Driving their way to a shared future.
A story of partnership between Hindustan Coca-Cola and the Nemam village, near Chennai
Sometimes, all it takes is a little nudge to get things going, and here is a shining example.
20 young men in Nemam village of Thiruvallur district, in Tamil Nadu did not think they could earn a decent livelihood for themselves. They neither had formal trainings in any vocation, nor were they skilled in any art or craft. Their educational qualification too, was limited. Nemam, in any case, is a village of farmers and these men had ambitions of turning professionals! The village is home to Hindustan Coca-Cola’s juice and soft drink making factory.
On one of the days when these men were in conversation with the Panchayat Executive, S. Reemavathi, on a variety of subjects including livelihood, she knew that their next-door neighbor - Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), - would be happy to collaborate.
Within days, an expert in skills, career and psychology - invited by HCCB - was talking to these youngsters. A solution was in sight. These individuals were most suited to driving. They had a fascination for vehicles, anyways!
HCCB enrolled them all for a drivers’ training course in an academy. Simultaneously, HCCB Executives started conducting safety sessions for them at the factory, while also familiarizing the group with traffic rules and symbols.
Several safety sessions later, and several driving sessions after, these youngsters were ready to take the driving tests at the regional transport office, to apply for a learner’s license. They however did not have the mandatory documents to apply for the license. So one more time, it was team HCCB to the rescue. S. Thomson, the Public Affairs Manager for HCCB and a regular in the Nemam village, put in hours of work to help all of them secure the necessary papers.
Today, all of them have a valid driver’s license and are riding their way to a decent income. There is a sense of achievement and there is a sense of accomplishment. Most importantly, there is hope! Hope for youngsters like them and hope for these 20 men. They can write their own future.