“It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.”
– Dalai Lama
Truer words were never spoken! We are happy only as long as we take care of the people who work for us and those who look up to us for their economic well-being. Without them, our life becomes strenuous, unproductive, and unthinkable. During times of crisis, it is important to stand up for people who make our lives easier. The present COVID-19 crisis is a test of our humanity and decency. Social distancing might be the norm now to curb the spread of the plight, but what eventually matters is how we come together and help one another to defeat this predicament.
At Barefoot, we take our responsibilities towards all stakeholders seriously. We have taken a decision to continue supporting our staff for however long it takes to return to normalcy. There are 276 families with members working with us at Barefoot at Havelock Resort, Barefoot Scuba, Barefoot Holidays, B3 and Island Eco Adventure Camps who are dependent upon us for their sustenance. We at Barefoot consider ourselves to all be part of a large family and our staff is our biggest strength. Those who have visited us in the past will know and appreciate the fact that much of Barefoot’s character derives from our staff members.
Barefoot’s role in making our community thrive
- Barefoot has paid for and organized repatriation by flight, of non-islander staff who wished to return to their hometowns prior to the lockdown.
- Barefoot has paid for, and organized transport by boats and vehicles, of Andaman-resident staff whose families live on different islands and who wished to return to their home-islands.
- All senior managers at Barefoot have volunteered for loss of pay/no-pay to enable us to continue paying the lower earners, those with low savings and those whose families depend upon their earnings.
- Barefoot provided rations to families at Havelock when the availability of produce in the market was restricted during the lockdown.
- Barefoot is continuing to pay wages as per the needs of all our employees.
- Barefoot is providing free accommodation and food at Havelock to ex-employees/alumni of Barefoot who lost their jobs when their new employers retrenched them after the lockdown.
- Barefoot is providing food, accommodation, and shelter to all the staff who wish to remain at Havelock through the pandemic.
- Barefoot is providing free drinking water from our RO plant / RWH systems to all the needy families in our village, as there is an ongoing water shortage owing to the failure of the Northeast monsoon.
- Barefoot donated rations to feed migrant construction workers who have been stranded at Havelock by their contractors.
“It’s not a man’s working hours that is important, it is how he spends his leisure time.”
– Marilynne Robinson
The lockdown has impacted our daily lives in ways unfathomable. It’s no surprise that we now have more free time at hand, we at Barefoot have made sure that our valuable time is of measurable use to the community. During the lockdown, we have kept ourselves busy by committing to many essential activities that are paramount for a community to thrive. We have also reinvented ourselves in a multitude of ways that can contribute to an improved guest experience so that when you come back to Barefoot, you get to live the signature Barefoot services in an improved fashion.
- We have introduced and trialed innovative methods to enable the implementation of physical distancing guidelines and ensuring advanced hygiene and sanitization standards.
- We are farming much of our vegetable requirement now: Later most items on our menu can be sourced from our farms, making our island resort more sustainable.
- We are improving our rainwater harvesting measures.
- We are improving our waste disposal measures and stepping up measures to collect solid waste/plastics washed ashore by the sea.
- We are spending time on improvements, e.g. a kids’ play area fashioned from wood and natural materials, refurbishment of cottages and other wooden structures.
With the above measures in place, we remain in good spirits and excellent shape to welcome you back to the island whenever you are ready and feel safe enough to travel again.