Change freaks us out - probably even more than public speaking, but it’s the sort of amorphous issue that we don’t think about because it manifests itself subtly in so many ways. Whether a relationship starts or ends, you’re moving, you’ve got a new job, or you’ve lost someone you love, you embrace change unknowingly.
We are often resistant to change, and we don’t realize that change itself is constant. Even if you resist or avoid it, it will enter your life just the same. When you initiate the change yourself, it’s pretty easy to adopt to it, since it’s a wanted one.
Gandhi is believed to have said once - ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’. Well, the time has come. A lot of change is in the air - changes in the market economy; changes in the political arena; changes in the consumer world; changes in the urban society etc. And the time has come to stand up and be the change.
The good thing is that corporate sector has realized its responsibility towards the society and many companies have made constant efforts in a bid to bring a positive change in our society. Engro’s ‘I am the Change’ (IATC) campaign is one such initiative. It is a yearly campaign by the Engro Corporation as part of their CSR efforts. Launched in 2012, the campaign pays tribute to local change agents who have worked tirelessly to improve access to education, health-care and livelihoods for Pakistan’s poorest of the poor. In other words it recognize the inspiring efforts of passionate Pakistanis who have joined forces in a relentless pursuit of shaping a better tomorrow, as they strive for change through long-term investments in the key areas of education, livelihoods and health.
This year the awards ceremony was held at a local hotel in Karachi. The impressive ceremony was attended by corporate professionals and eminent media personalities. The event started off with a panel discussion on how people perceive ‘change’ and how it is important to change the way community service is being done to make a difference in people’s lives. The panel consisted of Mr. Ali Ansari from Engro Corporation, Mr. Zohair Sharif from Coca Cola, Mr. Kimihide Ando from Mitsubishi and Mr. Abrar from National Foods. The enlightened panelists agreed that one should invest one’s time, money and skills to bring some meaningful change in the society especially in the lives of deprived ones.
This year’s recipients included the Azat Foundation in the category of education, working to provide education and youth empowerment opportunities to individuals from various areas of Baluchistan including Noshki, Kharan, Awaraan amongst others.
In the category of Livelihoods, the award was given to Orangi Pilot Project that continues to focus on urban development and works with the underprivileged in the arena of micro-finance and micro-enterprises, helping set up small businesses such as embroidery, footwear manufacturing and other small cottage industries reaching out to over 100,000 individuals through various projects.
The winner in the category of Health was Child Life Foundation (CLF) an NGO providing comprehensive child health care services from emergency care to prevention. CLF provides free medicines, essential oxygen systems, medical monitors and most importantly trains doctors and nurses to help save the lives of children at imminent risk reaching out to approximately 800 child-patients every day.
Speaking at the occasion, Ali Ansari - President & CEO, Engro Corporation said, “We strongly believe in empowerment of communities by highlighting change agents who are working in high-impact areas such as education, health and livelihoods. Pakistan has a growing young population which will be in need of job opportunities. Coupled with the fact that half of the country cannot read or write and up to 25 million children not having access to school, the country is faced with an education, health and livelihood emergency. In this scenario it is imperative that we join hands to empower agents of change who are working to improve these social issues - IATC is a partnership platform that creates awareness and provides recognition to the unsung heroes from across Pakistan in order to support and multiply their efforts.”
According to a Chinese proverb: If you want happiness for an hour - take a nap; if you want happiness for a day - go fishing; if you want happiness for a year - inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime - help someone else. I think it’s about time we all start sharing happiness and be an agent of agent by helping some one in improving one’s life. Together, we can all bring a collective change in creating a better society.