As the country begins its recovery after the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Diwali 2021 brings about a new hope among the people of India, to mark an end to the bleak times and welcome new light and opportunities. Keeping alive this hope are Indian companies and non-profits, which are launching various initiatives this Diwali, promoting the aspirations of Indians to grow and progress in the new year. Let us look at various initiatives launched by Indian entities on the occasion of Diwali, aimed at making the festive season happy for many others.
JK Super Cement
A brand with a purpose, JK Super Cement rings in the festivities with a special Diwali Campaign- Kare Har Raah Roshan #LightOfHappiness- by lighting up streets and chowks across eight states in India. This sustainable initiative was done by installing 160 solar-powered lights in different villages across India, impacting over 12 lakh populations.
JKCement identified these dark alleys and bylanes across villages where passersby find it difficult or unsafe to cross those streets due to inadequate lights. The company installed these lights in those areas thereby preventing road accidents and other related difficulties.
Zing, a popular channel among the youth of India has launched a heartwarming campaign, ‘Be a sparkle with Zing’ that urges individuals to ‘gift’ their time by being mentors to those in need. The drive aims to enrich the lives of under-resourced youth, who lack the support in their crucial years of growth. Volunteers will get a chance to mentor one child or young adult and guide them with respect to developing their social skills, focus on life, career, among others. ZING has tied up with NGOs — The Lighthouse Project, Mentor Together, Antarang Foundation and Katalyst Indiato help connect under-resourced youths to their perfect mentors. Individuals can register via this link to initiate their mentorship journey: https://p3e49wjg8l7.typeform.com/to/RCtODfCx
This program will offer a safe environment for one-on-one communication between mentors and mentees to share knowledge, understanding and thoughts which will help the mentees to grow, and become socially aware individuals. Through this program, Zing is trying to educate the youth about mentoring, and bring them together to lead the change at these NGOS, who play an instrumental role in instilling a positive attitude amongst their beneficiaries, making them socially aware and preparing them for the future.
As the country slowly steps towards some form of normalcy amidst the pandemic, this Diwali, non-governmental organization HelpAge India working for disadvantaged elders, celebrates the festival of lights with a message of hope and togetherness through its campaign and film, ‘Andhero Se Roshini Tak.’
In a marathon celebration, HelpAge marks the festival across 100 old age homes across the country, bringing happiness, hope and joy to senior citizens, many who were suffering from isolation, loneliness and a sense of abandonment during the pandemic. The campaign aims to bring them back into the fold and give them a ray of hope and support them.
The campaign highlights the impact of the pandemic on India‘s elders vis a vis their health, livelihood and the pervading sense of loneliness and feeling of being forgotten by their own, as social distancing, led to social isolation for many of our elders who were left to fend for themselves.
According to a survey done by HelpAge earlier this year, 36 % elders at home in India ‘were just waiting for the phone to ring’. During the first lockdown, 65% of elders lost their only source of livelihood, leaving them with no resources for medicines and no one to reach out to.
The core campaign message – Khushyion per hain unqa bhi haq, Iss Diwali le chalo Bado ko, Andhero Se Roshini Tak urges the younger generation and society at large, to bring hope, light and ‘Roshini’ back into the lives of elders. It encourages bringing elders back into the family fold and pushes for elder inclusion. A time to give back and spread the love, and reach out to those elders who have no one to call their own and support them.
NAV Back Office
Leading city-based ITes solutions provider NAV Back Office has launched a unique campaign to mount humanitarian assistance to common people affected in any way by COVID-19. The campaign, titled ‘Hum Layenge Khushiyan’, was rolled out across Jaipur on September 25, 2021 and will leverage the 1500-strong employee base of the company. The company has earmarked an amount of INR 60 lakhs for this purpose to be spent by Diwali.
NAV Back Office will provide each employee an amount of INR 4,000 to contribute to the effort. The first 24 teams donated an amount of INR 12.4 lakh to non-governmental organisations to support common people with daily provisions as well as patients who are suffering from post-COVID complications. Employees have organised stationery and staples for people stranded due to restricted movement, helped schools in slums to reorganise and reopen, and donated for the treatment of mucormycosis of a mother-of-two.
Other humanitarian initiatives by the NAV BackOffice employees under the campaign include providing provisions to organisations taking care of intellectually-disabled people and lepers, financial assistance to NGO Rays Asha Ki Ek Kiran that houses HIV-positive orphans who cannot be accommodated in regular orphanages, and an animal welfare NGO Help in Suffering located in Durgapura area of the city. The teams also extended financial help and donated fodder for cows of some of the cow shelters in Jaipur.
Watershed Organisation Trust
For the upcoming festive season, WOTR’s promoted SHGs are preparing candles, diyas, paper plates, cloth bags and various decorative items and selling them off at various village exhibitions.
Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) has been working to improve community wellbeing by providing social, economic and health opportunities for women, youth and children. The women empowerment and entrepreneurship program works on promoting SHG’s in Maharashtra. The goal of the Self-Help Group intervention was to empower and encourage women to step out of their homes and their homes and learn more about the outside world and their own finances. As part of this initiative, they have acquired fundamental knowledge of banking and finance, counselled and given concrete advice on becoming contributors to their family income. To date, 10,077 SHGs have been formed, consisting of about 125,000 women members.
Muscle & Strength India
Diwali is a festival of lights, love and joy – it’s all about lighting up the lives of people. With this thought in mind, Muscle & Strength India, one of the country’s leading retailers of fitness supplements & nutritional products celebrated Diwali with underprivileged people. The company is making this year’s Diwali special by gifting food, sweets, gifts and Diwali hampers to the needy and poor people across multiple cities so that they could also enjoy this festival. Muscle & Strength India has also launched a digital campaign #Spreading Happiness, built on a message of the importance of kindness and spreading joy in others’ lives.