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To help others when it is needed – that is the essence of humanity. Club Mahindra employees have made volunteering for the community a habit. Here are some stories of how they have been volunteering their time to drive a positive change in communities and empowering them to RISE.
In August 2018, Kerala experienced unprecedented rainfall that left a trail of destruction in its wake. It was the worst flood witnessed by the state in nearly a century. The event was categorised as being among the five worst floods globally between 2015 and 2019 by the World Meteorological Organisation. It resulted in the loss of 483 lives and displacement of an estimated 7,00,000 people, as well as massive loss of goods and property. The Indian Navy and the Army had to be deployed to help with the evacuation efforts, and relief camps were quickly set up in non-flooded areas to give shelter to the flood victims.
The employees from Club Mahindra resorts situated across Kerala rallied to help with relief work in this flood. They worked relentlessly – helping families evacuate, offering manpower and logistical support to provide on-ground relief to affected communities and providing aid to families sheltered in temporary camps. Over 100 employees put in over 20,000 hours of volunteer service during the floods.
This was not the first time Club Mahindra employees had reached out through their efforts to contribute and give back to society. Whether it is the larger community or an individual in need, the people of Club Mahindra are always quick to step up.
For example, during a field visit to the local community, employees at the Kanha resort discovered a bamboo artist called Shambhu working on his wares. Impressed by his skill, they invited him to come and showcase his art at the resort. Coming from an impoverished background, Shambhu was a bit sceptical about the offer. It took a little time for him to be convinced that the resort staff was offering him a break that could help him display and sell his wares better as support staff for the recreation wing at the resort. Today, Shambhu works at the resort making beautiful bamboo crafts, showing resort guests the process behind the art and selling his wares to those interested. He earns a steady income now.
The story of Vimla Bai is similar in some ways to Shambhu’s story. A young widow struggling to earn enough to take care of her two children, Vimla’s life was quite bleak. Despite working long hours, she was still barely able to meet her family’s needs. The children had to be pulled out of school because she was unable to keep up with the expenses.
She was introduced to the employees at Kanha resort by the local Panchayat. As she had no formal education or skill, Vimla was given the task of maintaining the gardens of the resort. For four years now, she has been working at the resort and earning a regular salary. Her children attend the local school regularly, and Vimla hopes for a better life for them.
In February 2019, in acknowledgement of this spirit of giving, Club Mahindra launched an annual initiative called Mission S.M.I.L.E.S (Social Movement to Improve Life Experiences) under its Employee Social Options Programme (ESOP). As part of this mission, all Club Mahindra employees pledged to cumulatively devote 5,000 hours annually to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives focusing on education, health and the environment.
A series of initiatives have been initiated under this programme. One of these was in Mumbai, where 180 employees and Club Mahindra members devoted a full working day to support the development of infrastructure at Shree Ganesh Vidya Mandir School in Dharavi, Mumbai. They did wall and mural paintings, beautified the school premises, refurbished the benches and created visual charts for teaching. It has resulted in better infrastructure for the school and a happier learning environment for children.
This level of community engagement by the employees has transformed many lives. The employees at Club Mahindra are true ambassadors of the brand, which defines its core purpose as driving positive change in the stakeholders and communities, empowering all to Rise.
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