An honest question to all of us. How many of us have stopped on the road or in communal situations to help someone? Not many I guess! We all stop out of curiosity, imagine someone else will help or the police are on way and we move on. It is a bald truth.
I am very proud of our brand Bravery. A dynamic brand because the cause encompasses the social and economic changes, the citizens, the global impact..all aspects are included.
Take a look at the times today. Our country is going through powerful changes. There is uncertainty along with the economic optimism, issues on safety with growing population, growing prejudices inspite of the greater reach and information, wresting rights for oneself while special reservations are in progress, and increasing impatience with a reality that does not match the “Great India Story” that we all sell to ourselves and others. Yet, alongside, is the public’s mounting intolerance for injustice, corruption discrimination and there is a heightened sense of urgency for finding answers.
South African-born American composer, the legendary Dave Mathews wrote, “But then there are magical, beautiful things in the world. There’s incredible acts of kindness and bravery, and in the most unlikely places, and it gives you hope”.
When we initiated the Bravery Awards in 1990, the crux of Godfrey Phillips Bravery was ‘inherent nobility’. The belief was that every person is a good person and carries within a sense of fairness and justice. In situations, upon call, a person, more than not, would rise to the situation and act. These acts of courage and compassion were limited to physical and social courage.
Over time, however, the concept of Bravery too has evolved with the social changes. There was a compelling need for ACTION. From latent goodness and a ‘philosophy’, Bravery needed to move towards dynamism, vibrancy, with purpose and focus.
The key words were selflessness, immediacy, impact, motivating and challenging.
The brand has incorporated the changes. Let me share the framework that encompasses the crux.
So what does Bravery stand for?
Bravery has a clear and defined ambit. It has to stand for selfless action to aid others in distress, the ability to stand up for what is right, spontaneous, of and about ordinary citizens, of humanity, of integrity, selflessness, inspiration and motivation.
Who are our Heroes?
Within the realm of society their ‘Conscience in action’ distinguishes right from wrong. And their actions are not driven by personal or political ambitions or born out of compulsion. These are spontaneous deeds that address and resolve socio-eco problems.
They are the people who transform compassion- an inner virtue into heroic action- a civic merit. These are ordinary people confidence, strong will, compassion and who courageously overcome obstacles for the benefit of others. And in doing so, they create a reflection of being determined, selfless and heroic. Most importantly they are not bystanders; their valour, integrity and indomitability make them figures of inspiration in our society. Their conscience refuses to let them be a spectator when others are in distress.
Bravery- The Need of the Hour
Our quest is not to merely recognize and laud citizens and transform them into icons.
What we hope to accomplish is to persuade citizens into greater involvement. To retain our integrity in times of doubt and pressure, to lend a helping hand in seemingly minor situations and mostly, to care. Care about things around happening us. Bravery to us is to bring about a social change through small actions.
Many people ask us why Bravery Awards? What does a corporate have to do with this? Bravery Awards movement is broader in scope and deeper in consequence than most people realize. Bravery aims to make values of courage, of integrity, compassion and selflessness important. We all agree that in today’s society that suffers from extreme cynicism, indifference and greed it is an important value to inculcate. Bravery recognizes individuals and organisation working for important causes and in turn creates awareness and advocacy on various social issues. The awards and the winners help in changing the mindset towards social stigmas and issues. But most importantly when Bravery Award recognises these bravehearts at a social forum, not only the work of the individual inspires the nation, it also helps the work of the citizen reach a larger mass. It inspires citizens who witness the work and the individual first hand. It propagates the role of the common citizen through ‘I can be Brave too, I can make a change” – Brave Bano, Kuch to karo calls upon the conscience.
Since its evolution 20 years ago the Awards have brought into the limelight, extraordinary yet little known acts of physical valour, social service and humanitarian deeds, which have helped countless souls in their moments of grief. I am unable to articulate the emotions on meeting a mother who has lost her only son for the sake of another’s, a newly married girl who is now a widow because her husband heed to a call of help, of brothers and sisters who have lost one another, the modesty of many a winners who have dedicated their lives to a cause; it never fails to raise the flickering hope, of optimism, of faith that all is not over.
Today the Awards have reached out thousands of brave stories- we recive over 1500 nominations every year. We have over 1400 winners. The brand has invested crores in a concerted effort to raise awareness amongst the Indian citizens, the need for this value. It has been celebrated along with renowned celebrities and personalities. What we are proudest about is our faith and resolve. We have sustained Bravery over 20 years and I hope we will someday celebrate 100 years of it. Bravery is and will be always for the nation.