The last four weeks have seen a frenzy of activity across the spectrum where people from all walks of life have been trying their best to help another person in need. We have seen this on social networks and also in the many WhatsApp groups.
I’m writing this to place on record the deeds by a few people in their individual capacity to go above and beyond to help fellow professionals in the Public Relations world.
First, I want to mention ten names of PR consultancy founders who either reached out saying they wanted to help or were aware of conversations and joined in to build the first-of-its-kind corpus, which was used to procure over 20 oxygen concentrators to be made available to professionals who may need them for themselves or their immediate family. It started with a generous grant by Madan Bahal (Adfactors PR) who was joined by Archana Jain (PR Pundit), Kunal Sinha (along with his co-founders at Value 360), Shivani and Aman Gupta (SPAG), Vineet Handa (Kaizzen), Atul Ahluwalia (along with his co-founders at First Partners), Mukesh Kharbanda (Fuzion) and Udit Pathak (Media Mantra). Other founders of independent PR firms are welcome to join this collective. We refer to this set of donors as the Founders Fund.
Second, a group of dozen leaders including CEOs comprising Nitin Mantri of Avian WE, Atul Sharma of RuderFinn, Tushar Panchal of War Room Strategies and a few corporate communication heads: Minari Shah (Amazon), Rachana Panda (Bayer), Deepa Dey (HUL Nutrition), Sujit Patil (Godrej), Suniet Bezbaroowa (BCG), Sudeep Bhalla (Tata Motors), Anand Subramaniam (formerly Ola), Sandeep Gurumurthi (Aditya Birla Group) and Roshan Alexander (The Promise Foundation) have made a commitment of a minimum of Rs 1 lakh to a virtual corpus.
The funds will be judiciously disbursed based on a policy where a fellow professional who was the sole bread winner loses their job or their life due to Covid. We are calling it the Leaders Fund. More leaders are welcome to join.
One is required to fill a form and inform their family members to reach out should there be an eventuality. This will work like an insurance without a premium. The support will range from Rs 15,000/- to Rs 25,000/- per month for 3-4 months until insurance money kicks in. We will encourage fellow professionals to take personal insurance policies for term and health.
Thirdly, there are over 30 professionals who have made commitments from Rs 5000/- onwards upto Rs 50,000/- to support fellow professionals who may not be able to afford high hospitalisation costs. These contributions will help defray the expenses to some extent. We will publish the list of names of these professionals in due course. We are calling it the Professionals Fund.
We have a set of volunteers including Sarika Chavan, Geetika Gulati and Ritesh Shete who have raised their hand to help coordinate.
Fourth, AMEC which organised its global summit last week was kind enough to offer Indian professionals 50 passes, courtesy a sponsor, which then Aseem Sood (Impact Research and Measurement) decide to share with PRCAI and Reputation Today equally for further distribution. Thinking quickly on our feet, we canvassed for donations of Rs 6000/- from fellow professionals who in exchange got a pass that costs five times more. Within a week we raised Rs 2,25,000 that is now parked in a PRCAI Emergency Fund – this will be ideally used as small interest-free loans to professionals in need in future. A policy on the same is awaited.
Lastly, Avian WE which worked out a deal with its client – Fortis Hospitals to vaccinate its employees, first in Delhi NCR and eventually in the other two metros has been extremely thoughtful in opening this drive to all PR and communication professionals in partnership with PRCAI. This will be held on May 31st at the Avian WE office in Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi.
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