In the face of COVID-19, employees leveraged the best of TCS to keep supporting Sadhana SamarpaN month
Supporting the community is part of the DNA of Tata Consultancy Services – and it’s a purpose shared by our associates.
Every year, under the leadership of Anupam Singhal, ISU head for BFSI-E and GE, TCS associates have demonstrated this commitment by supporting Sadhana SamarpaN month – an initiative created in 2014 with the goal of inspiring and facilitating employees to deliver a combined 200,000 hours of global community service.
In previous years, employees would provide these hours of service in many different ways - such as packing food for community food banks, harvesting produce at a farm, getting together to perform coastal clean-ups, or other equally valuable in-person volunteering.
In 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic changed all that - forcing employees to volunteer virtually in respect to social distancing guidelines.
At first glance, this seemed to present a serious obstacle to achieving the global goal of Sadhana SamarpaN month – but in their search for volunteer opportunities, TCS employees demonstrated the same resilience and adaptability which have come to define our company; leveraging the best of TCS to achieve their goals in new and innovative ways.
In the end, over 1,000 TCS employees in the US maintained the momentum of Sadhana SamarpaN month by participating in a plethora of volunteer activities, including:
Mentoring the winners of the Ignite innovation Student Challenge
The Ignite Innovation Student Challenge was a competition driven by Ignite My Future in School – one of our signature STEM development programs created in partnership with Discovery Education. Students from across North America were challenged to ‘pitch’ an innovation that addressed the needs of their communities in support of Health, the Planet, and Education. In addition to scholarship funds, the 12 top entrants also received mentoring from TCS volunteers to help drive their concept further toward becoming a reality.
Missing Maps is an initiative by the American Red Cross, British Red Cross, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, and Médecins Sans Frontières. The goal is to create accurate geographical maps of some of the most vulnerable places in the world – like the Democratic Republic of Congo – so that humanitarian aid can be delivered safely, disease outbreaks can be properly mapped, and refugees and migrants can be tracked and appropriately cared for.
TCS volunteers helped map these territories online, ready to pass these maps onto cartographers on the ground to verify as and when that becomes possible.
Hands-Only CPR Awareness Training
The SARS-CoV-2 virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic is passed most frequently by coughs and sneezes, which is why the best form of prevention remains face coverings and masks. This causes an obstacle when trying to teach people CPR, however - Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the procedure to maintain oxygen flow in somebody suffering cardiac arrest – as the procedure is often taught in-person, using shared rubber dummies that still present a risk of infection even if they’re sanitized correctly.
But because knowing CPR could be such a life-saving skill to have – quite literally – there were a number of employees who took part in Hands-Only CPR Awareness Training, offered in August. This taught an effective and potentially life-saving technique to perform CPR without the traditional mouth-to-mouth procedure which could inadvertently infect somebody even while their life is being saved.
Ignite My Future in School Lesson Plan Review
The Ignite My Future in School program in partnership with Discovery Education has responded to the needs of parents and educators in a number of powerful ways – including developing new and updated lesson plans optimized for distance learning, and based on topics relevant to this unique period in history.
To ensure the world-class quality of these teaching materials, a number of TCS employees volunteered to help with the review process – ensuring that the free materials being offered are easy to understand, effective in what they teach, and engaging for students. Each lesson plans weaves computational thinking into core curriculum subjects – the importance of which has never been clearer given how the world has been forced to adapt to distance learning, working from home, and other ‘new normals’ that rely heavily on technology, innovation, and design.
Go Green Initiative
“Tree planting ‘has mind-blowing potential’ to tackle climate crisis,” says climate change ecologist Tom Crowther, lead scientist for the Crowther Lab in Switzerland – which has reported that planting billions of trees could remove two-thirds of all man-made carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. “Forest restoration isn’t just one of our climate change solutions, it is overwhelmingly the top one.”
All across the world, millions have answered this call through the Go Green Initiative, which seeks to move towards this goal through a grassroots effort to plant sapling trees – and during Sadhana SamarpaN month, TCS employees joined that mission through organized tree planting programs. Given that the risk of COVID-19 infection is demonstrably lowered outside, and that planting trees is compatible with social distancing, it was a great opportunity for TCS employees to volunteer their time and make a real difference even in the face of the pandemic.
CSR Summer Fridays
Since its inception, giving back to the community has been one of the core missions of Tata Consultancy Services, and that’s why our idea of ‘summer Fridays’ is slightly different to many other companies. Each Friday during the summer, employees are given the opportunity to volunteer their time serving their community or taking part in special learning opportunities organized by TCS.
Pivoting Summer Friday so sharply required leveraging the best of TCS – our technological, intellectual, and human capital – but in doing so the company was able to continue its mission of serving the community, and continue to provide an opportunity for employees to be a part of it.
Local Fundraising for food banks
In addition to all these other activities, TCS continued to support its employees in local, feet-on-the-ground fundraising activities. Once again, the specter of social distancing forced many of these fundraising activities to materialize in a different format to how they’d been operated before; but thanks to the ingenuity and resilience of our employees, and their aligned sense of purpose, the results continued to benefit many people in need throughout North America and beyond.
One of the most critical was in supporting local food banks – which even more people were forced to rely on as unemployment levels reached those of The Great Depression in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once again, recognizing and meeting the needs of individual communities helped TCS employees most effectively leverage the human capital they represent – making a big difference for people when they needed it the most.
Swathi Bonthala, a Consultant for Enterprise Technology, took part in Sadhana SamarpaN month and proudly told us:
“CSR initiatives like these enable happiness and positivity on how we can impact lives of people in need. Sadhana SamarpaN month for me is celebration of social giving as a larger TCS family to make the world a better place. Bringing the team together in various initiatives has given me a great satisfaction and confidence as a women leader.”
Anupam Singhal, SVP and Business Head and the man behind launching Sadhana SamarpaN in 2015, shared with us these words:
“'Sadhana' is achieving your innate potential through giving back to the world, internalizing a sense of deep obligation and individual responsibility to always put society first in all our endeavors as champions of digital social empowerment transcending borders.”
“Since 2015, we’ve celebrated this DNA of every TCSer by dedicating the month of August every year as ‘Sadhana SamarpaN Month’ - to assist communities globally where we live in their current goals and challenges. This year brought different challenges and calamities to the communities, but each one of us used our creative brains to think of different ways to contribute to society even in the face of them.”
“Since 2015, we’ve celebrated this DNA of every TCSer by dedicating the month of August every year as ‘Sadhana SamarpaN Month’ - to assist communities globally where we live in their current goals and challenges. This year brought different challenges and calamities to the communities, but each one of us used our creative brains to think of different ways to contribute to society even in the face of them.
”Serving the community is part and parcel of what TCS does every day – but Sadhana SamarpaN month is an especially exciting opportunity to highlight how what TCS does on a global scale as a leading technology company is mirrored by what our employees do on an individual scale each and every day.