Lockdown. Quarantine. Pandemic. Prior to March 2020, we may have been vaguely aware of these words. Since March however, these terms have become three of the most used words of 2020!!! The other day, my three-year-old daughter casually told me, “Appa, my toys are in quarantine.” I tried to hide my smile and asked her what she meant. She gave me a strange look. “There’s a pandemic. We have to keep everything in quarantine before we touch them.” See how pervasive these words have become?
The world is our oyster, or so the saying goes, but 2020 saw most countries closing their borders. We couldn’t even travel to the next district without proper paperwork!!! Unprecedented times and unthinkable things. Work from home, virtual learning, online shopping and virtual get-togethers have become the new normal. When the lockdown began on March 23, Me, Daniel Jacob, VP – HR of EC Group International had so much of thoughts running in my mind, as there were too many things to handle officially and so many responsibilities I felt in terms of serving the society, who were in dire need.
I can honestly tell you that the lockdown period could have become very frustrating if not for something amazing that transformed not just our lives, but also the lives of thousands of young students.
One fine evening, I got a call from one of the final year student who completed internship with our Organisation asking if we can help him out with any suitable job opportunity during this lockdown time. The student also told me the worrying situation of some of his friends, who come up from poor background and who just managed to complete their education and some friends, who spend most of their times in social media and not being productive. Though I wrapped up the call giving him a convincing solution, the discussions we had over the phone about the clueless mind set of the students began to bother me so much during the weekend. This triggered me to initiate a call with my HR Team and this is where the idea of delivering a mentorship session to the student community arose. We all believed strongly that we wanted to use this quarantine time as a blessing in disguise. With no further delay, we started the Crown Leadership Program on 31st March 2020, with ten mentors and 30 M.B.A students initially and increased to more than 200 gradually. By then me and my team started speaking in ICT Academy’s power seminars and in many other speaking engagements around the nation and internationally.
Now, as we stand in the month of December 2020, we are surprised that our program has transformed the lives of more than 20,000 young people. Hundreds of sessions have been conducted, participates from different states of India and from 14 other countries including Pakistan were benefited. This is no small feat. The program has converted many from a clueless individual to someone with direction and purpose. This is a perfect example of how the lockdown period was used in a productive manner to transform thousands of lives. Is not this amazing!!!
We are glad that this lockdown time enabled us to unlock many young minds more importantly to unlock, our eyes our minds and our hearts.
Thank you EC Group for inspiring us to invest our spare time in this venture, as giving back to community is in EC Group’s DNA.