In an age where most people are busy dealing with the daily struggles of their own lives, it is extremely rare to find a selfless gem like Imrankhan Almel, a Sr. System Engineer at Tech Mahindra, who goes above and beyond to help others in need to make this world a better place. While he has always been someone who constantly helps society, the Covid era brought out the absolute best in him. In a drive involving his team and the Tech Mahindra Foundation, Imran went on to effectively help over 11,000 families across Maharashtra who were facing food shortages.
This is the story of the heroic efforts of Imran and his team that saved thousands of lives, to say the least. We sat down with Imran for an interview to explore the story from his perspective.
Overcoming the Covid Impact
Covid had severely affected the livelihood of millions of Indians, taking away jobs and even stranding millions in places they never wished to be in. With closed-off cities and villages during the pandemic’s peak, quite a few villages struggled to get food. Imran’s journey to providing food to these villages began with a simple phone call.
One day, Imran received a distressing call from his teammate about four labourers who were desperately in need of food. Two of them hadn't eaten in the last two days. Without a moment's hesitation, Imran rushed with his family to help them and brought along a home-cooked meal. The next day, another teammate informed him of 40 labourers in Urse village who needed food, and once again, Imran and his family came to their aid. Day after day, he kept getting calls till it reached a point where an entire village in Chakan hosting around 150-300 families needed food. With rising demand, Imran turned to crowdfunding and was able to raise around INR 1.5 lakhs to provide food and rations to the village.
When more and more villages started reaching out for help, Imran turned to the Tech Mahindra Foundation and Kalpana Divadkar, Tech Mahindra Foundation Pune, lead and Global Josh head for assistance. Kalpana helped Imran with the proposals and got them approved by the foundation to help as many people as possible. Within the next two-three years, Imran’s team had covered pretty much the entirety of Maharashtra and saved around 11,000 families.
The most memorable story for him during his Covid supply runs was about a 50+ years old woman from the Khadki cantonment area. It was the first day of Ganpati, and she was worried she would not be able to make prasad and celebrate the auspicious occasion. But Imran’s team came in as a ray of light for her, and she was so overwhelmed by their generosity that she tightly hugged Kalpana and cried about how she could now make prasad and have food to eat.
Going Beyond Covid
Imran also went above and beyond during the terrifying Nisarga Cyclone in Maharashtra. A couple of years back, the Maval Taluka in Maharashtra was hit by the cyclone. During the rescue efforts, he heard of a woman who had a part of a concrete wall crumble all over her leg and had suffered a fracture. Unfortunately, she and her family did not have enough funds for her treatment, and that is when Imran stepped in. He and his friends arranged for an ambulance for her and brought her to Talegaon General Hospital. With the help of the Tech Mahindra Foundation, they got her operation done, and she was back to walking again in just 1.5 months! Imran considers this to be the most impactful work he has ever done.
Imran finds inspiration primarily in his parents and then in Kalpana. His parents have been supporting a handicapped school in Kamshet for the last 35 years. With such a holistic upbringing that allowed Imran to frequently visit the school since childhood and help them with education and more, he was bound to follow in his parent’s footsteps and become a social worker as well.
Tech Mahindra has also been a significant influence on Imran’s accomplishments. According to him, none of this would have been possible without the Tech Mahindra Foundation and Kalpana. He is very grateful for their help.
A message for the readers
Imran has a powerful message for all the readers of this article.
“Every help matters. No matter if it is small or big. Start contributing to society in any way. You can donate or help anyone but start contributing to society. Any small contribution will lead to a big contribution.”
You can start at any of the following organizations, according to Imran:
Inali Foundation: They arrange camps and donate prosthetic limbs.
PAWS.PET.CARES: An NGO that rehabilitates and rescues animals while providing food and shelter.
Urmee NGO Project Sui Dhaga: Funded by the Tech Mahindra Foundation, it is a skill development program for handicapped students in Kamshet.
Imran has been working with Tech Mahindra since 2016. He initially worked on a car-manufacturing project, followed by an insurance project, and now works on a telecom project’s environment team. Outside work, Imran loves to go on long bike rides with his friends.