One of the core philosophies at ABF is that change comes from within. The momentum created by employees who took the business of banking to such a height, if directed at the community has the ability to bring in a powerful change in the society. With this principle in mind, ABF strives to create various opportunities with which to engage employees directly with the act of giving and working with the communities.
Corporate events cover an entire gamut of events and activities such as dry waste segregation, blood donation drives, exhibitions by artisans and craftsmen, payroll giving, collection drives for books, clothes, toys etc. which are then distributed to relevant organizations, volunteering and inspirational talks by founders and heads of various Civic Service Organisations (CSOs). These activities have been planned so that every officer gets encouraged to participate even in the smallest act of giving or a cause. Through this process ABF creates awareness about issues faced by the under-privileged sections of the society and help employees interact and understand them better.
Axis Bank Foundation firmly believes that by transforming a small part of ourselves, we can transform a lot around us.
ABF encourages various CSOs and artisans from across the country to hold exhibitions and sale of their products at Axis Bank's office premises at no cost. The aim is to give other CSOs who are not directly supported by ABF, a platform to showcase their work. Through these exhibitions, employees get an opportunity to learn directly from the CSOs about the work that they do on ground and the beneficiary group that they work for.
On an average 85 CSOs participate in these exhibitions annually and the products on sale ranges from paintings by physically challenged people, handlooms and crafts from remote regions of India and festival specific products like diyas and lamps during Diwali and Christmas.
Gift of Life:
Under the Gift of Life initiative, ABF conducts blood donation drives on a regular basis with a tie up with reputed blood banks and / or hospitals and encourage employees /customers to donate blood at their convenience.
ABF also organizes Thalessemia screening and awareness camp where employees are screened for Thalessemia and give consultation to people who have been identified as Thalassemia Minor. ABF is collaborating with Think Foundation for this activity.
Basket of Hope:
ABF's collection drives for books, toys and clothes (used or new) are held at regular intervals during the year especially before festivals and during the Joy of Giving week. Baskets are kept at the cafeteria for a select period and officers are encouraged to donate as much as possible. These collected lots are then donated to identified children's libraries, orphanages and old age homes across regions.
ABF started its recycling initiative in August 2011 in Mumbai and now more than 50 branches have been included in this project. Dry waste like shredded paper, tissues and plastic bottles are collected daily by a recycling partner, further segregated and sent for recycling. These waste materials are then converted into notebooks, writing pads and envelops for employees to reuse.
Till date, more than 170,000kgs of dry waste have been collected and recycled.
Axis Cares is the payroll giving program which was started in October 2011 to encourage employees to contribute an amount from their salary for a cause. Currently over 7,000 officers across all branches have enrolled in this program. The monthly collection on an average has been INR 14 lakhs which is used to support programs in education and sustainable livelihood. This contribution is also used for emergency relief operations during any natural calamity.
Through Axis Cares, ABF was able to raise INR 2 crores during the Uttarakhand crisis in June-July 2013. INR 20 lakhs was given to Goonj for immediate relief work, INR 10 lakhs was given to Americares Foundation for medical aid and health camps and the rest of the amount collected was given to People's Science Institute for long term rehabilitation of people affected by the floods.
Talking Book Library:
As part of the Volunteering Program, ABF has set aside a special room where employees can volunteer to record portions of story books and study materials for the use of visually impaired children and adults. This recording of books is an initiative of Mitra Jyothi (Bangalore) and is called the Talking Book Library. This library enables visually impaired people to get access to more reading materials.
The initiative was started in 2011 and is open to all Axis Bank employees based in Mumbai and Bangalore. Volunteers are first trained in using a particular software DAISY and then allowed to step in and record portions of a given book at their choice of time.
Joy of Giving Week:
70 different events were held across various offices in 2013 during the Joy of Giving Week (2nd to 8th October). Employees were encouraged to donate cash, kind or volunteering time during this week. Employees engage in activities such as sponsoring meals for children, collection drive for books/toys/clothes which are then donated to identified CSOs, distribution of shawls, interacting with children and blood donation drives etc.
Cancer Screening Camps:
The cancer screening camps are held in collaboration with Indian Cancer Society for employees of Axis Bank. At these camps the employees can get a full body checkup done at a highly subsidized rate which includes physical, oral and blood. These camps will be replicated across branches in future.
Axis Bank Young Bankers' Programme:
This programme is held for students of Manipal Academy of Banking in order to instill a sense of community engagement and giving from the very beginning. Started in December 2013, the programme saw multiple blood donation drives, thalessemia screening, exhibitions by various NGOs and talks by leaders from the social sector.