Thoughts on how to build PYDS over time
All those connected with the Society are aware that we are taking responsibility for each of the children in our care for many years (at least 15 for each of them) and investing in them. It was only 6/7 years until recently but will now become longer with our having commenced the Primary School Programme. We believe that she/he that we take responsibility for will become a leader from the Community in her/his own right and become change Agents influencing several others over time and so slowly change the Community in many ways.
I see that many have dedicated some of their time and energy to furthering the lives of others and are involved with us in several ways. I am writing this Blog so that you can help me think further on the lines that I have indicated. Perhaps you have other new and different thoughts. We are a fledgeling operation and need to go a very long way but we shall strive towards excellence and my present purpose is to ask you to help me think better. Thinking and planning is the basis of all progress and I know that I am asking for your time, the most difficult of resources but I shall deeply appreciate your help.
I am beginning to believe that all that it takes to succeed in a venture of the type that I have undertaken is to make sure of a few essentials. Most important of it all is the sense of Mission and its goals and the conviction that the vision will succeed. We need to be focused on these goals and define for ourselves about what we need to do and what we shall not do, the latter being as important as the former since we need to remain focussed. We then need to marry the Mission with the activities that we undertake.
We will need to realise that there will be vision changes with the changing world. New themes and dimensions will get added to the issue. As far as we are concerned the most important idea is inclusive growth and opportunity.
Faith in the fact that we are the Agents of the Lord designated to accomplish this purpose is important. There should be no feeling of ownership or arrogance of accomplishment. All of this belongs to Him and ours is to merely perform to the best of our abilities and we shall do so as long as He wills that we do. This attitude calls for total dedication to the purpose and the surrender of all other pursuits at the altar of this goal.
Entrepreneurship is part of the skill that needs to be brought into the plan. The essence of this quality is faith in the ultimate success of the purpose and the Mission. Innovation is all about being able to garner money and other resources so that we build very useful and adequate infrastructure. We need to possess the skills to develop designs needed to accomplish excellent education or whatever we produce at Stree Shakti (Quilts is our Product at the present time). We need to access technology to help build systems for efficiency and ongoing understanding of the outcomes of our endeavours. This implies that we will have clearly defined Measures and outcomes and drills for evaluating the progress as we go along.
Since I need to accomplish the purpose set out with the resources garnered from others there is a need for great transparency and honesty in matters of accounts, each voucher generated. The Annual Report needs to become elaborate and be available to all the stakeholders. We may define these stakeholders as ourselves, to begin with, the donors, the beneficiaries, the employees of the Society and the members of the Board. We perhaps also need to include the customers of Stree Shakti who may be buying to support a cause. There could be other important people in Government and elsewhere whose support for the progress of the enterprise is important. All of this adds up to a very large number. Fortunately, we now have the Web to broadcast the Annual Report and plenty of money can be saved in the process.
Once transparency is established we should be building public awareness and so improve the chances of our survival and progress.
The rules by which the activities of the Society are governed also need to be laid down and be common knowledge. These need to be codified for HR (Hiring, wages, Confirmation Promotion etc.) for Purchasing, Assets Management, Accounting Rules, Qualification, conduct and Membership of the Board. There could be other things as well. We need to think about all this, codify and then to begin practising them.
As for the purpose of this Mission, the approach could be either narrow and deep or broad and shallow. Larger numbers can benefit through the latter method but each initiative needs to determine its own road. We have chosen to make it narrow and deep and so do not expect to benefit very large numbers. We shall concentrate on the small numbers and attempt to bring about profound changes through them.
—– G.K Swamy