If you are from Mumbai or someone who keeps track of India's maximum city, you are unlikely to forget the tragic stampede on a footbridge at one of Mumbai's railway stations.
For some like Nandini Dias, a Managing Committee member of IAA-India chapter and CEO, Lodestar UM India, the loss was a personal one. One of the people who lost her life in the Elphinstone Road stampede was Teresa Paul, the executive assistant of Dias and IPG Mediabrands CEO, Shashi Sinha.
Incidents like these led Dias to conceptualise a project named WorkToLiveToWork. Through this initiative, Dias is urging CEOs/HR heads to help Mumbai-based companies to implement flexible office timings for employees so that they don’t risk their lives to reach their workplaces, by hanging outside crowded trains, rushing on railway footbridges and so on.
To take this initiative forward, besides Lodestar UM, IAA has the support of Taproot Dentsu who created the communication. In addition large media companies like Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Laqshya Media and Radio City have already come on board as media partners.
Says Dias, “The two excruciating losses I faced last year have left an irreparable wound in my life. Therefore this project is really close to my heart and almost a life mission”.
A campaign has been designed around #WorkToLiveToWork, to end the irrational rigidity in Mumbai’s office timings and save lives. Reports shows that every day approximately nine people die on the suburban rail network which is nearly 3,300 people in a year, probably much more than acts of terror. Many of these people travel in overcrowded transit system just to avoid late mark as that leads to penalty on their salary.
IAA India Chapter president, Ramesh Narayan says, “Instead of waiting for the transport infrastructure to be fixed, which would obviously take a long time, Nandini's idea was as practical as it was simple. When asked, most CEOs and HR heads agree that flexi-timing is a good idea. In fact many also say that in their office they had implemented flexi timings since a couple of years. The fact is that while heads of offices are not against it they have done very little to actually roll it out and enable people. There is no data to say how many people actually are on flexi timing. Also if it was real then the rush hour traffic would have eased out”
“I am urging all companies to come forward and adopt this to save the lives of Mumbaikars. Let’s all agree that, besides expressing outrage we need to help the government in mitigating the crisis. So whether you are an employer or an employee, think about it, talk about it, bring it up as often as you can to drive change and save lives. Even if we reduce the number of people losing life from 9 to 7 per day we would have saved over 700 lives in a year," said Narayan.