Doing One Thing to Improve our Community in Bengaluru

By Bharathi Athinarayanan, Principal Member of Technical Staff for AT&T in Bengaluru, India.
Sep 20, 2016 12:40 PM ET

How do you save more than 3,800 gallons of water and 40 pounds of trash in Bengaluru, India? You get together a bunch of dedicated colleagues who are passionate about making their world a better place. By working together over a year, my 75 colleagues and I demonstrate that small actions for good can add up to a big, positive impact. It all started with doing one thing – really.

How did we make such an impact? AT&T’s Do One Thing (DOT) initiative – which invites employees to take a simple, measurable action to benefit the world around them – encourages each of us to make a commitment that is personal, inspiring and fun. And by selecting the action that is most meaningful for each of us, we set an example that inspires others to better lives and communities.

Here in Bengaluru, India, I enjoy helping my colleagues find ways to contribute with DOT and their unique passions and abilities. I started several teams to engage employees in my area, including pledging to save paper, to carpool with coworkers, to volunteer and to donate items to those in need. Through the power of technology, our reach has expanded further than we ever imagined.

The process is quite simple. Each time an employee joins a team, they are encouraged to nominate one or more of their fellow colleagues to sign up for the initiative. We recruit more people and spread the word through each member’s leadership. That way, we keep growing and growing our impact.

So far, using the various technologies and social channels available at AT&T, we now have 17 teams with a total of 75 members. Since 2015, our teams combined have volunteered over 1,500 hours and saved an equivalent of 3,875 gallons of water and 44 pounds of trash out of landfills.

This quarter, I was honored to receive the Champion of DOT award, which I proudly accepted on behalf of my friends and colleagues who have helped contribute to this impact. As part of receiving this award, I was able to select Samarthanam Trust For the Disabled – an organization that empowers disabled and underprivileged people through educational and cultural initiatives – to receive $2,500 on behalf of AT&T. Samarthanam Trust’s model encourages children to scale greater heights, despite their disabilities. It is close to my home, and I volunteer every chance I get.

The Samarthanam Trust showed me that making a difference begins with a small step. Simple efforts like printing less paper, donating clothes to a local charity, or taking turns carpooling to the office help make the lives and communities around us a little better each day.

Seventeen teams and 75 members later, I realize that small actions really can inspire in big ways. All it takes is doing one thing.

What is DOT? Through AT&T’s Do One Thing (DOT) movement, employees are taking measurable, regular actions that improve themselves, their community and/or the company. DOTs can be anything from committing to turn off the water while brushing your teeth, volunteering at a local animal shelter or engaging your entire office business unit to use less paper. DOT embraces and includes employees at all levels around the world! Small actions for good can add up to a big, positive change when people work together. Our employees are demonstrating this every day through DOT.