How to Support Your Colleagues in India in This Challenging Time
As India is entering the world’s worst second Covid wave, what can you do to help and support your colleagues from a distance?
For most of us, this pandemic has been a traumatizing period. Some of us know someone who has lost a loved one; some have lost friends and family members; some have battled with COVID-19 themselves—everyone is impacted.
Personally, this pandemic is certainly traumatizing for me. Last year in June, both my parents got infected by Covid and my mother lost the fight. I could not even fly to Indonesia, where they live, to watch my mom being buried nor just to be with my family in person, due to the travel ban. And a few months after, it was my turn to get infected. That period is definitely the lowest point of my life. Never have I felt so lonely, isolated, helpless, and heartbroken at the same time. Yet, months after I recovered, some people whom I thought were my friends slowly stayed away from me and disappeared completely, even virtually, after they heard I contracted the virus a while back—the social stigma for Covid survivors is real.
That is when I realized that compassion matters so much in this peculiar time. It is the only thing in this world we are capable of perceiving and giving that transcends everything else.
India Covid Crisis
As you perhaps have read on the news, a highly contagious variant of coronavirus is sweeping India at lightning speed. Despite that, the country does not have enough doses to quickly vaccinate people, the oxygen supplies have diminished, and hospitals are crumbling under the weight of this health crisis.
In a world that has been in an ongoing war with an invisible enemy, a glimpse of hope appeared in late 2020 in the form of a vaccine. However, while many countries start to ease their lockdowns and have more people vaccinated, India is counting the loss of their loved ones at a staggering rate.
While many countries start to ease their lockdowns and have more people vaccinated, India is counting the loss of their loved ones at a staggering rate.
This crisis has affected not only businesses in India, but also worldwide, as many organizations either have offices in or work with colleagues that are based in India. For me, because of how Covid has impacted my life, the crisis in India has hit close to my heart. I personally feel compelled to help my colleagues there. I know that many of you reading this blog are also wondering how you can offer assistance to your co-workers facing this crisis.
Read what my colleagues and I are doing to support our team in India and what you can do too.
How to Support Colleagues in India
In spite of the challenge and situation, our colleagues are still trying to do their best to do their job. Understand their value to the company and give them the recognition and appreciation that they deserve. Call them out in meetings or make calls to thank them and cheer them up.
Some of our colleagues may be sick or taking care of sick family members or friends. We need to show patience and understanding to them. Do not pressure them too much to finish some tasks—work can wait, but health and loved ones cannot.
Never, ever hesitate to reach out to your colleagues in India, whether you know them personally or not (yet). Check how they are feeling, how their families are doing, and if they need help with work.
Spare some dollars or even cents to some charity organizations or initiatives. SHL India is supporting OxyJan to raise money to replenish the oxygen supplies for Covid patients. SHL’s Community Impact Group also gives you the opportunity to double your donations to them, which will be match-funded by SHL Global. Every donation counts, and your contribution can potentially save a life.
In this dire situation, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. But this crisis actually reminds us of our essence as human—what should we do as a human being to other human beings that are suffering?
Let’s be mindful of others, lend hands whenever possible, and most importantly, let’s be kind to each other. These are simple gestures that will make a difference, especially when times get tough. We always say that as SHL, we are one business, one platform. However, let’s not forget that we are also one family, and as a family, we are in it together—and together, we will pull this through.