World Environment Day

Well, I am a firm believer that we don’t require special days to use our common sense. However, general perception is that unless a fancy is attached with a cause, no one will notice. Given this premise, on this august occasion of world environment day, I have a few thoughts / suggestions on how we can do our bit to the environment, which in turn feeds back into us.

Proposals:
1. Thou SHALL enable e-statements for all Bank, Credit Card, Mutual Fund and any other financial transactions.

2. Thou SHALL NOT take a print of transaction in an ATM unless absolutely necessary (like an outstation different bank ATM just for safety)

3. Thou SHALL plant atleast 2 plants in a pot whether it’s an independent / rented house or apartment. A small amount of water and 2 mins of time is all that’s required.

4. Thou SHALL CARRY cloth bags / jute bags / Old plastic bags when you go for shopping and shall avoid buying new plastic bags.

5. Thou SHALL walk close distances or cycle if you can and avoid taking out the car especially for shorter distances.

6. Thou SHALL try and maximize the use of public transport or METRO or company provided transport as applicable.

7. Thou SHALL segregate waste i.e. separate bio-degradable and plastic/paper/cardboard waste. The latter waste can be recycled and what’s more you get paid for the same.

8. Thou SHALL maximize the use of LED bulbs and avoid older bulbs to the maximum possible extent.

9. Thou SHALL buy appliances with good power rating with minimal impact on environment

and lastly..

10. Thou SHALL pass on this message or add to the same..

Happy World Environment Day !!!

Chennai Floods – Personal Experience

In my previous post, I did write about my experiences with Chennai floods and what we did as a team in the company. While this was a great learning experience with some tremendous team effort, I had a surprise in store at home.

Being a busy-bee and discussing about the Chennai floods at home got my kids interested. I told the impact of the devastation it had caused and shared some images with them.

My kids’ school started a drive to collect material, clothes and other essentials. The first surprise was the ease with which they gave their old unused clothes that were washed and preserved without batting an eyelid. We were pleasantly surprised and sent a silent prayer to the almighty.

The best was yet to come. When the circular about the essentials came, I wanted to test the resolve of my daughter. She is a very stingy lady who doesn’t part with the money that she has saved over years. I told her that she can buy stuff as long as she is ready to fund it.

Bam !! On my face, she gives me a princely sum of Rs. 500 out of her collection. We bought stuff for Rs. 645 (rest funded by dad) and split across the sis-bro combo and was delivered to school today.

My kids are one heck of rockstars and I am damn proud of them !!! Of course, I am also happy that they are able to relate to the condition of the needy and identify that we should be giving to help the needy.. Great start.. Hoping that the same trend will continue in future.. Fingers Crossed..

Chennai Floods – Professional Experience

Chennai and coastal Tamil Nadu saw nature’s fury in it’s most raw, unhindered and pristine glory. The devastation caused to lives was beyond comprehension and the cities were damaged beyond comprehension. This dance of gore by mother nature caught everyone unawares.

Disturbing times call for immediate action and this was pretty evident in the way some of the eminent citizens of Chennai responded to this natural calamity. Though a lot of people were involved, the major drivers were RJ Balaji, Actor Siddarth, Singer Chinmayi and many more such Tollywood personalities.

All these incidents forced us to take some action and man, did we take or what?? AMD CSR team launched a collection drive to collect funds and deliver the necessary essentials to a NGO or better deliver it ourselves. From the onset, we were very clear that we didn’t want to take the easy way out of just paying the money to some NGO.

We were lucky that there were multiple people who had very important information that could aid us in our planning. Ganesh Gopalasubramaniam (GG) had taken a lead ahead of us and visited Chennai and affected areas already with his friends. His experience was very crucial in deciding our course of action.

We came up with Packs viz., Grocery Pack, Health & Hygiene Pack, Combo Pack and Ready to Eat pack, each conveniently designed to be Rs. 400 and solicited sponsorship for the same. I have to admit that I was very apprehensive initially and shared my concerns/initial targets with our good friend from HR.

Man, was I ready to be surprised?? AMD Family opened their hearts and wallets and showered us with a lot of donations. I would say that even though the number of donors was small, the total collection was a wonderful tidy sum.

Next stop, buying these materials and ensuring that the same reaches the needy. Six of us took on the onerous task of buying stuff from our packs in bulk and ensured that every single paisa was utilized most efficiently both from donors’ perspective as well as the recipients. Today, 14th Dec 2015 was a momentous day when we were able to buy a lot of stuff and deliver the same to the NGO. All our purchases were handed over to Goonj, who are doing some commendable job in ensuring that contributions are handed over to the needy.

Special mention to the entire team:- Nehal Shah, Rupa, Ganesh (GG), Shoeb and Uday, while Sree, Muthu and Deepak were with us in spirit.

This is truly our humble contribution and we certainly hope that it makes a small difference in the lives of those who unfortunately had to bear nature’s anger.

Some pics from our exhausting yet satisfying experience.

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CSR

In the previous post, I did mention about CSR i.e. Corporate Social Responsibility fast becoming an integral part of corporates. There are numerous laws being passed to ensure that all business setups are mandated to contribute to the society.

2015 marked the kick-off of CSR formally in AMD. It’s not that we didn’t have CSR activities earlier. Before I delve into the activities of this year, I would like to highlight one activity in 2014.

Being the benefactor of a few organizations, it had been my dream to fund school kids’ education. An opportunity presented itself in 2014, wherein our colleagues came up with a plan to sponsor school kits for a few under-privileged children. Taking a lead on this along with my good friend and our HR partner, Smitha, we set out on a collection drive for the sponsorship. With some push, we were able to gather sponsorship for 100 kits, which at that time, I felt was a great milestone. Until I found out that our colleagues from Hyderabad had beat us by a large margin. Competition apart, it was really heart-warming that we are able to make such a difference.

AMD India got it’s first CSR champion in 2015 in the form of a truly motivated individual, Nehal Shah. Knowing him for past 6 years, I knew that the drive and focus required for this activity was something that was natural to him. We had multiple activities in the last quarter and here is a snapshot of what we have been able to achieve in the last quarter of 2015.

AMD tied up with United Way of Bengaluru to channelize the CSR activities. Through this connection, there are a couple of activities that have been kicked off this year.

Vidyaranya Trust

Vidyaranya Education and Development Society (VEDS) has been working on areas of destitute children, differently abled children, destitute women and old age people. We attended a program kick-off where our colleagues entertained the inmates. After a formal kick-off, we participated in the activities which were sponsored through AMD’s CSR activities and an excellent lunch hosted by the trust.

  • Candle making
  • Paper Cover making
  • Broom making

Some pics from this very wonderful experience..

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Pic 1: Discipline was very evident in the facility and this picture proves it beyond words.

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Pic 2: AMD Colleagues engaging with the inmates

Tree Plantation – SayTrees

AMD celebrated a global volunteer day which was celebrated in Bangalore too. Together, we planted 150 new trees through SayTrees, that will provide shelter and restore some amount of greenery in the ever-increasing concrete jungle. Some pictures from this amazing and a little tiring experience

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Pic 3: AMD Volunteers ready for Tree plantation drive
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Pic 4: Everyone is listening with rapt attention to the instructions
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Pic 5: CSR Champion Nehal Shah leaving his imprint as a proof of participation

Women’s Empowerment Program – Triveni Nagar, K.R. Puram

Continuing our engagement with United Way of Bengaluru, the next activity was the launch of a Women’s Empowerment Program. This was definitely a learning experience for a lot of us, wherein a local money lender herself suggested that all women should become self-reliant and self-sufficient. Pretty amazing.. Some pics from the event..

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Pic 6: AMD Volunteer Muthu and our inspiration leader, Jay Hiremath

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Pic 7: Jay and Prathewsha from AMD Women Forum sharing the dias

Chennai floods was an unexpected calamity and the way we have responded is an inspiration in itself. This deserves a separate post which will be next from me. Watch this space..