Giving it back to the community, inspired by Samsung

posted in: Asia, India, Tips | 33

This is quite an unusual post from me – none of those tips, none of those destinations. Just a pure thought and a question for all of us as travelers  – inspired by Samsung. Last evening while browsing, I came by this video from Samsung that set me thinking in this direction. First have a look at the same –

For those of you who may not be familiar with Hindi, essentially the ad showcases how Samsung along with Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya provides free education to kids in rural areas of India. They provide the latest smart learning devices – tablets, interactive learning boards etc to each class. What is more is that they have managed to do this successfully in around  373 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, helping educate over 2 lakh students since 2013.

The more I read about this initiative by Samsung India, the more I admired them as a corporate but at the same time, it triggered a sense of unease for me as a traveler. As a corporate, if they were managing to gift back so much to the society, what were we as travelers doing?

I am not saying that we are not doing anything at all. I know of so many travelers and travel bloggers who offer volunteer services to schools that they visit as a part of a destination. Many of them are conscious about the carbon footprints. A lot of us have taken initiatives with local artisan societies that help encourage their art forms and increase their livelihood. A few of us are also, taking steps to preserving heritage sites.

Giving back to the community from a perspective of travel does not have to be as active as Samsung. Nor is it expected of a traveler. It can just be a small thing as respecting a place for what it is and preserving it for the generations that come by. I believe that this can be your first and a small step towards gifting back to the community. While Samsung has taken leaps ahead to make life better for the future generations, we too, can do our bit for the future with a little more conscious and responsible travel. No advice, not tips in this post. Just a pure thought that I leave behind with you.

 A sign spotted at the Pink Beach, Indonesia. A thought triggered by Samsung India - A step towards Responsible Travel.
A sign spotted at the Pink Beach, Indonesia. A thought triggered by Samsung India – A step towards Responsible Travel.

If you do have some thoughts on this, would love to hear from you!

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33 Responses

  1. The slogan of Hosteling International India is ‘wandering bee gathers honey’. Traveling expands knowledge, and sharing your experiences with others itself is a great contribution. Of course, the quality of travelogue is of prime importance. I have often seen posts where the writer just posts photographs and asks the reader to visit Wikipedia for details!

  2. Interesting post, Ami. I give back to the community by profiling destinations, farmers, entrepreneurs and their products (usually chocolate or cocoa ones!) to people who not likely otherwise find them. That is my service to the world. I think we each need to find our niche and or purpose.

  3. I think you are already doing your bit ! Through your travel and travel blogging-which I call story-telling, you are providing readers-the experience of places. Its also drawing their attention to details and helping them observe better. And good pictures of places are always prompting us to pause and re-look at the scene before us.
    It would be great if children can be nurtured to have this mindset.

    • Thanks Rohini. I do agree about inculcating this among the kids though I think the first step is us adults, taking it on. Leading by example is the best way to get the kids into it.

  4. Very nice and un unsual post. More travel writers should write on such issues. Recently, I went to a village in Bhopal called Sehore. A hospitality giant had contributed in erecting walls around a Government school as a part of their CSR. Such visits actually open your eyes on what all is happening at the grassroots level.

  5. I think as travellers, when you are supporting local businesses, be they homestays, restaurants or small tour operators, you are providing them with an opportunity.

    By sharing stories and images, you are dispelling the myth that Colombia is a country ravaged by druglords and dangerous for travellers, or that Iran is in fact one of the friendliest countries on the planet.

    We create a human component, that does its bit to destroy prejudice.

  6. What a lovely post! A lot of times the world is about me-me-me-me-me so it is nice to be reminded to take a break and see what you can give back.

    • Thanks Carmyy. I am hoping all of us in a small way think this way and start giving back. Before you know it, it will be a large part.

  7. Good topic Ami, actually volunteerism might even do more harm than good despite good intentions. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/hubs/gapyear/8107555/Volunteer-holidays-do-more-harm-than-good.html
    Of course it doesn’t apply to ALL kinds of volunteerism, which is why I think travelling to really understand and learn all about the environment and people before jumping in to help is a more practical way, if you do really want to contribute. I strongly think travelling is a positive thing! It opens our eyes the the way things are instead of only depending on media. Keep travelling and spread the love 🙂

  8. We agree. We love volunteering and contributing to the communities that we visit.

  9. Thanks for sharing this Ami! It’s so wonderful to see corporates taking initiatives to bring about a change in rural parts like in the short video. And what a great thought to leave behind for us. Responsible travel is something we as travelers can do and it is not restrictive. Great post and I hope it enlightens all those who read it.

  10. A very different post.. The Samsung Corporate initiative is a great way to contribute to the society. As travelers we do a bit of our help to the locals there who make a livelihood depending on us. Its always give and take. Thanks for the beautiful insight.

  11. It’s great when big corporations are giving back to the community. Me personally, I know I can’t do much when I travel but I do take care not to throw away rubbish on the streets or leave anything behind me. I also like to bring toys with me and just give them to the children I encounter during my trips.

  12. I agree with you Ami – as travelers and world citizens the least we can do is respect each place we visit to the maximum of our ability. I, for example, would always leave everything clean (even if people in the country trash everything around it) and would never visit a place that exploits animals.

  13. I second your thoughts Ami. Samsung Corp has made a contribution to the world education by linking the modern technology and people together. We, as travel blogger, have responsibilities to at least leave the world as it was, instead of taking the resources and not considering giving back to the community. I also believe our profession have already made contributions to the world by showing people what the world really looks like through our eyes, instead of just letting them over reliant on the the media broadcasting.

    • True Julie. I am hoping though that the regular travelers think of this consciously and do their bit too.

  14. It is heartening to note that the corporate sector is coming forward to shoulder their social responsibilities. After all only the joining hands of all stakeholders including Government, Individuals, NGOS and others can make the world a better place for everyone.

  15. Very interesting thoughts on this Ami. It’s good to see corporations giving back to the countries that they are involved with. And I agree that it is important for travelers to do the same. We are often brainstorming new ideas that we can help out the countries we visit, and we do it first and foremost by supporting local guides and business during our travels rather than large industries.

    • Thanks Kevin. Good to know that you guys are consciously thinking of it. Hopefully others too will be inspired by it.

  16. As travelers we’re contributing to the local economy and small business owners. I love the thought of contributing while on the road and I think many people do too. It’s just a manner of finding ways to support that aren’t voluntourism and actually invest in positive outcomes.

    • Thanks Meg. I agree and am hoping that the rest of the travelers too are inspired to do their bit.

Would love to know what you think