Shingnapur, a small village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra was abuzz with action early morning on 21 Jan. More than 300 villagers gathered at the community ground to participate in the first of its kind afforestation drive in the village, celebrating World Forestry Day. Within an hour, several native trees consuming less water were planted by the villagers in collaboration with employees of RuralShores – leading rural BPO.
Recognising that children are the most influential agents of change, the employees of RuralShores have also started promoting importance of breakfast and healthy habits through action in the Zilla Parishad School of the village. They procure fruits from local vendors and distribute them to over 400 primary and secondary school children after their morning prayers, educating them on good habits such as waste management, sanitation and nutrition – adapting one theme each month. The children are taught these habits through implementation – such as making them dispose of fruit peels in the school dustbin. By regularly implementing behaviour change through action, it is ensured that the behaviour is adopted by the children, thus contributing to making them socially responsible citizens. “We work for the progress and well-being of not only our employees but also the villages of our employees. UTSAH – our social platform enables us to connect with our communities in an organised way”, said Anindya Bhattacharya, Head of Kopergaon center of RuralShores.
To fund the activities, the employees have pledged a certain amount of their daily salary. The senior management of the organisation contributes the balance amount, making it a 100 percent employee funded and employee run community outreach programme – the first of its kind in the country. “The social return of UTSAH is more than 2.5 times of every rupee invested in the community. Besides, the local economy of the region also multiplies positively through UTSAH,” Prerna W, leading the outreach program said.
Going forward, the employees will conduct introductory session on computers for the women of the villages. This initiative will be launched on the occasion of International Women’s Day, on 8th March, 2016. “We feel proud to be able to contribute to our villages through RuralShores’ UTSAH”, beamed Santhosh Gaikwad, admin in-charge of the center.