Venkat Raman –
The precept that a good bank should be the financial heart of the community with the obligation to promote the welfare of every person is proved time and again by our banking institutions.
Among them is ANZ, which participates in a number of business, social, community and charitable events throughout the year, the latest of which was the ‘ANZ Indian Networking Group’ at Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust.
The Trust, a charitable institution, has been providing welfare and fitness programmes for the elderly in the greater Auckland region since 1994.
Shanti Niwas has several achievements to its credit in its 22 years of existence, the most significant of which is that men and women, who often feel the pinch of solitude and sometime neglect, find the organisation (located at 14, Spring Street, next to Dolphin Theatre in Onehunga) a good avenue to meet, read, engage in conversation and play meaningful games.
The Trust delivers positive ageing programmes thrice a week for lonely and isolated older people and once a week for people with disabilities.
Ten members of the ‘ANZ Indian Networking Group’ demonstrated their concern for community welfare by participating in the ‘Positive Ageing Day Programme’ on April 15, 2016.
Giving up their daily routine of promoting the interests of the Bank, examining loan applications, meeting customers and many other tasks, the group took to culinary art, including cutting vegetables and fruits and cooking up a healthy and tasty meal for the elders at Shanti Niwas.
“All ANZ staff have one work day each year to help a local organisation or charity. Each year, they volunteer approximately 15,000 hours, assisting local communities throughout the country,” Devika Ganjoor-Erickson, the Bank’s Sales & Service Delivery Associate (Sales & Service Performance) said.
“The ANZ team worked together as a strong unit on that day, with some assisting with morning tea and lunch preparations, while others got the Seniors on their feet with gentle ‘Bollyworks’ exercises,” she added.
They also engaged the elders in interactive games like ‘dumb charades’ and ‘Antakshari,’ a popular singing competition that began in India more than 40 years ago. They were all smiles and participated in true sporting spirit, even twirling ANZ staff members around!
The ANZ team helped in serving lunch to over 80 senior members, enriching each other’s experience. The seniors were highly appreciative and opened up to take the time to share their stories, hobbies and how much they enjoyed their day. Many of them invited the ANZ staff to visit them again next year.
ANZ Indian Networking Group Leader Hetal Jani said, “As one of New Zealand’s largest companies, with more than 8000 staff in 90% of New Zealand communities and an extensive branch network, we know that our actions have the potential to significantly impact the wellbeing of staff, customers, communities and the environment. Today was a truly enriching and rewarding day. Just to see so many smiles and words of appreciation and blessings from our elders made us all very happy and humbled.”
The ANZ team is a social group formed ten years ago as a part of Bank’s Diversity Programme to promote better engagement in the workforce, with the belief in the inherent strength of a vibrant, diverse and inclusive workforce.
Among the other projects of Shanti Niwas are ‘Kushi,’ an Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention service, ‘Sneh,’ an Emergency Housing for seniors, ‘Dosti,’ a Visiting Service for housebound, counselling, advocacy, translation and other services.
- The ANZ Indian Networking Group with Shanti Niwas Project Manager Nilima Venkat (standing second from left) and others on April 15, 2016
- Some members of the ANZ Team at the Shanti Niwas kitchen on April 15, 2016