This year has been tumultuous in many ways. As we enter its last month, we are in a position to better assess the monumental changes it brought upon us. One of the biggest life-altering transformations has been the concept of working from home, or working in reduced numbers with reduced socialisation, and even reduced salaries. Most of these measures have been put in place to safeguard the physical health of employees, but have unfortunately, wreaked havoc on the mental health of people. Hence, ensuring a positive work culture is now more important than ever before.
I recently learned of a company that addressed these grave issues by launching a complete mental wellness offshoot, not just for their employees but for the world at large. Indibni, the parent company of popular online gifting aggregator Indigifts, realised that to sustain its business it would have to do something out of the ordinary. It went digital, increased its sales and consequently began hiring people. Further, to ensure the happiness and well-being of its large employee base, it launched PehlaSukh, a wellness movement with multiple initiatives, through their CSR arm Indifamily Foundation.
The far-sighted and innovative PehlaSukh programme, is known for its 5P’s of Personal, Professional, People, Passion and Purpose. Inspired by this, I have penned 5 ways to ensure a positive work culture in your own work spaces:
1. KEEP THE PERSONAL CONNECTIONS ALIVE
Despite everything being run on digital mode, it is important to nurture personal connections with employees and co-workers. Some of the ways in which Indibni has done this is through the use of vernacular content on their websites, and crafting tailor-made programs for individual needs. There is a significant emphasis on leveraging technology to build relationships.
2. MAINTAIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE PROFESSIONAL SPACE
While working from home, high stress levels and frequent overtime is fairly common, as the barriers between personal and professional space break down. Efforts should be made to maintain these boundaries by encouraging certain practices, including uploading credible wellness related information on websites and social media pages; being approachable through use of vernacular languages; organising frequent sessions with doctors, scientists and researchers in the mental wellness space; providing access to evidence based holistic health content; and having a smooth helpline to converse with experts.
3. GIVE AMPLE TIME OFF FOR PEOPLE TO REST AND RECUPERATE
Continuing from the previous point, it is essential to encourage proper time off to maintain a work-life balance. This can be encouraged by adopting measures such as no-work weekends or Sundays, adhering to regular office work hours and time off when required. Mental stress often leads to unhealthy eating practices which further cause lifestyle diseases. These can be prevented by taking necessary precautions.
4. ENCOURAGE AND APPLAUD INDIVIDUAL AMBITIONS
The pandemic does not have to be a time for individuals to push their passions and ambitions to a backseat. Through the use of support groups, companies can inculcate healthy habitual changes. They can encourage measures for people to share innovative ideas and plans and offer them an outlet to be heard.
5. PROVIDE ACCESS TO EXPERTS AND PROFESSIONALS
PehlaSukh, in particular, provides access to an ecosystem of medical practitioners, nutritionists, dieticians, entrepreneurs, professionals, corporate executives, health heroes and wellness champions dedicated to a methodology known as ‘CWC—Crack the Wellness Code’ by India Community Center; which embraces an evidence-based lifestyle, diet, wellness practices, preventive care, and technological analytics. Originating in the Silicon Valley across the San Francisco Bay Area, the ICC-CWC has many noteworthy initiatives which include gym services, Sevathons, Yoga, Fitness, Senior and Youth Programmes, etc.
Apart from the five points I have highlighted above, the Indifamily Foundation’s PehlaSukh programme conducts free Zoom sessions across the country to help people. Their active usage of digital media and local languages to conduct these sessions is highly appreciated by the attendees. They prepare special programmes based on age, social backgrounds, professional associations and other yardsticks to ensure the best possible results.
It is high time that all companies took a leaf out of Indibni’s book and put similar measures in place to ensure a positive and healthy work culture, and the overall well-being of their professional families.
The writer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles on her successful blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be found on Instagram @nooranandchawla.
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SUNNY, AMEESHA EXPRESS GRATITUDE TO FANS AS ‘GADAR’ CLOCKS 20 YEARS
Sunny Deol’s ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’ clocked 20 years on Tuesday and the star thanked the audience for making his film ‘an event’.
The 2001 film, that also starred Ameesha Patel in the lead, became an instant hit. The Anil Sharma directorial did not just impress viewers but also registered huge numbers at the box office. The actor-politician took to Twitter to express gratitude to all his fans who made the film a ‘historic’ affair. Sunny tweeted a video song from Gadar, ‘Musafir Jaane Wale’, featuring him and Ameesha.
Sharing the video, he thanked viewers for showering the action love story with so much love. Sunny wrote, “We made a film, you made it an event! #20yearsofGadar, I express my gratitude to everyone who made our film historic.”
Taking to Instagram, Ameesha uploaded a series of posts recalling her acting stint on the project. In one of the posts, she shared a few unseen moments from the set and captioned: “Gadar…behind the scenes of the most iconic film that Bollywood has seen till date…thank you all for the love..20 years of Gadar.”
Released on 15 June, 2001, ‘Gadar’ was a romantic drama set against the background of India’s partition. The film also featured late Amrish Puri and Lillete Dubey.
On the occasion, Lillete too took to social media to remember her work in ‘Gadar’.
“15 June 2001…. 20 years since ‘Gadar’ opened on this day. And what a storm it created.Remembering the making of the film and especially my wonderful co-star who also came from theatre — the man with the deepest baritone Amrish Puri,” she wrote.
DECIDED TO PRODUCE ‘LAGAAN’ AS NO ONE WAS READY TO DO IT, REVEALS AAMIR
Superstar Aamir Khan is celebrating 20 years since the release of his iconic film ‘Lagaan’. The movie, helmed by Ashutosh Gowariker, was nominated for the Oscars and appreciated by critics and audiences alike. Reminiscing about the journey of making the film, Aamir recalled that no one was ready to back it. Ashutosh narrated him the film’s script a few times and he enjoyed it but was not ready to produce it initially as he did not want to dive into film production. Every time Aamir would meet Ashutosh he would bring up the film but was told that no one was ready to produce it. He finally took the plunge to produce it and act in it after listening to the script again in the company of his parents and ex-wife Reena who enjoyed the story.
A DOCUMENTARY ON SALIM, JAVED IN WORKS
NEW DELHI: A documentary titled ‘Angry Young Men’ based on the lives of legendary screenwriters Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar is in the works with superstar Salman Khan’s production banner SKF (Salman Khan Films) teaming up with Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment and Zoya Akhtar’s Tiger Baby Films. Indian film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh shared the news on his Twitter handle. “Salman Khan – Excel – Tiger Baby join hands… Salim-Javed Documentary… #SalmanKhan, Excel Entertainment (#FarhanAkhtar, #RiteshSidhwani) and Tiger Baby Films (#ZoyaAkhtar, #ReemaKagti) to make documentary on #SalimKhan and #JavedAkhtar… Titled #AngryYoungMen,” he tweeted. The collaborative project that will capture the magic of the era that Salim-Javed created together will be helmed by Namrata Rao. Famously called as Salim-Javed, the duo has scripted many commercially and critically accepted films ‘Patthar’, ‘Dostana’, ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’, ‘Sholay, Mr India’, ‘Don’, and many more.
AKSHAY’S ‘BELL BOTTOM’ GETS A RELEASE DATE
MUMBAI : As lockdown restrictions are gradually easing in several parts of India amid the decline in Covid-19 cases, the ‘Bell Bottom’ team has decided to release the film in cinemas. Taking to Instagram, Akshay Kumar on Tuesday shared that ‘Bell Bottom’ is scheduled to release on 27 July theatrically. “I know you have patiently waited for the release of ‘Bell Bottom’. Could not be happier to finally announce the release of our film. Arriving on the big screens worldwide. ‘Bellbottom’ on 27 July,” he wrote. The movie was earlier slated to release on 2 April 2021. However, it got delayed due to the second wave of Coronavirus.
Directed by Ranjit M. Tewari, ‘Bell Bottom’ has been touted as a spy thriller. Vashu Bhagnani, Jackky Bhagnani, Deepshikha Deshmukh, Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani, and Nikkhil Advani have produced the project, that also features actors Vaani Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, and Lara Dutta Bhupathi.
‘Bell Bottom’ has always managed to lead the change from the beginning. Even last year, it hit the headlines for being the first Hindi film to be shot and completed during the pandemic with exemplary on-set Covid management. Akshay has several projects in his kitty including ‘Atrangi Re’, ‘Raksha Bandhan’, ‘Bachchan Pandey’, ‘Sooryavanshi’, ‘Prithviraj’, and ‘Mission Lion’.
ADITI GETS NOSTALGIC ABOUT HER TELUGU DEBUT FILM
NEW DELHI: Three years ago on Tuesday Aditi Rao Hydari made her big Telugu debut with ‘Sammohanam’ and left everyone amazed with her performance. An Indian Telugu-language romantic drama, ‘Sammohanam’ once again established Aditi has one of the most bankable and versatile Pan Indian actresses in the country. Hailed as a strong debut in Telugu cinema, Aditi was heartwarming in the film. Aditi exclaimed, “Firsts are always special. I heard this story over a phone call with (director) Mohan Krishna Indraganti. I loved the story and said yes immediately. There were lots of well-meaning people who told me to do a more typical big-ticket film as my first Telugu film. I loved ‘Sammohanam’ and I went with my gut and I’m so happy that I did.”
I WAS REJECTED FROM 250 AUDITIONS BEFORE ‘MARDAANI’: TAHIR
MUMBAI: Tahir Raj Bhasin recently revealed that he was rejected 250 times before he was signed on by Aditya Chopra for ‘Mardaani’.
Tahir said, “Anything that’s worthwhile takes time and this is something I understood when I first came to Mumbai. I was rejected from some 250 auditions over 3 years before Mardaani but I used this as positive fuel and feedback. It meant I needed to grow and growth came from workshops and hours of practice.” He added, “The improvements that came as a result of obstacles prepared me to be propelled when the time was right. Strength lay in getting hit and in the will to keep moving forward. Today’s world is all about that simple message. We have all been affected directly or indirectly by an unforeseen time and courage is to make ourselves better, fitter and stronger for the test of time to come.”
Despite the overwhelming number of rejections, Tahir never lost hope and believed he was destined to shine in Bollywood. He said, “To be honest, I never saw my initial time in Mumbai as a struggling phase. It was an aspiring phase. I was visualising a dream and aspiring to make it real and it’s the hardship and journey that make the successes worth celebrating.”
Tahir’s upcoming projects include ‘Looop Lapeta’, ‘Bulbul Tarang’, ‘Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein’, and ‘83’.
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