Here’s a real life “story” from my life. Something that happened at my workplace, within my small team.. but it touches several hearts across the company and even the society outside. It binds together a diverse cross-section of the social strata, and everyone has a separate reason that associates them with this story. Something that touches “Diversity & Inclusion, Employee Engagement and Community Service” efforts together in a beautiful manner. Hope it’ll leave an impact somewhere. Amen.
2008. The India office was still new. The in-house café at the office served some awesome grilled-sandwiches !
Time flew ; the office grew ; and so did the café’s menu!
One fine day, while re-arranging one of his office drawers, Aditya noticed that the petty change from the café bills, that he had been callously dropping in the drawer, had now accumulated to an amount decent enough for 4 more sandwiches – that’s like a onetime meal for a small family !! He shared this observation with Sujai, his team mate, and this time they made a conscious effort to save that “petty change”. Within a month Aditya, Sujai and a few more team-mates were ready with a good handsome amount that they then donated at a local orphanage. The idea worked well – it was like just one rupee a day, and you end up helping someone in need! ..and they started calling it JORAD (Just One Rupee A Day) !
Soon there were more people reaching out to this group, willing to contribute. Even people from newer teams, who were otherwise strangers, would call-up and express a wish to connect. The word spread really fast by word-of-mouth. The collections were made and then a small group of enthusiasts would make a trip to a local food store, purchase stuff for the donations and then together visit the nearby orphanage or the old-age home. And while this happened, friendships occurred !
The JORADians now realized that the idea was proving to be a nice reason for initiating inter-personal communications as well. People who would never connect with each other over official matters, or perhaps people who preferred to shy away from fun events as well – even such individuals willingly volunteered for JORAD, contributing money and even a helping hand to the core team in making the final donations. This beautiful interpersonal-connect proved to be a key byproduct of this effort. Realizing this, rather than simply placing a typical “donation box” at a convenient location, the JORADians decided to appoint more individual volunteers across the floor who would be available to other colleagues to talk to them about JORAD and to collect their contributions as well.
Since its inception, this noble novel initiative has worked well successfully, with participation from people across the India office. To top it all, even with every individual contributing a negligible amount, JORAD has been able to contribute a value worth Rs.90K (ninety thousand Indian Rupees) back to the community and priceless relationships within the office! A true win-win scenario – both for the external beneficiaries as well as for the employees.
A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step.
– Lao Tzu
A journey of 90 thousand miles begins with a grilled-sandwich.