In synergy with BPCL’s core values of ethics, trust, collaboration, innovation and customer-centricity, the 40th Foundation Day celebrations culminated with the BPCL Energising Bharat Awards. The Awards recognised and felicitated individuals who have been tirelessly and selflessly working to make the lives of others a bit better. The thematic areas chosen for felicitating individuals were Primary Education, Water Conservation, Women’s Empowerment, Rural Health and Skill Development – areas where BPCL has been engaged for decades through their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes. A sixth category – Renewable Energy – was also open for nominations but saw no winners as the jury did not find any entry worth the award this year.
The uniqueness of the awards came from the fact that the nominations were completely crowd-sourced where people came forward to nominate others who they felt deserved recognition for their contribution to society. For BPCL, the objective behind this crowd-sourcing exercise was to seek out and gather stories of inspiration, commitment, passion, impact and social change. With the help of an intensive national multi-media campaign that was launched on 24th December 2015, the awards process managed to garner an overwhelming 943 nominations from across India before the entry deadline of midnight of 6th January, 2016. The campaign used various online and electronic platforms to call for nominations. A specially created awards website (www.bpcleba. com) and Facebook page announced the procedure and kept people engaged through regular updates. TV ads on satellite television as well as YouTube, banner ads on various news portal and on-ground activation through BPCL’s own network of fuel stations, distributorships, partners and offices – as well as District Magistrates and Zila Parishads – fed the interest and encouraged more people to participate. Over 1400 spots were aired on satellite TV, while YouTube and Facebook videos garnered more than 110,000 views in just 10 days. Facebook updates reached over 1.5 mn people while Twitter engaged with more than 2.4 mn handles. During the same period, banner ads on Indian languages and English news portals had close to 5 mn impressions. Even a missed- call service was introduced via the TV commercials and offline media that resulted in more than 4000 missed calls, which were responded to by a dedicated call centre.
But what was even more overwhelming than the success of the campaign, was the number of beautiful and touching stories that were waiting to be told. It also brought to the fore what BPCL always believed in – that people are the true inspiration and that there are thousands of people out there who are working silently and selflessly in their own capacity to make this world a much better place for others.
KMPG in India audited the entire process and also selected the 265 valid nominees that were assessed by a screening jury, who scored them on their work, impact, innovation and issues handled. The top 36 finalists were selected from this and their work verified by teams from KPMG through field visits, on-ground assessment and feedback from beneficiaries, before a panel of judges chose the final five. Three more nominees were also chosen as Special Mentions, since the jurors felt that their contribution merited recognition as well.
Mirum, a member of the WPP group, was the digital and creative partner while Open Media Network, which publishes Open Magazine, was the knowledge and management partner for the Awards. The awards ceremony, held on the evening of 24th January, 2016, at the NCPA Tata Theatre, Mumbai, included a citation for all the eight winners and a cheque of Rs.2.5 lakh for each of the five winners and Rs. 75,000 for the Special Mention recipients in each category.
His Free School is moulding visually-impaired children into civil servants and entrepreneurs. The school has been providing free housing, food, clothes, vocational training, and formal education — from nursery to post-graduation — to underprivileged children since 1998. Founded in Bengaluru, the school now has three branches across the city. The school works with children belonging to families below the poverty line, and children who have been shunned by their families and denied a childhood.
An 80-year old teacher goes from park to park conducting classes for children from socio- economically weaker sections of the society. Her journey started at Madanpur Khadar in Delhi. She saw kids roaming around wasting time, so she gathered five students and started her first class at a chaupal in the village. She reaches out to 110 students now with the help of four teachers. There has been a remarkable change in the attitude of the children who are more active and confident now. They also participate in extra-curricular activities.
Malguzari tanks were ponds made for water harvesting by the Malguzars, who were zamindars/tenants in eastern Vidarbha, Maharashtra. These tanks provided water for irrigation but now remain in disuse. An Executive Engineer in the Minor Irrigation division always had a great interest in water conservation and decided to initiate the process of rejuvenating these tanks. This rejuvenation work has resulted in recharging groundwater levels. The benefits of the Malguzari tank to the region have prompted the district administration to restore another 21 Malguzari tanks in Bhandara.