Teachers are the pillars of success. Your ability to pick up new skills, the zeal for success, everything that makes you who you are has been a gift from a teacher. Our parents were the first teachers we ever had; they held our hand every step of the way and still continue to support us when we want to learn how to make that ‘classic gharwali dal’ or talk to someone about Flexi-investments. Teaching is a noble profession and the learning never stops, whether you are preparing for an interview or trying to clear a crucial exam. Life as a test demands that you keep learning.
On the occasion of Teachers’ Day, we celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the first President of independent India, a philosopher and a teacher. In collaboration with the ABFRL CSR Teams, our volunteer teachers took out time from their day to groom young minds for success. These initiatives, under ABFRL’s “Employee Volunteering Program”, have been enriching the lives of children in our communities for several years. In the ongoing pandemic, “Virtual Employee Volunteering Programme” has further enabled employee volunteers to continue conducting workshops virtually to hone the skills of the children in academics and mentoring young adults.
These training session include Art and Music Workshops, Online classes, Mentorship Programmes for the Youth, Awareness Sessions on Water conservation, Environmental Conservation, and Personal Hygiene apart from Sponsoring Children’s education. In FY20-21, 210+ employees clocked 2,780 virtual hours to nurture young minds. We share with you the experience of some of our volunteer teachers:
“It’s been great, mentoring these young minds. I would like to be actively involved in both virtual and physical volunteering platforms. I loved the opportunity to share my insights and experience virtually with the exceptionally talented kids. While there is no substitute to being physically present with the kids, the possibility to spend time with them is extremely enriching and delightful. While I was supposed to advise them I felt more privileged and inspired in their presence”
Pritish Dey, AVP and Head, Space Planning, Pantaloons
Conducted Mentorship Program for 10-12th standard students on “How to face examination”
Taught English to 7th standard first generation learners at Panvel Municipal Corporation Schools.
“I have been passively involved with volunteering like blood donation camps at office. This virtual volunteering experience has its own pros and cons. Getting an opportunity to teach multiple kids over weekend without long travels, even during the pandemic, is a big plus. I don’t have to compromise with my 6-day work schedule, but still manage to volunteering easily by just click of a button. But that connect I would have made being right there in the village with the children is something I think I missed. Building a personal connect of ensuring every kid has learnt the topics covered well is not complete through an online call.”
Sivasankar Selvan, Senior Manager, Supply Chain and Logistics, ABFRL
Taught mathematics to underprivileged students of Sollepura village, Tamil Nadu
“I volunteered to be a part of this CSR activity during the pandemic and it was an amazing experience to connect with kids virtually. It was a lot more fun than I expected it to be, interacting with the kids, getting to know each other, cracking jokes and more importantly, keeping them engaged throughout the session. I look forward to being a part of many such events in the future.”
Prashant Kumar, Manager, Peter England (Design)
Conducted Art Workshops for underprivileged students.
“I was part of the Volunteer program to provide soft skill training to children under CSR activity. I spoke to the CSR team initially and got to know that it’s for children and I took the opportunity to share knowledge. Virtual Training was actually FUN, interacting with bunch of children who have many a dreams to achieve. It took me back to my school days. All the students from Mumbai were so energetic, asking lots of question. Many times we spoke in Marathi, Hindi and Other regional languages to make the interaction easy and the children were happy. A few 10th Standard students were seeking guidance on how to choose their dream careers. Overall it was an experience that gave me immense happiness and took me down memory line. I thank the CSR Team for giving me an opportunity and looking forward for more.”
Jeethandra Kumar R, Senior Executive, Central HR, ABFRL
Taught English to 7th standard first generation learners of Panvel Municipal Corporation Schools
Conducted Mock interviews with youth to prepare them for better employment opportunities
“Teaching in a virtual environment was a fascinating experience that made me reconsider how I connected with all my students, making me a much better listener than I was before the experience. With any class, it’s important to make a connection with your students. It’s doubly true when you’re dealing with students you cannot see and whose body language you cannot read. In person, it’s easy to reach out to students or if I needed to change direction to keep them interested and repeat complex information if they need me to. That isn’t always possible online. Unless students speak up, and few will, you have no idea whether your teaching is effective or not – until the lesson is over. Because of this limitation, I’ve learned to be more aware of those students who are too quiet or who need the special attention. It has most definitely opened up a new space for learning to quickly adapt to your student’s requirements both visually and auditorily.”
Shalini Naidu, Advisor, MLS, Retail Operations
Taught English to 5th and 6th standard students from Madiwala and Sollepura village.
Conducted Mentorship Program with a student from Sollepura village
“Working for UP’s number 1 store at MG Road Hazratganj, Lucknow as an assistant store manager made it quite difficult for me to cut few hours because my high-street store is centrally located with high walk-ins. But when the CSR team approached me to teach kids from slums and to educate about the given topic, I felt lucky and honored. Although I played a very small part, I had the wonderful opportunity to connect with some very bright kids. The way ABFRL is channelizing its energy to educate the future in this way, I’d say I’m working with one of the best Organizations! About my experience of virtual volunteering as compared to a physical one, both have their own merits and demerits, but the best part was sitting in Lucknow I could connect with bright minds in a different part of the country. Thank you, team CSR for giving me this opportunity, really looking forward to more.”
Aalok Chauhan, Assistant Store Manager, MFL
Undertook sessions on Road Safety for students from Panvel Municipal Corporation Schools during Road Safety Week
As your social timeline gets flooded with people remembering the teachers that made an impact on their lives, thank the teachers who taught you how to conquer life. A Happy Teachers’ Day to all the teachers in our life, including the ones who taught us life skills with tough love.