|friends of OM|
Ian Peters, Chief Operation Officer, British Gas (Part of Centrica Plc.)
In its vision to help underprivileged children in India, the OM Foundation has constructed an inspirational schooling model for the amazing children of the community. OM Foundation provides a platform where children can receive free education on par with private schools.
We could not have made this progress without the especial help of a few key individuals, who have shown phenomenal dedication to support the future education of the children. One individual is Ian Peters, COO, British Gas. It has been an honour to have Ian contribute to the arduous journey of making education accessible to underprivileged children. Some of the outstanding contributions that Ian (and British Gas) has provided are as follows:
The Foundation salutes his tremendous dedication towards the cause of underprivileged children. Ian makes it a point to visit the school whenever he is in India, despite his time constraints. Additionally, he makes all possible efforts to keep himself updated on all the activities of the school. To feel their joy & see their smiling faces, Ian personally carried sports goods for the children last year.
Some of his comments are listed in the following Q&A session:
How important is Corporate Social Responsibility to British Gas?
CSR is an essential part of our strategy. We operate in communities and our support for them is consistent with being a responsible employer. We are helping look after our world (in line with our brand strategy) and developing our people through their opportunity to volunteer and exposure to different environments. We also believe in leading our industry - and our CSR work is genuinely ground breaking.
What do you think makes the OM Foundation stand out as a charity cause?
The OM Foundation stands out because everything is about the children. There is a passion for sustainable change of people's lives through providing the opportunity of education, which is one of the greatest gifts. It is a genuine partnership, with extraordinary leadership, and a track record of delivering on its promises. The Foundation's willingness to embrace our volunteers with such welcome is a particular positive.
What is the long term goal of British Gas with the OM School charity?
The long term goal is to build a sustainable model for bringing education to those who would otherwise not receive it. Not just in Noida, but hopefully beyond. I think we are well on the way to making that a reality.
How do you feel about the progress the school has made since BG become involved?
Whenever I visit the schools, especially the new combined site, I come away with four feelings. Pride in what has been achieved by us working together for a shared goal of such ambition - and my small part and privilege in making it happen. Secondly, Humility, from meeting the team who have poured so much energy and commitment into bringing it to life, with no sense of "self". Thirdly, Hope (and excitement), that this really will be a growing and sustainable model. Finally, a simple Joy in watching and listening to the way the children have developed their skills and confidence - and what this education should bring to them and their families when they eventually leave.
Peter Parsons, British Gas (Part of Centrica Plc.)
Peter Parsons, Head of Business Development ? Credit and Operations, British Gas (Part of Centrica Plc.)
Peter Parsons? involvement with the OM Foundation within the last two years has been vital to the development of the OM School. He had shown tremendous ownership for the OM School at all levels, from initiating the development of the secondary school to his present involvement. OM Foundation remains thankful to him for his unique gesture. For Mr Parsons, everything needs a little nurturing to help it to grow. His commitment to grow community value around the world will certainly help the less fortunate children achieve their goals in coming years.
His comments are listed in the following Q&A session.
How did you get involved in the OM School?
During my first year in India, 2008, we were looking to establish a CSR footprint close to our offices in Noida. After a lot of research we ?bumped into? Sanjay and the OM school almost by chance. Having seen the work OM were doing in the primary school, the values they believed in, and Sanjay?s passion and commitment; it felt the perfect partner for us.
What is your favourite memory of the OM School?
It is impossible to pick out one memory. My proudest moment was the opening of the secondary school in March 2009. The school had been built in an amazing 6 months and to see the doors open and the enthusiasm from the children enjoying the facilities was an incredibly moving experience. Beyond that, seeing how the children have grown in the school with our support both financially and from a volunteering perspective has been incredible ? you really can see the difference.
What benefit do you think the children receive from employee volunteers and visitors?
Children naturally have a thirst for knowledge and learning. Our volunteers and employees who visit brings new and additional opportunities to learn and develop: be it specific lessons we take, having a sports afternoon, or just talking about the UK and our lives there. This broadening of horizons will only increase their hunger to learn more.
What does the future between British Gas and the OM School look like?
I believe it will be a long and beneficial partnership. We would love to see the school full with children and see pupils progressing to further education and who knows, working on the British Gas account in India. It is important that we maintain the standards that have been set so far, keep the volunteering levels as high as they are to give the children every chance to succeed. I hope we can find more partners to support OM on the incredible journey they are on.
Mr Sudshish Bhatti ? Setting example of Philanthropy
?We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give? ? Winston Churchill. Mr Sudshish Bhatti an established contractor/ builder of Noida having been associated with social welfare initiatives from very long time is an inspiration for others, as he came forward to support OM Foundation a School for the underprivileged children. Talking from decades of experience he explains ?you don?t initially need to have an altruistic intention to do something philanthropic JUST do it for yourself?. Realizing that it is his responsibility to help & empower the children of the country, he decided to join hand with Om Kids to help them provide basic needs for day to day life. Mr Bhatti has supported the organization in various ways, like providing free medicines during the medical camp, some small funds & nevertheless his valuable time. His believes in ?Charity is a necessary virtue?.
OM Foundation honours his tremendous vision for philanthropy.