By Brian Russell
Blind children, if given a chance, can play and learn right alongside their sighted peers. An open mind, a positive attitude, and a little creativity are usually all it takes to integrate blind students into regular preschool programs.
Employees at the Monsanto India – Shamirpet site took this wisdom to heart recently. Employees there staged a donation campaign titled “The Joy of Giving,” in which employees donated $689 USD to sponsor lunch for 300 students of a local school for the blind, with remaining money used to purchase Braille paper for the students.
“The voluntary contributions by Monsanto employees is of great help to the blind students, because they need Braille paper every day for their studies and examinations,” said Dr. Saibaba, chairman of the Devnar Foundation for the Blind, which runs the school. “The Joy of Giving program really helps the blind children because the supplies will be useful for their studies and provide motivation for them to succeed.”
The program was born of a desire to help in the local community, but in a way that is unique among Monsanto sites worldwide.
“I have read about some programs done at Monsanto sites in India where they have donated notebooks to government schools, and I wanted to do some different program and a thought came to my mind, why don’t we do it for visually challenged ones?” said Mouli Patel, manager – warehouse & toll operations and the leader of The Joy of Giving program. “What inspired the employees is the concept of doing something to Blind ones which is really new to them and they were thrilled to serve mankind.”
Patel said it is a credit to Monsanto and his site’s management that the program was a success.
“It is really a great opportunity to give back to the community and to serve the community and it gives us joy to help these children,” Patel said. “Working for Monsanto is really a privilege as we get the opportunity to do something for the community in which we are living and to help those who really need it.”