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Metro turns to Bhagavad Gita for management lessons

Metro turns to Bhagavad Gita for management lessons

Author: Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Publication: The Hindu
Date: February 20, 2008
URL: http://www.hindu.com/2008/02/20/stories/2008022056430800.htm

Introduction: DMRC focuses on "sticking to ethics in the workplace"

Yoga lessons are organised for the staff to help them deal with stress and its after-effects

Exercise in spirituality has produced positive energy, team spirit among employees: official

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation does not believe in intense vigilance nor does it rely on hidden cameras to plug leaks and nab wrongdoers. Instead the organisation has turned to Bhagavad Gita to stem corruption, lethargy and negligence.

Putting the accent on "sticking to ethics in the workplace", the organisation is attempting to instil the values of honesty, moral virtues of hard work and diligence as preached in the Bhagavad Gita, which has now emerged as a guidebook for motivating numbers-driven managers.
Lectures by gurus

So to help enhance the spiritual quotient of the employees and to ensure that they steer clear of dishonesty and vice, there are frequent yoga lessons, talks and lectures by motivational gurus and a handbook with relevant messages.

"We do organise yoga lessons for the employees in the organisation to help them deal with stress and its after-effects. To motivate employees and to encourage a positive outlook we take quotes from the 'Gita Makaranda' and publish them in the monthly newsletter and safety bulletins of DMRC so that the messages reach everyone from the senior management to the workers and the contractors," says Anuj Dayal, Chief Public Relations Officer of DMRC.

Mr. Dayal concedes that "spirituality is accorded pride of place in the management ethos of DMRC and is inherent in the working of the organisation.

The Managing Director, E. Sreedharan, is a fervent believer of the values that the Bhagavad Gita preaches." DMRC officials say Mr. Sreedharan's messages to his employees are peppered with references from the holy book.

"He often talks about the importance of taking pride in their profession and organisation, detachment from the fruits of action and the need to perform their duties diligently and with perfection," says Mr. Dayal.

To drive home the relevance and advantages of practising yoga, the organisation recently distributed a book titled "Yoga - A Way of Life" by Acharya Kaushal Kumar.
Gita Makaranda given

Intent on putting the employees on a diet of morality and ethics, DMRC is one of the few organisations where all executives on joining work are given their own copy of Swami Vidyaprakashananda's 'Gita Makaranda'.

Since the book containing all the "shlokas" of the Bhagavad Gita, their meaning and commentary is not easily available, DMRC ensures that copies are procured in advance from the printer in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.

Asked if the exercise in spirituality has produced tangible results, a senior official says: "The feedback so far has been positive. The workforce has benefited from the yoga sessions and lectures. There is positive energy, team spirit and no instances of financial bungling, missed deadlines, and de-motivated workers," adds a senior official.

"And in the board room where hangs a plaque with the words 'Let Noble Thoughts Come to Us From Every Side', as heads of departments gather each week, they are inspired to follow Yoga Vashistha's maxim, 'Work I do; Not that "I" do it'," he says.

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