Executive Voices 3 mins read

In troubled times, every contribution helps

It’s so gratifying to see people taking it upon themselves to help where they can.

Sanjay Brahmawar Sanjay Brahmawar

Working from home is not for everyone. It can be stressful, especially if your children are also at home.

You are expected to be involved with their schooling, as well as do your own job (and everything else that is required!).

Keeping your children entertained and happy during this crisis is not easy. Many parents are able to download educational programs on their children’s laptops or tablets, tell them what is expected and leave them to it.

But there are millions of families that can’t simply do that. If you don’t have a laptop or tablet at home, how can your children study? How can they interact with their teachers and peers if they are not connected?

This is an issue in many parts of the world. Even in wealthy countries, there are families that cannot afford a laptop for every child – or any laptop at all. In the UK in 2018, 12% of students between age 11 and 18 said they had no Internet access from a computer or tablet. This is a globally problem, with a well-documented “digital divide” seen between rich and poor. Help is needed. Kids are working from home too. 

When schools shut down in Singapore in April, it immediately created a problem with some low-income households which were short on laptops. Dennis Too, our regional IT administrator, wanted to help.  He started an initiative to donate our unused laptops to these families in need, through a non-profit organization SGBono (Singapore Pro Bono Volunteers).

Dennis is very passionate about this and he summed it up to me perfectly: “Education is important,” he said.  “People with little resources are impacted the most in times like this, so we need to support them.”

Every contribution helps at times like these, and I am proud to say that we are lending a hand. In Malaysia, we donated Tyvek suits to healthcare workers at Pantai Hospital in Kuala Lumpur.

Food, masks and emergency assistance

In India, our employees made a monetary contribution of one day’s salary (or more), which will be used for the Prime Minister Cares Fund. We raised the money to help hospitals cope with the pandemic, as well as people who need emergency assistance or food, but can’t afford it. Other employees are volunteering to deliver food packages, and Padma Reddy, head of Software AG India, initiated funding for a local tailor to make masks for frontline workers.

Masks4All has already donated over 1,000 masks for the police, “pourakarmikas” (garbage collectors) and other front-line workers in Bangalore for free – and we plan to donate thousands more. This not only supplies essential personnel with masks, it also provides local tailors with much-needed work.

It’s so gratifying to see people taking it upon themselves to help where they can. As Newton’s Law states, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. With every small action we take, we are helping people to cope with this troubling situation. The ideal reaction? A faster return to normality.

See how else Software AG is lending a helping hand by clicking below.