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Using Art in our Ships Crew Smoke rooms to Create Awareness on Illegal Wildlife Trade

In Q1 of 2018-2019, our ISR® team collaborated with Group company Apeejay Shipping to use art as a medium to align the crew on its vessels towards their role in shutting down wild life trafficking rampant through ports and on cargo ships. The ISR® team identified a volunteer from Oxford Bookstore, who is an accomplished artist himself, to create a piece of art that conveyed the urgency of protecting endangered animals and their habitats, and urged the crew to Unite for Wildlife. Show More + By using art as an innovative medium to create awareness, our volunteer from Oxford as well as other Group companies used their skill to make the crew on each ship advocates of the truth of our times – conservation of endangered species and habitats. Their work will help Apeejay Shipping Limited, a signatory to the Buckingham Declaration aimed towards banning illegal wildlife trade, achieve a key commitment it has made in its Wildlife Protection Policy. May 2018 update : A striking art has been painted in crew smoke rooms of APJ Kais and APJ Mahakali who travelled to the Haldia Port. Watch this space for more updates. Show Less

Imparting livelihood enhancement skills for economically disadvantaged

In Q1 of 2018-19, volunteers from Flurys taking basics of baking to the staff of Pratham Padakshep, an NGO working for autistic children, so that they could impart these skills to the specially abled children and create a source of livelihood for them. In 2017-18, our volunteers have taught café management, cooking and baking skills to many such youths. ISR® volunteer from Cha Bar, Connaught Place, New Delhi, taught 30 underprivileged youths, under the aegis of NGO Life Project 4 Youth (LP4Y), how to work in a café. A volunteer from The Park Kolkata taught two youths working at a café run by NGO LP4Y how to cook various types of continental food and well as basic hygiene and etiquette that should be followed while preparing and serving food to guests. Volunteers from Flurys have also taught bakery skills to five youths under the aegis of NGO LP4Y. Show More + In 2016-17, our volunteer from The Park Kolkata taught a tribal villager from Purulia, under the aegis of NGO Literacy India, how to cook food in a hygienic way and serve them to guests at community kitchens in his village. He also taught an underprivileged youth from the NGO’s Belgachia centre in Kolkata, how to convert his ‘momo’ stall into a full-fledged food stall cooking and serving various types of traditional food items to the local population of the area.
In 2015-16, our ISR® team took up a request from two NGOs - Literacy India and Tiljala Shed to impart kitchen garden skills to tribal farmers living in Purulia district and underprivileged children and local population from Mukundapur and Narayanpur areas of Kolkata. The ISR® team identified Nazima Paul, wife of Kaushik Paul, Manager, Budlapara Tea Estate, Apeejay Tea Limited , who had experience in creating vegetable gardens at her home as well as in imparting such skills to workers and hospital staff at our tea gardens, to conduct this training. Nazima came down from Assam on July 28, 2015 to teach the art of creating a kitchen garden for growing vegetables and flowers as well as various organic farming techniques to tribal farmers of Baghmundi area of Purulia district. The next day, she visited the farmers of Raghunathpur area of the district to conduct a similar session for the farmers. On July 30, 2015, she visited Tiljala Shed, a shelter home for children coming from the community of rag pickers, rickshaw pullers, beggars and scavengers of Topsia in Kolkata. Along with the children, she taught the local people coming from adjoining areas, the technique of creating kitchen gardens for domestic as well as commercial purposes. From July 28 – 30, 2015, Nazima taught over 100 socially and vulnerable people who will benefit in various ways after learning how to create kitchen garden in smallest barren pieces of land in their communities. In the same year, our ISR® volunteer from the Corporate Finance team conducted a session on pricing and cost-benefit analysis for 10 young women, under the aegis of Literacy India in Kolkata, who are involved in making paper bags as well as hand bags, mobile pouches and other bags using recycled cloth and paper and selling it in the local market and at exhibitions. Watch this space for more updates. Show Less

Skilling teenagers and promoting education among children

In Q1 of 2018-19 ISR® volunteers from Oxford Bookstore, Kolkata trained 10 youths of NGO LP4Y for a career in a bookstore after having similarly trained nine young boys and girls from the same NGO in 2017-2018. In Q4 of 2017-18, our volunteer from Corporate HRD conducted a mock interview session for five youths of NGO LP4Y. This volunteer had earlier taught interview skills over two sessions to 12 youths under the aegis of NGO LP4Y wherein she taught them how to prepare for a job interview, how to write write CVs, what goes into its making and its importance in the recruitment process. Show More + In 2016-17, Oxford Bookstore volunteers conducted an elaborate retail training session for 10 youths, under the aegis of Literacy India, where they taught them how to work in a retail store which included topics such as merchandising, stock taking, billing, data entry and customer service.
In Q4 of 2013, our collaboration with Literacy India, based in Gurgaon, began. The objective of our volunteers was to impart education to children in Maths, Hindi & English and offer professional retail skill training to inspire and equip teenagers to join the booming retail industry in India. This collaboration saw our ISR® volunteers teach children of Raj Bhavan Free Primary School under care of Literacy India in Kolkata and teenagers from a school under their care in Delhi. Four ISR® volunteers taught Maths, English and Hindi to 16 children in the age group of 6 -10 years at the school using the software “Gyantantra”, developed by Literacy India. With 12 year old children of Sastri Sakshi Sadan School, three ISR® volunteers used their narrative and communication skills to bring to them the creative art of storytelling and writing, the oldest and the most effective form of knowledge sharing. At Delhi, four ISR® volunteers conducted a workshop on various aspects of retail management at Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place, to 16 year-old children from schools under the care of Literacy India at Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place. In 2014, our ISR® volunteer from Kolkata was asked to build content for the website of this NGO and he visited the NGOs 3rd Indradhanush Festival, organized at Chuikhim – a tiny hamlet surrounded by hills in northern part of West Bengal, to do so. Watch this space for more updates. Show Less

Companionship for Senior Citizens

In Q2 of 2017-18, our ISR® volunteers from Typhoo conducted a mocktail making session at Dignity Foundation, a non-profit organization for senior citizens based in Kolkata. The volunteers taught 30 elderly members of the Foundation how to make simple mocktails using the eclectic range of teas of our over 100-year-old iconic tea brand. In Q3 of 2016-17, our volunteers from Apeejay Shipping taught the senior citizens how to cashless transactions in the aftermath of demonetization and call for a digital economy. Earlier in the year, our gardeners had taught them how to grow various seasonal flowers and vegetables inside one’s house, using optimum amount of sunlight, water and manure needed for such plants as well as various tips and techniques to keep the plants healthy over a long period of time. Show More + In Q2 of 2014-15, our collaboration with Dignity Foundation began through various companionship activities to mitigate loneliness of old age. Dignity Foundation has been working in the field of elderly care for the past 19 years to create an enlightened society in which senior citizens feel secure, confident and valued, and can live with respect. Our ISR® volunteers have organized musical evenings, movie screenings, quiz contests as well as New Year celebrations for the elderly citizens at various centres of Dignity Foundation. Alongside such sessions for companionship, sessions on tax benefits for senior citizens, healthy foods for summer months as well as health benefits of tea were also conducted. Similar programmes are being put in place for their centres in Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Bengaluru. Watch this space for more updates. Show Less

Reaching out to Children with Disabilities

In Q1 of 2018-19, ISR® volunteers from Apeejay Real Estate celebrated World Autism Day on 2nd April with eight specially abled children under the aegis of Pratham Padakshep, an NGO working for autistic children in Kolkata, by conducting a collage making workshop and helping them overcome their fear of interacting in public spaces. Earlier our volunteer from Apeejay Real Estate had celebrated World Environment Day by organizing an art workshop for them on the theme of environment. In the same year, our volunteer from Apeejay Shipping had taken a series of classes at the NGO, where she taught these children how to draw and paint using pastels and water colours. In 2015, Oxford Bookstore Kolkata took on board Anamit Bhaumik, an 18-year-old autistic boy, as a trainee at its corporate office in Kolkata to remove his fear of interacting with strangers and getting him acquainted with working in an office space. For decades, our Group has partnered with organisations that run programmes encompassing rehabilitation, assistive technology, employment, training and recreation for the disabled, with the objective of helping people with physical disabilities to feel included, independent and empowered. We believe that there is an urgent need to go beyond the traditionally held views of charity and welfare and adopt new attitudes and methods – ones that strive to change old systems, beliefs and laws pertaining to disability and embrace new ways of actualizing productivity and empowerment for disabled people. Show More + In Q3 of 2017-18, Apeejay gardeners taught 18 visually impaired children the basics of gardening. In the same quarter, our ISR® volunteer from Apeejay Tea conducted a creative storytelling session for seven of these children while volunteers from Apeejay Shipping and Apeejay Real Estate celebrated Children’s Day with 17 of these youths at Oxford Bookstore, Kolkata, by conducting a fun-filled art and craft session where they taught them how to create bookmarks by first creating designs on a chart paper using their hands dipped in water colour. In 2016, our volunteers celebrated Children’s Day with them with a storytelling session by a volunteer from Oxford Bookstore, Kolkata, and a quiz contest by volunteers from Management Services team. In 2015, ISR® volunteer from Apeejay School conducted a clay modelling workshop for 10 visually impaired children while two ISR® volunteers from the Management Services team held a music session for them on the occasion of Children’s Day.
In Q2 of 2015-16, our ISR® volunteers at Kolkata had embarked on a new challenge to provide educational support to blind children under the aegis of Premasree, an NGO for visually impaired children, by recording textual materials for the children to hear and learn.
In Q2 of 2017-18, four ISR® volunteers from the Kolkata office took active part in Mission Smile’s 91st Medical Mission where over 50 children and adults suffering from cleft lips and palate were provided free surgeries. In the same quarter in 2016-17, three ISR® volunteers from The Park Kolkata participated in Mission Smile’s West Bengal Corporate Mission where over 90 children and adults suffering from cleft lips and palate were provided free surgeries.
In Q3 of 2015-16, six ISR® volunteers from various Group companies participated in Mission Smile’s 11th Kolkata Medical Mission where they volunteered as Counsellors, Logistics Coordinators, Photographers and Storywriters for 100 men, women and children suffering from cleft lips and palate.
In 2015, ISR® volunteers from The Park New Delhi and our Badardpur Corporate Office participated in Operation Smile India’s first ever Medical Mission in Delhi NCR where 50 children with cleft lips were given free surgery by a team of surgeons, anesthetists, pediatricians, speech therapists and other medical professionals from all over India. The volunteers played the critical role of co-ordination, counseling and management to serve the cleft patients and their guardians. In the same year, 17 ISR® volunteers from various Group companies at Kolkata took part in Operation Smile India’s 10th Kolkata Medical Mission where 106 children born with cleft lips and palates were provided free surgeries. Our ISR® volunteers provided logistics, counselling, story writing and photography support to medical volunteers comprising paediatricians, plastic surgeries, nurses, anesthetists and doctors at Flemming Hospital in carrying out these surgeries.
In 2014 – 15, ISR® volunteers organized companionship events for specially abled children. Like every year, they celebrated Rakhi with children of Austism Society West Bengal. On Children’s Day, our ISR® volunteers from Oxford Bookstore Kolkata organized a fun with crafts session for the specially abled children of Pratham Padakshep, a not-for-profit organization working for autistic children in West Bengal. On June 7, 2015, 10 ISR® volunteers belonging to The Park Hotels Bangalore and Oxford Bookstore (MG Mall) took part in a workshop by GiftAbled Foundation to teach 50 visually impaired people, aged between 16 to 28 years, how to sign the initials of their names in English. Watch this space for more updates. Show Less

Teaching MS Office and Basic Computer Usage to Youths and Staffs of NGOs

In Q1 of 2018-19, our ISR® volunteer from the Finance team took sessions on the basics of MS Word, Powerpoint and Excel for eight staff of Iswar Sankalpa, a non-profit organization working for mentally challenged people living on the streets of Kolkata, to enable them to use these tools in their day-to-day office work.
In Q1 & Q2 of 2017-18 five ISR® volunteers at Kolkata taught the basics of computer and MS Office to 10 underprivileged girls, under the aegis of NGO Tiljala Shed. The classes were a mix of theory and practice whereby the students were encouraged to apply the concepts they had learnt in order to prepare them for practical situations where knowledge of computers will be needed. Show More + In Q3 & Q4 of 2014-15, four ISR® volunteers of the Group taught MS Word and Excel to teachers of FOCUS, our partner NGO in Anand Paul Education Support Programme. The classes were held at the 2nd floor cafeteria of the Group’s Headquarters Apeejay House which was turned into a classroom replete with laptops and projectors. The volunteers showed the teachers how to use the MS Office tools for developing the class curriculum, time tables, reports and teaching modules for the students. Watch this space for more updates. Show Less

Employment Enhancing Professional Skills Training Program

In Q2 of 2013, our collaboration with the ejunction, the CSR Initiative of mjunction, a Tata and SAIL JV company based in Kolkata, took shape. The objective of our volunteers was to enhance skill sets of people with a monthly household income of less than Rs 8000 towards making them gainfully employed. Show More + Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between mjunction and Individual Social Responsibility™ (ISR®) program , an ‘ejunction centre’ was set up in Apeejay House, our Corporate headquarters in Kolkata. The centre was a classroom set up for Computer Education and Communications training replete with laptops and projectors. The first batch of started on May 27, 2013 with 16 students. Since then, we have successfully completed 3 batches where over 53 ISR® volunteers took time out of their busy work schedules to take classes on Computer Basics, MS Office, Internet Usage, Communication and Interview Skills. Till March 2015, our ISR® volunteers have taught 50 students, taken a total of 188 classes and clocked 360 volunteering hours. Many of these students have been placed in jobs after passing out of our classes. The Group's Chief Technology Officer, an ISR® volunteer himself, leads this Program as mentor and chief trainer. Watch this space for more updates. Show Less

Teaching students in Jharkhand via digital classrooms

In Q2 of 2014, our collaboration with eVidyaloka, a non-profit organization focused on transforming the educational landscape in the remote corners of our country, began. The objective of our volunteers was to teach Mathematics, Science and English to students of Class VI, VII & VIII living in remote villages in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand. Show More + The classes were conducted by our ISR® volunteers during office hours through Skype, two hours every week from Monday to Friday. Six ISR® volunteers from Kolkata took on this challenge and volunteered to take these classes, two of them taking English for Class VI & VIII, three of them taking Maths for Class VI & VII and one taking Science classes for Class VI. On 31st March 2015, they completed one year of teaching clocking a total of 200 hours of volunteering. Watch this space for more updates. Show Less