“India’s place in the sun would come from the partnership between wisdom of its rural people and skill of its professionals” – Verghese Kurien, late Indian Social Entrepreneur. The Khers and their team at KSWA’s Yuva Parivartan have certainly got this right and I was pleased to be here to see the recognition they have gotten as a result of their hard work and dedication to the cause of providing skills training to make underprivileged school dropouts have a second chance by either wage jobs or self employment. How many times people look around and see the social ills but sit on their porch or veranda complaining instead of being a part of the solution. Well, Mr. Kishor Kher, President and Mrs. Mrinalini Kher, Hon. Secretary and their organization Yuva Parivartan are a part of the solution and have been doing so for the past fifteen years by creating livelihoods for these school drop outs. They were felicitated in Dehli by the Scwhab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation as a finalist for the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award in India for their contribution to the social cause. In the space of a few days we were featured in a segment of the Young Turks programme on CNBC TV18; the Hindustan Times carried ads for the function and though we were not the eventual winners, we are winners in even being a finalist from a field of over 200 entrants. That same weekend the Sunday Times carried an article on Yuva Parivartan and then on the Monday the Pune Mirror carried an article on the prison where they mentioned about the work being done by Kherwadi Social Welfare association in the prison.
Friday December 13th was Orange Day here for GSK India and I had a wonderful opportunity to spread some Christmas cheer with a great team of people from the Mumbai office. The team undertook several projects across Mumbai and I joined members of the team on a visit and fun-filled day with the young ladies at the St. Anthony’s Home for the Aged in Bandra West. We were joined by the students of the Aditya Birla World Academy who had the ageless ladies involved in Housy, Dancing, and really building a vibes for these elderly ladies. The residents of the home were feted and entertained with activities throughout the day featuring prizes, surprises and cake. A standout was Ms. M. pictured with the mike as she sang and danced up a storm better than any teenager. She was so energetic that it belied her 80 years on this earth. It was good to see the smile on those faces as an indication that we made their day. Prior to lunch time there was a wellness talk on how they can have increased consciousness about their health and lifestyle advice for the diabetics and hypertensives in the home.
My last day at KSWA’s Yuva Parivartan was emotional for me and the following day I left Mumbai. I am happy to reunite with my kids and home team but I am already missing the incredibly caring and supportive team that I have come to admire so much in this six month assignment. When I started in July I had no idea that such a bond would have been formed so that when they had a farewell for us, I was moved to tears because I was leaving my India family. I am proud to have represented GSK at Kherwadi Social Welfare Association and my sincere gratitude to GSK, my family, Samy Emam , my home team , the PULSE team, and all those persons at GSK India who went out of their way to make my stay in India as great as it turned out to be.