Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The ideal way of giving! #ShramDaanDay

Bill Gates, Azim Premji, Mark Zuckerberg - what do they all have in common? Other than being industry leaders and very successful entrepreneurs, they all have committed to provide funds for causes that will make our world a better place. But then these are uber rich men and the practice of the rich and powerful providing support or ‘DAAN’ to the poor/needy has been a common practice in India since ages. However the feeling of doing something for the community is not just felt by the rich and powerful, it is also shared by millions of others who have all the good intentions but don't have the means to do so. When we speak about the millions, we have the lower strata from whom we don't expect much but the contributions that they have been making have taken me by total surprise. It's not been about money but they have done their bit by providing services and thus comes around the concept of Shram(services) Daan. It's surprising though that despite having the intent, I haven't seen or heard much of the in between strata that is the not so rich but earning well strata which I belong to, doing a collective effort like what I am going to tell you about :)

Fevicol has carried out the noble initiative of bonding over 42000 woodworkers, carpenters and contractors, in a unique pan-India community initiative called the Shram Daan Divas which denotes 2 days in this month i.e. the 20th and 21st of December and is held under the auspices of the Fevicol Champions Club (FCC). These woodworkers and contractors show the selfless act of donating a day’s labour free of cost to repair and refurbish furniture at NGOs, beneficiary schools, hospitals and institutions for underprivileged children. This year this act of kindness was carried out at over 800 beneficiary institutions across 320 cities in the country. Mumbai alone saw around 3430 carpenters come together to renovate 52 institutions including an old age home, a home for autistic children and a mental hospital. Pidilite provided all participants across India with the required support, tools and materials for carrying out their repair work.

Established in year 2002, the Fevicol Champions Club (FCC) is an exclusive club for woodworkers and contractors and serves as a platform for them to learn and enhance their personal and professional skills to grow their business further. As reciprocation, the FCC members continuously devote their efforts towards betterment of the society by not only undertaking the Shram Daan Day refurbishment activity but also various other activities such as medical camps, blood donation, pulse polio, eye check-up, Swach Bharat Abhiyan cleanliness drive, baal mela, scholarships to name a few. Today, FCC has office bearers for their respective chapters across the country and also boasts of about 625 clubs in about 320 cities in its ambit and more than 42,000 members across India.

It is really touching to see daily wage earners such as woodworkers, carpenters and contractors forego their livelihood for such a noble cause as they themselves are not economically empowered, but are taking this gigantic step to help society by using their skills and intellect. This spirit is what has helped the FCC grow by leaps and bounds and make a mark by entering into the Limca Book of Records and Asian Book of Records among others.

Sometimes when I see such selfless acts of kindness happening around me, I wonder that if the lower strata can be so giving then what stops the higher strata from doing activities like this or contributing in a much larger way through services. I know this is an answer that is going to be difficult to find, but for the moment, hats off to these woodworkers on carrying out such a noble deed and kudos to Pidilite for acting as the glue which binds all of them together!

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