When the world is brimming with negative thoughts; when India is being called a country with rising Intolerance- Chennai Flood proved the entire fraternity who are popularizing the idea- wrong, thanks to individuals, organizations and banks who came forth to do their bit. You won’t get to hear this often in papers you know. Because tragedy garners pity and traffic. But as a citizen, I feel it’s my duty to tell you stories about India as a nation that stands beside each other and not against.
I do not do brand stories. I mean I am a decor blogger, I am not even qualified to speak for or against a bank or any of those in the sector, unless their office could use some good chairs. But before a decor blogger, I am a human being who appreciates acts of kindness greatly. Grab your coffee, you are about to hear something fantastic. Something a bank- one that deals with ROI and investments and supposedly looked upon as men and women of cubicles- did to help the victims affected by the Chennai flood, making kindness their biggest ever investment.
From analytics, I know that a major part of you, who read me is from the US, UK, Australia and NewZealand, so a little introduction is necessary to give you a foreground of what exactly happened.
It so happened that it rained incessantly in Chennai. My sister in law stays in Chennai and she was worried that the rain isn’t showing any sign of stopping. She was in Mumbai when we spoke about this over a cuppa: she was to fly down the next day- it was already 3 days of continuous rain. But what came as a sweet burst of luxury winter downpour quickly escalated to one of the most dreadful floods Chennai has ever seen. With rising water levels, no electricity, no food, no supplies, no wifi or telephone signals- and no signs of the rain from stopping- people were being evacuated to safer grounds with aid and relief.
Now, when most people would shrug their shoulders saying “What can we do?” Axis bank- along with some others- showed people how one can do their bit irrespective of the nature of the calamity. Most importantly I think what Axis did is what the real purpose of money is.
With the onset of emergency Axis activated an emergency helpdesk at the central office which were to assist Branch Operations, Performing EOD and ATM Operations. To help people in times of crisis all ATM transactions for customers were made free for a week. Of course, those of us who use ATM know that 5 transactions are free and a sum of Rs.20 is levied post the 5th transaction. In addition, as of now, a total of 195 ATMs are up in Chennai and 93 branches are open.
This was good! But the best is about to come.
When due to unprecedented rainfall the power and network in most places were lost leading to nonfunctional ATMs, Axis bank arranged for cash payments against debit card swipe in water logged areas, for cash strapped customers, taking ATM 100% mobile. Take a look at this:
Now, here’s the thing, money is worth when its needed the most and Axis made it possible, concreting their brand proposition “Badhti ka naam Zindagi”. They facilitated people with banking solutions in the most difficult of times, assessing customer convenience at all times. And they did it not just for their customers but for their employees too!
Axis connected with most of their employees in Chennai to ensure they are safe and employees who were under water logged areas were shifted to hotels in safer locations. Even today, they are striving to functionalize ATMs where link could be found.
And how do I know this? I have a friend who works in Axis Bank. I had a lovely chat with her the other day talking about banks, people and more. This conversation made our conversation and coffee a tad bit sweeter.
Point in Case: Not all banks are selfish. Not everyone in India thinks religion comes first. India is still about people first. Too bad people don’t popularize the good- perhaps because it doesn’t garner much media attention.
Feel good this Holiday season! There is still hope. There is still goodness.