Guest AuthorKasturi Cotha

Compassion, Collaboration and Change

By | Kasturi Cotha | Head HR, Bengaluru | HRBP – Product & Technology, globally at Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa business

My T&F Story – Purpose in Action

By Kasturi Cotha Head of HR, Bengaluru 

Compassion, Collaboration and Change

My story goes back to a time when a few years ago I was trying to select some good Hindi books and literature to give my kids an alternate read. During the selection process I read a piece of poetry – “naari tu abla nahi” (You are not weak, O Woman) This sentence resonated with me and made me reflect on what my purpose in life was…

I realized that although we know our value, yet we don’t express and admit it ever. For long, far too long, it has been that way and the only way out is to motivate one another.

Compassion and Collaboration are the dual energies that can induce a change. But not knowing where and how to start, I felt the need was to take a few steps that could prepare me for the huge leap…

I identified that the most important and intimate part of a Woman revolves around menstrual cycle and hygiene. I decided that this was where I should influence change for an impact. Whilst celebrating Womanhood, can we opt for a more sustainable and reusable option than contributing to the landfill that is creating a huge environmental hazard? I understood that this change needed an open conversation with women and share my own experience of how I chose to change over….

When I spoke to a group of women, I realized that they just needed a start!

I was glad to bring in a frank discussion, cutting out all the inhibitions that existed, educating them on a sustainable, reusable method. Four women from that group decided to change-over by the time our conversation ended. This motivated me to continue – the fact that I was able to influence to have a better impact. This journey is going on for me…

A silent contribution to conserve our Mother Nature…

The zeal of making this change more impactful kept me motivated to explore larger forums and opportunities. There came an avenue to be part of an NGO – “She for Society” – the name resonated with my thoughts. There are several NGOs but what was different here was that She for Society is spreading awareness but with a Swag. This is a group of women bikers who are from different streams of life and they collaborate to make a difference to some part of Society – mainly “Armed forces Martyrs families”. We go on biking rallies, call in women bikers to “Ride for a Purpose”. The most recent event was on 26 January 2020, India’s 71st Republic day – we had a splendid response from the women bikers’ fraternity – where around 140 women bikers joined us on a 10 km bike rally. We raised funds to felicitate six Armed forces martyrs’ families’ medical needs; one of them going through her chemotherapy/cancer treatment….

The group has now stepped up to support during the crisis posed by the pandemic, we identified daily wage workers and the most ignored / unrecognized community of transgenders and supplied them a month worth of ration. We also joined hands with a few other women bikers and in the prime lockdown period delivered 27 medical kits across the city of Bengaluru for senior citizens.

All these efforts have given me such a sense of gratification and joy, the opportunity to make a difference to the society we live in. We have various other plans in store…

The Ride is on – many Miles ahead to cover….

‘Count your blessings’ is something that I keep advising my kids. To ensure that I instill the value of giving back and start small, we have been supporting a girl child diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy with Mild Intellectual Disability.

I firmly believe that the world needs more lovers, healers and helpers…if you can’t find one, be one…

Republished with permission and originally published at Kasturi Cotha’s LinkedIn

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