There is an expression: "Cleanliness is next to godliness" and with this in mind India has taken on a country-wide initiative to clean up cities around the country. Guwahati is by no means a "dirty" city. The city is already quite clean and is leading the way in environmental friendliness, and Zaloni has set out to make sure that the city remains that way.
"At Zaloni we provide a great environment for all employees. In the workplace we create a fun environment where teamwork, collaboration and continued learning are at the forefront. Our employees are given the opportunity to dedicate time and energy to build thriving environments outside the workplace, in the communities we live and work in. The Clean Initiative in India is just one way we at Zaloni are giving back," said Bijoy Bora, COO, Zaloni.
Today we talk with Cristia TM Sangma about how Zaloni is doing their part in this country-wide initiative.
How did you come up with the programs Zaloni would launch to do their part in giving back to the community?
The Govt. of India has initiated the “SWACCH BHARAT ABHIYAAN”, a country wide cleanliness drive where participation is the key to its success. We at Zaloni thought this is the first step that can be taken to be a part of it, and be an agent of change.
Our current initiatives came about as the result of a thought one of our team members, Sanjeev, shared with us: “We all strive for change but it is always difficult to take the first step.” It is indeed the first step that matters in life, so when the idea for Zaloni to lead a cleanliness drive initiative came up, the thought of fueling up our entire resources by engaging them in giving back to the community just couldn’t be left out. We all envision a cleaner and greener tomorrow, something that resonates with all of our employees, and compels us to create sustainable cities, to drive change in our country.
How would you describe the cleanliness initiative?
We wanted this idea of cleanliness to sustain beyond the thought of just cleaning up a locality. With the aim of an inclusive participation for a clean tomorrow the idea of “catching them young” came up by involving the school students of today!
As a first step, on Feb 7th we had an interactive session on a clean environment with the students of Gopal Boro Govt. Higher Secondary School, Guwahati through animation videos and presentations. We continued with a "Stop It" campaign on February 19th and 20th, followed by an awareness campaign in the market area on February 21st. All of these events leading to a cleanliness drive on February 28th and continuing through March 1st.
And we aren't stopping there! We have many more activities planned throughout the year to do our part in the SWACCH BHARAT ABHIYAAN campaign.
What is meaningful about the groups work?
There have been so many signs that the activities we have undertaken have had an impact on our younger generation. Just a few days after the interactive session at Gopal Boro Govt. Higher Secondary School, a young school student came running up to us and asked one of the Zalonians, “Aren’t you the one who came to our school and taught us why cleanliness is important?” On getting an affirmative answer, the kid with a big smile said that he has shared what he has learned within his circle of friends.
While the team clearly understands that the campaign is on-going, and will likely be a focus in India for several years, when one young mind comes back and acknowledges the effort, it indeed keeps the momentum going as each one of us has a role to play for a better society.
Can you share how your group contributed back to the community recently, and what everyone learned through the experience?
When we visited the school the group of Zalonians showed a series of animated videos on the negative effects of littering not only on humans but as a whole to all other living beings as well. Then they asked the students, “Is our country clean?” While a rousing answer of "no" was received, the next question of “who is responsible” was answered by a deafening silence. This affirmed our thoughts that helping our younger generations understand that they are responsible for keeping the country clean, and developing India into a sustainable country will only be realized if they begin taking action now, and continue throughout their lives.
Though we realize that we are accountable as citizens, most importantly we need to understand that together we can make a bigger impact.
Can you share a bit more detail about what Zaloni has done so far?
The first step was to organize a cleanliness drive at Ganeshguri, GMC Road Junction, Guwahati, Assam on 28th Feb/1st Mar with the participation of Dispur College and Gopal Boro Students with the following activities:
(a) “Stop It” Campaign – Volunteers will hold the “Stop It” placard before those about to litter, this is to send out a strong silent message to stop people from littering around the area. In return, they are to be appreciated with a “Thank You” memento.
(b) Awareness in the market area – This is to have an inclusive approach involving the shop keepers and vendors in the drive. Volunteers will sensitize them their role for creating a sustainable clean environment making lives more hygienic and better.
On the day of the cleanliness drive, Zalonians along with all the key stakeholders, cleaned the area and painted the roadside boundary walls.
What is next for the group? Will you visit more school? How will you keep this initiative alive and moving forward?
More school visits are being planned during the rest of this year. We also have approached the Commissioner, Guwahati Municipal Corporation and the Secretary of the market area for their support in this initiative. We look forward to a successful drive and to further continue the CSR activities that Zaloni has taken up.
Would you like to learn more about how Zaloni is giving back to the community? We'd be happy to share more with you.