8.36 p.m., November 26, 2008; as the first terror bullet smashed the Mumbai eventide calm, something deeper was stirred across India. Valiant men and women lost their lives, saving those of others. The 60 horrific hours generated contradictory impulses; a feeling of being wounded, yet stronger, of being united, yet without a glue; of anger without focus.
On the first anniversary of 26/11, Idea Cellular initiated the movement titled the ‘Talk for India Hour‘. An advance nationwide campaign publicized the hour. Approximately 5.5 crore Idea subscribers were made aware, that for every call they made between 8.36 p.m. and 9.36 p.m. that evening, the nett revenue generated would be handed over by Idea Cellular to the cause of protective gear for police personnel.
Home Minister Mr. Chidambaram and Mr. Sanjeev Aga, MD, Idea Cellular in New Delhi at an IDEA event
At its culmination, approximately Rs 1.25 crore was generated as revenue from subscriber calls. Idea Cellular doubled the amount, and contributed a total sum of Rs 2.50 crores. This cheque of Rs 2.50 crore, for the Prime Minister’s National Defence Fund, was handed over to Mr. P. Chidambaram, Hon’ble Home Minister by Mr. Sanjeev Aga, Managing Director, Idea Cellular, at an austere ceremony in the national capital.
Said Mr. Sanjeev Aga, Managing Director, Idea Cellular, “Beyond mere money and words, the question we asked was what extra we could do to convert raw emotion into a force multiplier. In our case, our huge 5.5 crore subscriber base, straddling all cross-sections of society provided the inspiration. It is the Idea family’s salute to our much maligned, over-worked, under-equipped Indian police force, saying that as you transform to take on our enemies, we are solidly behind you.”
Added Mr. Aga “The acknowledgement by the Hon’ble Home Minister is a huge encouragement.“
In early November, the ‘Talk for India’ campaign was triggered by a TVC featuring IDEA Brand Ambassador, Abhishek Bachchan, who urged citizens to participate in the campaign. The campaign was supported on Television, Radio, outdoor and digital media. To mobilize a large number of people, IDEA activated groups on social networking sites, besides various ground activation programs, in a 360 degree approach.
IDEA organized Memorials and Candle Light vigils in 32 Indian cities across 15 states, on November 26th, 2009. Over 110,000 citizens paid tribute to the victims of terror attacks, and the valiant men and women who lost their lives to ensure the safety of Indians. People from all walks of life stepped out and expressed solidarity for the cause, by lighting candles and expressing themselves by writing messages, and through the medium of art.