19 January 2004
Donating cash to a charity is one thing. Getting involved is another. Opting for the latter, the largely young employees of Intelenet Global Services Ltd decided to pool in not only their money, but also efforts for the cause of underprivileged children this festive season.
Intelenet Global Services Ltd, a joint venture between TCS & HDFC, launched its ‘Care for Life’ programme for inmates of Child Rehabilitation And Youth Oriented Nationwide Services (Crayons), an NGO, at its corporate office in Mumbai last week. The idea is to facilitate adoption of 15 underprivileged children, to begin with. More adoption programmes are to be launched in 2004.
Crayons focusses particularly on physically handicapped, street children and orphaned children. Project Crayons was started eight years back by Devika Kuloovar, an educationist, in Mangalore. The project supports 350 children in Mangalore, who are provided free schooling.
Talking about the initiative, Susir Kumar, CEO, Intelenet, elaborates, “The programme is to achieve two-fold objectives. Firstly, it will aim to provide direct help to as many underprivileged children as possible and, secondly, it will help inculcate the ethos of care in the 2,500-plus Intelenet employees. We want to give back to society by associating ourselves with such noble programmes.”
He adds, “We care. We go that extra mile. It’s this sentiment that has helped us launch this adoption programme. The Care for Life is a manifestation of the deep-rooted culture of care that exists in Intelenet.”
Adds Sean Pereira, head of operations, Intelenet, who was actively involved in launching the initiative: “We lead the sector in almost every service aspect. Intelenet is the first BPO to launch such a programme, which gives us immense pleasure.”
The initiative was kickstarted with a Christmas party for the children in the Intelenet office premises. Understandably, the children enjoyed the bonhomie and squealed with delight on receiving gifts. Twelve-year-old Anita, the oldest child at Crayons, was all smiles after the party. “I am so happy to have been shown the entire office. I have enjoyed this party with Santa Claus,” she enthused.
In Mumbai, Crayons has a number of projects. It takes care of street children at its shelter in Malad called Nirmaan. The children, 15 in all, are in the age groups of one and a half years to 12 years. “This shelter was started on an experimental basis,” says Pavan S K, CEO, Crayons, Mumbai office.
“Now we have requests from a lot many street children but we can’t take them in as the shelter can only take 15 children. We are looking for a bigger place so that we can accommodate many more,” he says. It was for these children that Intelenet hosted the Christmas party. “The children were delighted,” recalls Mr Pavan. “They have never attended a party before and this was pure fun for them.”
Crayons also supports a school, Bharat Mata School, in Malad. The school has a strength of 1,660 children, including 1,000 children supported by Crayons. The NGO takes care of their education, nutrition, books, uniform and basic medical expenses. Besides, at Little Angels School in Andheri (E), Crayons has admitted 30 children from the nearby slum area.