Before I moved to Pune, after spending a hectic life in the city of Mumbai & in a corporate career, managing complexity was the order of the day. With complexity came the excitement of the challenges ahead & the stress to overcome the challenges. The complexities many a times impacted the outcome limiting the scalability of the results. So when I started on my own the basic principle, I committed myself to, was to find Simplified Solutions for Amplified Results. I started out looking for such things in the day to day to life. And saw a very simple yet powerful idea in the initiative of collecting Raddi.
Rahul Towers in Bhusari Colony, Kothrud was the place where I came across this idea. The notice board there declared the “Raddi Day” every month & the kids used to knock the doors to ensure that a string is handed over to everyone so that the Raddi comes down to the ground floor in neatly tied bundles. At first I did not realize the impact of this simple act but when I started asking around I was amazed to know that this had been going on for more than 5 years. A sizeable amount was contributed through this to Maitri which worked for the undernourished tribal kids in Melghat region of Maharashtra. My stay in Rahul Towers was short but the idea stayed with me.
When we moved to Madhukosh Apartments in Sinhgad Road I shared the idea with a few others in the society meeting & everyone responded positively to start it in the society. Buoyed by the response I immediately contacted our neighbor in Rahul Towers & got the contact for Mrs. Jayashri Shidore. During my conversation with Mrs. Shidore she briefed me about Maitri & the work they were doing. She was happy to know that we wanted to start this initiative in our society but asked me if I would like to take the lead & be a volunteer for Maitri. My response was an instant Yes. Later when I was thinking as to what triggered the Yes I realized that the word Melghat had rekindled the old memories of my working there. The areas of Dharni, Harisal, Ghatang & many smaller villages which I visited in my sales career had given me the exposure to the plight of the tribal life in that area. And Maitri was working there for almost 19 years which meant true commitment to the cause.
The next day I met Jayutai & Leenata in the Maitri office trying to understand about the Maitri work in detail. We then agreed that Jayutai would address a meeting in our society to share the concept & the experience. During that meeting Jayutai, Leenata & Dinesh Vaidya shared their experiences & the satisfaction each one of them derived from this simple idea of “Radditun Saddi.”
At Madhukosh, we all agreed to start the initiative on Sunday, 10th April 2016 immediately after Gudi Paadwa. The day was christened as Maitri Day & the communication for the 1st Maitri Day was shared with all on the WhatsApp group. Learning from the experience from Rahul Towers the string was handed over to every household to ensure neatly tied up bundles. A Raddiwala was contacted to collect the Raddi on the given day. We also wanted the initiative to be remembered forever & hence decided to plant a” Maitri Vruksh” to commemorate the occasion.
On 10th April at 10 am the first bundle came to the collection point. There was anxiety & excitement all around about how much Raddi we would collect. Every bundle brought down was noted against the individual’s flat number. At 11.30 the weighing started & we had collected 325 kgs of Raddi on the 1st Maitri Day. In all 31 people had given their Raddi & the collection of Rs.3100/- towards sale of Raddi was far more valuable than the amount itself. Personally to me it was the most humbling experience that what we think as worthless as a Raddi can make a difference in someone’s life.
The whole experience of the Radditun Saddi initiative has been a great learning in terms of the collective power of Small Actions that make a Big Difference. The engagement that was seen in a simple idea was really encouraging.
Simple ideas pose a big challenge by virtue of their simplicity as initiators tend to lose the excitement over a period of time. Nurturing the idea till it becomes scalable & self-sustaining needs powerful & engaging communication to make the idea stick around. For us at Madhukosh we intend to make it possible through “Each One, Reach One.” Each of us would reach out to at least add one family to the initiative in Madhukosh & also strive to add one society every month to the Maitri Parivar through this initiative. I feel confident that if all volunteers of Maitri take the pledge of Each One Reach One we would really make a Big Difference in Melghat.
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