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Believing in your conviction
Story of role-model Kayomarz Shroff
Kayomarz wrote, 'I was born in a middle class family with traditional values.
Incidents of unfairness and partiality at an early age made me a rebel. I always wanted to stand for the weaker, uncared for.
I joined the Leo Club of Telco at 16 and there started my journey of trying to help others.
We would donate blood regularly, play with the children of Asha Kiran , a school for the mentally challenged, and run social initiatives.
At 18, I had started an organisation to help pay the fees of poor children. Within a year, we were paying the fees of 180 children.
My first corporate job was with The Tinplate Co. of India Ltd. , a sister concern of Tata Steel then.
My first rule was that when a worker comes to our office, we would get him a cup of tea and only then deal with the issue.
I would also counsel absenteeism and alcoholism cases.
I took a job in Bangalore as I would get an opportunity to become a counsellor.
A year later, I joined Vishwas , an NGO that trains volunteers to offer personal counselling. I realised how much this need was, yet talking about it was taboo.
People who came to our centre, would do so without anyone in their family knowing about it. This was different from the west.
As a Leadership trainer at Wipro, I would often talk about me working as a counsellor. Often one or two persons would stay back to talk to me about their personal issues.
This led me- with my boss’ support- to conduct a survey within Wipro on the need for setting up a counselling centre in Wipro. The need was unanimous yet it needed to be confidential and close by.
The survey led to starting a Peer counselling set up in Wipro called Mitr- a friend. This was possibly the first of its kind.
We had employees trained in counselling, offering personal time to counsel others within Wipro. Within 6 months, the number of employees seeking help soared.
When the Vishwas centre at Indiranagar was being closed, we formed “Viveka - Centre for Emotional Support”, an independent trust to continue the work of helping people with emotional needs. I took over as the founder Chairperson of Viveka.
I must have counselled over 100 people , with number of counselling sessions running into over a 1000. Have dealt with various issues including suicidal tendencies and child sexual abuse.
With covid, we shifted to virtual counselling. This turned out to be a boon as I now do counselling for people across India. Our reach has increased and also the number of counselling sessions we do per week has shot up.
Counselling has been the most rewarding initiative in my life. As I pen this, I have completed over 25 years of counselling support and hope to continue as long as I can.
Professionally, I continue working with corporates as an Executive Coach and personally pamper my self by following my passion of tattooing.
I am a trained professional tattoo artist and have my private studio. My tattoo website is www.silverphoenix.in