I was lucky enough to witness ICICI Lombard’s “Caring Hands” campaign in Delhi this week. I say lucky because such campaigns put you in touch with your human side. In today’s world everyone is trying to compete with one another and people tend to not extend a caring hand towards the people who really need help.
I learnt that ICICI Lombard has continuously strived to go beyond its business focus and contribute to further the well- being of the community in which we are present. ICICI Lombard has taken multiple steps to meet this objective through specific initiatives in the areas of Preventive Healthcare, Road Safety and Disaster support.
In 2011, ICICI Lombard’s scope of the CSR mandate was expanded, with their employees coming forward to directly contribute towards the upliftment of the society. While remaining within the ambit of preventive health-care, the initiative involved setting up health check -up camps for students at municipal schools. Cross functional teams at various locations were formed by the employees to handle the entire exercise. Apart from facilitating camaraderie, it provided an opportunity for our employees to hone their leadership skills as they took up the onus of executing the entire project. In terms of its impact on the ecosystem, the objective was to motivate students to give due importance to healthcare, while increasing awareness among parents and school teachers towards the health status and ensuring healthy habits in children from an early age.
In the subsequent editions of the initiative i.e. from 2013, the scope of the initiative was sharpened to focus on preventive care of eye sight. The idea was to make the exercise more tangible as students who were diagnosed with poor vision could be provided with corrective vision spectacles and thereby offer a solution to their eye sight problem.
The eye check up camps though planned over two months are conducted across schools all over the country on a single day.
ICICI Lombard’s focus is the eye care sector because eye problems in kids are really widespread and children are our country’s future, it made a lot of sense to ICICI Lombard to focus on this age group.
The activity is entirely managed by the employees of ICICI Lombard. The Company provides the guidelines to ensure consistency across branches and provide the necessary support. Captains are nominated by the HR team, from the various offices and locations of ICICI Lombard. The Captains further form and lead a team of employees. Each Captain with his/her team is responsible for one eye check-up camp.
The responsibilities of teams include:
- Obtaining permission from schools serving underprivileged children to conduct free eye check-up camps for students
- Arranging ophthalmologists (eye-specialists)/ eye doctors for each camp
- Collating the vision data as diagnosed by the ophthalmologists and sharing data on children requiring spectacles
- Placing order and collecting ready spectacles (company has entered into a central tie up with reputed spectacle manufacturers to provide spectacles)
- Handing over spectacles to the school authorities
The Company’s CSR Committee, Marketing & Corporate Communication team and HR ensure constant communication and facilitating coordination between branches at various stages of the activity.
The campaign focuses on ensuring that underprivileged children who otherwise do not have access to quality health check-up especially in the area of eye sight are provided with the right diagnosis and solution in the form of spectacles. The initiative focuses on children in the age group of 9 – 13 years who are in the formative years of their career
ICICI Lombard’s employee driven CSR activity has reached out to underprivileged children for five years in a row. Over the last seven years, the initiative has touched over 175,000 children across 100 cities in the country. In the process ICICI Lombard has provided free spectacles to over 20,000 children thereby helping them with a clear vision and the confidence to aspire for a bright future.
In the last 7 years ICICI Lombard has catered to across 273 schools in nearly 100 cities. Last year, the activity helped identify 5874 cases of poor vision that were provided with corrective lenses free of cost. Over 2,500 employees participated from various locations forming teams that joined hands to plan and execute the entire activity.
With the Company’s long-standing commitment towards this unique initiative, ICICI Lombard continues to increase the scope of its activity with each passing year.
ICICI Lombard’s employee driven CSR activity has reached out to underprivileged children for five years in a row. Over the last seven years, the initiative has touched over 175,000 children across 100 cities in the country. In the process we have provided free spectacles to over 20,000 children thereby helping them with a clear vision and the confidence to aspire for a bright future. This day has now been earmarked as the ‘Caring Hands’ Day at ICICI Lombard. This initiative has also been recognized by the Guinness world Records (Record created – Most eye tests in one hour multiple venues is 1526).
Over the last 7 years, the initiative has been reaching out to more and more students. Starting with 11,000 children in the first year i.e. 2011, the number of children benefiting from the program touched 33376 students in 2017.
Secondly, around 50% of the employees at ICICI Lombard participate every year which shows the overall importance that the initiative has been able to garner within the company.