With a presence in nearly every continent in the world, we are
proud to show how we have helped our local communities.
If you want to find out how Bata volunteers are making a
difference in your region check out the stories below.
BCP Pakistan Helps Vulnerable Children Learn the Value of Education
A group of five BCP volunteers visited Akhtar Mubarak Referral Centre School, where free education facilities are provided to underprivileged children, especially to those whose parents lack education and believe that their children should work in shops or restaurants rather than attending school.
Volunteers joined the children in their classes, and took part in a number of activities with them, including reading story books and solving puzzles. They also told them stories of great leaders, motivating them to continue their education in order to become successful, and gave them books and other gifts to further encourage them. The children were extremely grateful, and pledged to continue their education at all costs.
Hina, one of the teachers at the school, commented: “We keep on convincing the parents to send their children to school and not to discontinue their educational process. I am sure that efforts of BCP volunteers will greatly help in making up their minds.”
BCP Sri Lanka Rewards Children for Academic Success
Clive Rodrigo, finance director of Bata Sri Lanka, was the guest of honor at the Scholarship Awards presentation ceremony, which was held at Bata Sri Lanka head office and was also attended by the parents of the children who had been awarded for their academic successes.
This year saw awards given in two categories: one for the children who had been granted entrance to government universities, and another for those who had passed the Grade 05 scholarship examination.
In total there were four scholarship winners, two from each category. The winners of the Grade 5 scholarship awards were Thamira Ththsara and Siluni Nimasha, and each received a cash prize of 7,500 Sri Lankan rupees and a pair of shoes. The winning university entrance students, Nadeesha Madushani and Hansini Piyamika were awarded 12,500 Sri Lankan rupees and a pair of shoes.
HR manager Chamila De Silva, in her speech at the awards ceremony, commented: “These yearly scholarship awards are distinct encouragement for the children of our employees to excel in their studies and be rewarded in the coming years.”
BCP Bangladesh Holds Book Drive to Found School Library
BCP Bangladesh first held a month-long book drive through which Bata employees generously donated new and gently used books appropriate for 5- to 12-year-olds.
The volunteers were then able to present over 350 books to the Mojar School to found a student library.
The team also donated school clothes – shirts, pants, skirts, shoes and socks – along with lunchboxes and colorful schoolbags for 60 students.
The students showed their delight, and the teachers expressed their gratitude for BCP’s ongoing support since the school opened in 2013 for children living on the street.
The BCP volunteers were also very positive about the experience. Kanhasiri commented, “Being able to help these children and make them smile is the best reward.”
Serving the Community: Interview with Rajeev Gopalakrishnan
How can community outreach improve corporate image?
While it is a fact that businesses operate for the purpose of maximizing profits, maintaining a good relationship with the society they operate in is still vital. Businesses regard their good name and their brand to be one of their most valuable assets, and by showing that they take their social responsibility seriously, they encourage the public to take them seriously.
Various studies have revealed that consumers are much more willing to spend money on the products and services of a company that has proven itself to be socially responsible. It creates a landing place in the minds of target consumers, catering to their brand equity awareness and creating a positive brand image for them.
How does the Bata Children’s Program balance community and business interest?
Through our BCP programs, we work with children while leveraging the interests of the business wherever possible.
As India has a growing kids’ segment – with 1.21 billion people it is the second most populous country in the world, and children represent 39 percent of the population – we focus on creating a strong brand image in that segment through BCP.
What is the effect of BCP on employees?
BCP helps employees feel committed to the company and proud of it, which in turn helps with better productivity and retention in the long run.
When employees visit the BCP-supported schools, they feel proud that the company truly believes in giving back to society.
Participating employees also gain understanding of their local communities. There are so many who have never seen a government school or visited a rural area. Through BCP, they get an opportunity to interact with children from underprivileged backgrounds and get another perspective on life.
Additionally, volunteering with BCP gives employees a sense of achievement at a personal and team level. When employees from various departments come together for a BCP activity, it fosters teamwork and better working relationships. Many times employees want to do something good for society but don’t have a direction; BCP provides them a platform.
What are some benefits of corporate community involvement that are sometimes overlooked?
In areas where there are hindrances in operations from the local community or local political party leaders, social responsibility programs can ease relationships to some degree and help smooth the functioning of company operations, for example. Building the image of a responsible corporate citizen also helps when it comes to dealing with government agencies.
Can you give an example of your participation in BCP?
BCP has always been close to my heart, and I am personally involved with many social initiatives.
We are supporting a non-formal school in the slum area of Gurgaon. These are the children of housemaids, rickshaw pullers, daily wage labors, etc. Due to poverty, they have never gone to school or dropped out and gotten involved in child labor.
Recently, we supported the school with a new building, better teachers, furniture, books, uniforms, school bags, nutritious meals and extracurricular activities. With better facilities and quality education, the children are attending regularly and enjoying it, and enrollment is up.
This initiative was taken up by my wife, Resmy, and a great execution followed from our BCP team led by Mahima [Chandra].
During the inaugural event, I could see the excitement on the faces of the children. I visited each class and interacted with them. They recited poems, did a small skit on the importance of educating girls and gave a beautiful dance performance. The teachers are also hardworking, and we would like to support them with training.
I believe that every child is capable of progress, if provided an opportunity and the right guidance. Through BCP, we try to reach out to as many underprivileged children as possible and help them improve their lives.
BCP India Celebrates Diwali with Children from BCP Schools
A total of 17 BCP India volunteers dedicated their time to visiting children from underprivileged communities studying at three BCP schools: Government Girls Primary School, in Gurgaon; Government Middle School in Bataganj, and Batanagar School. Over the course of the two days, volunteers visited each of the schools, meeting a total of around 1,700 children.
The children prepared their classrooms in preparation for the Diwali celebrations, decorating and displaying traditional lamps known as “Diyas”, and also gave cultural performances for the visiting volunteers. Following this, the BCP volunteers distributed sweets and delicious snacks, and small gifts were also given to the teachers as a mark of tradition and respect.
Sushil Sood, one of the BCP volunteers, commented: “In what better manner can the festival be celebrated than by bringing smiles to the faces of underprivileged children. Children were eagerly waiting for us to come to celebrate the festival with them, and they decorated their classrooms beautifully.”
BCP India Celebrates International Day of the Girl Child
To mark the international day of recognition, a team of four BCP volunteers organized a workshop on the theme of “Good Touch Bad Touch” in collaboration with experts and psychologists from the School Health Annual Report Programme. The activity was held at Government Primary Girls School in Sukhrali, with girls from Sugam School also in attendance.
Around 150 girls were educated on various issues including safe and unsafe touches, self-safety measures and communication with parents. A quiz was held at the end of the workshop, with small gifts for the participants. The response was excellent, as the girls showed great interest in the activities, and some were even able to discuss certain personal issues on a one-to-one basis with the psychologist.
Principal of Government Girls Primary School Ms. Sudesh commented: “In today’s scenario, where the cases of female child sexual abuse are increasing, these kinds of workshops and communication with the children are very important. I welcome Bata to organize more such sessions for the girls.”
BCP India: Eye Exams for 1,700 Schoolchildren
Optometrists and doctors filled out health records for each child after their exams, prescribing glasses for many of them. These records were then discussed at parent-teacher conferences so any health issues could be quickly addressed.
At awareness workshops, the children learned simple eye exercises and other ways to take care of their eyes, including following a healthy diet.
Children’s eye health is important: Myopic children have trouble reading the blackboard, while hyperopic ones struggle to read books, for example. Other disorders can lead to permanent visual impairment if not treated early.
BCP volunteer Barkha Kapoor, of Bata India’s e-commerce team, said, “What I liked most about this activity was that it was not just a checkup camp – a separate session was undertaken with the children on eye care awareness, and a few problems were discussed on a case-by-case basis. Vision problems can adversely affect students’ ability to function at school and enjoy learning, so regular screening is essential for timely diagnosis and treatment.”
BCP India Workshops Promote Teen Health
Topics included life skills, personality development, exploring career options, health, hygiene, substance abuse, and physical changes in adolescence. Boys and girls were separated for a few of the sessions.
Facilitators discussed how the media portrays issues such as sexual abuse, violence and drinking, as this can have a big impact on this age group.
Another highlight was a talk on mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and suicide, especially as they sometimes relate to school results.
Finally, an important session was held for the girls, many of whom learned for the first time about health and proper hygiene surrounding menstruation. The girls were able to ask questions one-on-one.
Eight BCP volunteers participated to make the sessions a success.
The principal of the Harsaru school, Asha Rani, said she would welcome BCP organizing more such student workshops. “These children receive no guidance on issues of adolescence. If children are given correct information, they will also be able to pass it on to their children one day.”