Blog-Inner - Ashok Leyland Corporate
Prabhu Dhakshanamurthy works in the Indirect Taxation department at ALCOB. His friends and him started a group called SMACK in 2017 and have been engaged in social service in and around his residential locality in Thirumazhisai. I’m curious about the name SMACK and Prabhu tells me that it stands for the first letters of inspirational leaders Subash Chandra Bose, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Che Guevara and Kamaraj.
SMACK started off by providing for the education of under privileged kids with a group of 35 members and then went on to feeding the poor. Today they are a group of 55 youngsters in and around Chennai doing social service. Post the COVID-19 lockdown, he and his friends were feeling helpless as this was the time they could actually make a difference to the community around them. With Tamil New year approaching, they decided they should start the year on a good note. They began with a brainstorming session over their SMACK WhatsApp group. The single most affected segment due to this lockdown was the daily wage earners and there were many in their surrounding areas- Auto drivers, flower sellers, lorry loaders and many others who depended on daily earnings for their livelihood. The only way to help them out was to either send them provisions or give them money. The members of the group then began their contributions. To make this a larger movement of sorts they decided to reach out to friends and family in their extended circle. Much to their surprise when they approached other residents in the area, several good hearts came forward with significant contributions and they were able to collect nearly INR 62,000 on one day….and that happened to be just one day before Tamil New Years’ day.
“It was very heartening that we were able to collect this money and also distribute it to the daily wage earners, especially before Tamil puthandu for their benefit.” says Prabhu.
To avoid any physical contact or movement, wherever they had bank accounts, they transferred the money directly. To people who didn’t have bank accounts the money was physically distributed to them in cash.
This initiative has helped 35 needy families, especially the daily wage earners.
“Each family has been given INR1500 for now. We are working out a way to make this a more sustainable exercise, so that they can get through these testing times.” says Prabhu.
Apart from the money distributed, they have given out 25kg rice bags to around 20 families.
“We have distributed the work amongst ourselves. Each one of us have been assigned the area closest to us and we are working to help the people in need around us.”
These selfless acts of kindness are shining examples of our brand philosophy of Aapki Jeet. Hamari Jeet.
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