen of our own country who are not as privileged as us! But in the country where we follow even traffic signals only if a policeman is there, what else can be expected! What as an individual I do does matter most on the front of CSR is what I feel. And it isn’t necessary to spend crores of rupees for CSR, even buying one pair of shoe to a needy kid can also be a CSR by an individual; all what is needed is thinking for others also who too have their needs but not the means to fulfill them! This was my reply to the lady.

Third incidence was its Diwali festival ahead& obviously it’s a bonus time for our team. Though the times are not as festive on business front but then again sharing whatever we can with our own team is also somewhere part of CSR activity; as if one can’t keep our own team happy then what moral right one has to have all the luxuries of life! After all we all earn for our live hood but what we do from what we earn decides what we have become! Every year at Diwali I write a small letter to my team & along with wishes I try to share my philosophy with them. After all unless your team doesn’t understand what you want from the business then you alone will never be able to achieve what you want! So here is what I shared with them, as I thought most appropriate to share the very same words with you all…

"Dear Team,

“Always remember that with privilege comes responsibility." ...Sandra Rodriguez Barron.

Sandra Rodriguez Barron is the winner of the International Latino Book Award for debut fiction for her very first novel! And look in how simple words she has told us about our responsibilities towards the world! Friends, Diwali times are here & all are & should be in festive mood. But at the same time don’t neglect what’s happening around; economy is going through a difficult phase & no one is sure about the future. The country has seen a historic change on leadership as well political front & we do expect “achhe din“; but remember, any ship has to survive the storm before sailing in clear water!

Looking at the condition in various industries it’s a tough time we have to face & agreed home is most basic necessity yet our real estate industry survives on other industries performance is a fact we can’t ignore. We have done fairly well in such times also but don’t forget keeping our-self focused on the course is most important. And at such times when we will be welcoming the festival like Diwali with a smile, just keep in mind that there are many segments of society who are not as lucky as us & while we celebrate happy times with our families & friends, somewhere someone has nothing to be happy!
What I have always wished for you is, do make one such person happy while you have your joys & fun, as that will make your Diwali real special & that’s our culture at Sanjeevani!

Do convey our wishes to all your family & have great times ahead! Thanks for our togetherness!
Happy Diwali!!"


Finally do remember, pressing of the button on voting machine is only a start of the journey on road of social responsibility, destination of which is a happy & healthy society, mind it!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
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1 comment:

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