January 2016 By Jamuna Rangachari Hemant sharing a light moment with a traffic cop. Very often, many of us think that things are going the wrong way. People are breaking rules, the cops are inefficient, and the government is apathetic. But Hemant Gupta, a 37- year-old thinker and entrepreneur shows us how a change in thinking changes our actions, and in the process, changes our society. Hemant was working as the Managing Director of A2Z Infraservices Ltd, when he felt that something was missing in his life. He felt people were not connecting to their inner selves and that he should do something to spread happiness and joy. Motivated, he began many movements in Mumbai, beginning with Thank you, India which recognises and appreciates positivity in people. He found kindred spirits in Jitin Katyal and Asmita Bhatti, his colleagues from his previous office, who stood by him in his endeavours. “We came up with the concept after researching for two years. We started by distributing thank-you cards to random citizens who had done a good deed, and then focussed on motorists who had followed the rules,” says Hemant. “This was to create a positive vibe among motorists, besides creating awareness in the society,” he adds. For instance, people at Juhu were extremely surprised when after being stopped by traffic cops and getting their papers examined, a live band played to thank them for safe driving. The volunteers of the NGO have so far distributed over 3,500 such cards in the western suburbs, “We write a note saying, ‘Thank you for parking it well and being a responsible citizen.’ To those who have not parked their vehicles properly, we leave a note saying, ‘Thank you for parking your vehicle well. In future be a responsible citizen,” says Hemant. The plan is to continue with this drive in other parts of Mumbai as well, gradually covering the eastern suburbs. The traffic police is quite pleased with this initiative and actively supports them in their endeavour. Once Hemant began this initiative, he realised there was a lot more which could be done. He invited around 30 people from their friend circle on March 7, 2015, to Dadar Matunga Cultural Center and asked them to draw and paint. He then took the paintings and installed them in Group TB hospital (Sewri), Acworth Leprosy Centre (Wadala) and Central Railway Hospital. Whilst doing this, they got to interact with the doctors, counsellors and inmates and realised that manyTB patients suffer high depression and have suicidal tendencies. Hence engaging them in activities that triggered their motor functions and imagination, would make them feel better. He conducted small workshops with the inmates, where they made small star like handouts. Dr Lalit Anande (CMO at Group TB Hospital, Sewri) saw the benefits and gave them complete support So far he has engaged more than 200 inmates and plans are afoot to take this further. In all areas, his idea is to encourage people to live more consciously and positively. Since the beginning in September 2012, he has had over 1200 interaction in India, USA, UK, Hong Kong (from the Dean of Harvard Business School to chaiwallahs. He has also studied and followed around 100 thinkers in the fields of religion, science, psychology, philosophy and management.) “We have chalked out a clear plan to take See More Right, further. We are also talking to a few companies to work with raising positivity and consciousness. On being asked about his inspiration, he says, “I am able to experience many moments of joy and wisdom inside. That’s the best part of this journey. Is that not what all of us aim for?”
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