A birthday gift that became a boon

A birthday gift that became a boon

Birthdays are always special. The love showered on me, particularly on my birthdays multiplies every year. My immediate family, old associates, new colleagues and thousands of people connected to us through the Adani Group’s community empowerment initiatives – the collective warmth that touches me is unprecedented.

But amid all the laughter and celebrations, I unfailingly reflect upon a small incident that took place on June 24, my birthday, nearly a decade ago. The feeling is similar to endearing impressions left by a stranger met over a short bus ride. Today, I wish to talk about one such individual.

In 2011 we were in the midst of setting up our first solar farm at Bitta-Nalliya located in a remote part of Kutch. Given the stringent schedule any employee needed prior approval from Vneet Jaain, the CEO of our Power business to leave the site.

One fine day an employee called up Vneet and requested that he be allowed to travel to Bhuj on 12th June (that was a Sunday) as he wanted to donate a unit of blood as a mark of celebration for my birthday which fell on a working day. This way he would not lose a day of work and yet would be able to express his greetings. I was astounded by the sheer simplicity of the thought. The person chose the biggest gift to mankind to show his love towards me.

Blood Donation | Above any other commitment

The narrative juxtaposed our priorities in life through a well-crafted conversation around bucket lists with the daily struggle of people in water-scarce areas. The film opens with a voice over of larger than life items in our bucket lists as we see a homemaker’s daunting routine to get a bucket of water.

The stark contrast subtly reminds the audience about the fundamental disparities between urban and rural lifestyles. It tells us that while we dream of owning a Jacuzzi or an Infinity Pool, crores of Indians and people across the world survive on just one bucket of water in a day.

It is said that the smallest of pebbles cast into the water often create the biggest of ripples. The ripple created by the action of this one person has now become a movement across the entire Group and has translated to the savings of several thousands of lives.

The story as one would expect sparked off a healthy discussion among people online. Many of them volunteered to add a new item to their bucket lists towards water conversation. For instance, Rishabh Singh, a Twitter user wrote, “Wherever I see water running from the tap, I inform the concerned people so that every single drop can be saved for our future generations. #BucketList @AdaniOnline.”.

Likewise, Mallika Ahmed urged everyone to plant trees, save rivers and practice rainwater harvesting for a better future through her Facebook post. Hopefully, such thought-provoking campaigns would inspire us to be more responsible about the way we use water.