On December 12th 2015, a team of 16 inspired Ian Martin Group recruiters in Bangalore, India got out and gave back to their community. This day marked an eye opening and humbling event as they participated in a walkathon organized by the Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled. Caring for our communities/stewardship is very important to the Ian Martin family and although we are nearly 12,000km apart from head office in Oakville, Canada we wanted to ensure we were contributing to the overall stewardship vision.
The Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled program provides education to more than 180 children who are either from underprivileged backgrounds or deal with physical or intellectual challenges. This program provides a safe space for children to be part of a classroom environment with teachers who help them learn basic mannerisms and motor skills. As the children get older, they are taught English and basic computer skills. Additionally, part of this program provides trainee jobs for the students in the “in house communication centre”(call centre) which has the student trainees reach out to potential sponsors.
The walkathon started with a warm welcoming speech made by the Chairman of Samarthanam, Mahantesh G K, who lost his vision when he was only an infant. He reminded the 5000 walkathon participants that it isn’t about how disabled these individuals are but about how ABLE they are. My first step into the walkathon was pretty heartening. The city of Bangalore which seemed so ruthless with its growing crimes suddenly had a soft side to it. More than five thousand people reminded me of the good old Bangalore days where humanity was at its best. Corporate Houses like ANZ, Landmark, Tata Elxsi, Himalaya, Genpact and many more stood tall supporting the cause.
The outgoing, excited Team in India was inspired to get out and volunteer for a number of reasons but there was one reason that really stood out to us – we wanted to feel like we are giving back to the people who needed it most. As we started exploring volunteer options we came across the Samarthanam Trust For the Disabled and chose to support this cause because it isn’t one that would typically get a huge amount of attention and provides job training for those who are able.
Team India is excited to continue working with Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled and we, The Stewardship Council are excited to support them every step of the way.One of the favourite memories from the day was near the end of the walk when Team India looked back and saw individuals who were disabled walking side by side with those who weren’t. When we got to the end of the walk, we danced in the street in celebration!
Fellow contributor: Olivia Gamsby