Thursday 25 January 2018

#ICICILombardCaringHands: Healthy eyes for a brighter future.

ICICI Lombard General Insurance

Corporate Social Responsibility is high on agenda for every organisation in today’s age. Especially in a country like India where ‘Giving back to society’ is core part of our social values. The research report by Tower Perrins Global Workforce states that the CSR as one of the most important driver for employee engagement. It helps in fostering the culture of team building and leads to self-motivation. The research concludes - Employees need to be informed and involved with the CSR agenda and the values attached with it, finding self-fulfilment in the process of having contributed to the community, beyond the routine work, developing one's personality, leadership, talents and social skills in the process. Caring Hands, by ICICI Lombard is one such initiative which believes in employee volunteering for effective last-mile impact.

Caring hands is an employee volunteering program, wherein employees take up the responsibility of organizing the activity end to end. The noble initiative was a part of ICICI Lombard’s Corporate Social Responsibility. ICICI Lombard General Insurance has a tradition to go beyond the scope of business and help the society through specific initiatives in the field of preventive health care, road safety campaigns and disaster support. The Caring Hands initiative focuses on underprivileged children from the age group of 9 to 13. Started in 2011, the initiative has reached more than 1,40,000 children of over 300 municipal schools with more than 20,000 students benefitting from corrective spectacles.

With a Pan-India network of its employees, the Caring Hands initiative achieved last-mile connectivity across rural and urban areas. Although the activity demands high-end equipment and ophthalmologists, the employees successfully conduct eye check-up camps every year on 11 December, which is now earmarked as ‘Caring Hands Day’ at ICICI Lombard. Despite these challenges, ICICI Lombard employees have been successfully conducting eye check-up camps year on year.

ICICI Lombard

Eyes and eye-sight are the gifts of God. Just try to close your eyes in a busy area and within minutes we feel lost in darkness and surrounding noises. But it is a sad fact, that most of us ignore the health of the organ from which we see this world. Like any other part of your body, our eyes too require conscious efforts to protect them, which also help in improving your vision.

In India, nearly 41% of our population suffers eye-related defects and diseases. India has one of the largest population of unnecessarily blind and vision impaired individual population in the world. Worryingly, the data from India Vision Institute suggests that eye defects in kids below 14 years old are on the rise. Some major reasons for a defect in eye and eyesight are: lack of vitamins, poorer economic background, dust, pollution, excessive stress and ‘Chalta Hain attitude’ or sheer ignorance. It is often observed that kids with undiagnosed eyesight disorder lack in studies, physical fitness or games, which hampers the overall development of a child.

Since the last six years, the employees of ICICI Lombard have received a positive feedback from the students and teachers. The students which received spectacles through this initiative felt confident and could perform better at studies with a clear vision.

The task undertaken by ICICI Lombard is really appreciating. Right from approaching school authorities for permissions to coordinating teams of volunteers and trained ophthalmologists. ICICI Lombard Caring Hands initiative is a result of planning, hard-work and executions by thousands of ICICI Lombard employees. For this initiative, ICICI Lombard General Insurance has been conferred the prestigious ‘Golden Peacock Corporate Social Responsibility Award’ in 2015. In coming years, the employees of ICICI Lombard are committed to this unique program which is poised to make a difference to India’s next generation.

Chaitanya Kulkarni

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