STEPPING AWAY FROM THE EATSLEEP-WORK IDEOLOGY, RONALD RODRIQUES FINDS BLISS IN CREATIVE WAYS TO VOLUNTEER AND MAKE A POSITIVE CHANGE
If you think you have the time and drive to make some efforts and channelise your energy in a creative way to help others, here are some methods in which you can volunteer and make a difference.
Improve and Lift Mankind
It can be said that humans are the most precious creation, so helping your fellow kind should be easy. If you are literate you could teach kids who can’t afford tuition classes; you could organise a blood donation or a heath check-up in your community and so on. Other simple initiatives like organising a cooking workshop for the women of your locality is not a bad idea either.
- If you stroll along the streets of Mumbai in the early morning you will see individuals on the pavement of Carter Road teaching about 50-60 kids from nearby slums and poor families, and providing them breakfast. This organisation, known as Navjot Foundation, requires more hands and invites anyone to help. You could directly go to Carter Road between 7 and 9 am or contact Mira Mamnani at http://www.facebook.com/mira.mamnani. She has been teaching these kids for the past 10 years
- Similarly, Angel Xpress Foundation conducts evening classes for underprivileged children at public places in Mumbai. If you want to share your knowledge, you can contact them at http://www.facebook.com/AngelXpressFoundation. Anubha Sharma, the founder of Angel Xpress Foundation, says, “Donate your time – come and teach English, math, art, craft, dance or music at one of our centres. A mere two hours a week can work wonders for a child who has no support, for while knowledge changes hands, overall grooming and widespread exposure is attained.”
- You could also help Human Wave Foundation, Kolkata to strengthen the backward classes, women and children by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you want to put your skills in the creative and performing arts, sports, spoken English or computer training to good use, you can volunteer at Save The Children India by mailing email@example.com.
- Another organisation that invites volunteers to teach, feed and bathe the less fortuante is Missionaries of Charity, Kolkata, founded by Mother Teresa. Sr Christobel, who owns a trust for the needy, says, “If I can help somebody as I walk along then my living shall not be in vain.”
Improve and Enhance the Environment
You could help protect the environment by setting up a community garden, or organising a cleanliness drive in your vicinity to clean a beach or your own building. You could get your friends involved and organise rain water harvesting campaigns, a plantation drive or a newspaper drive in your community. Learning simple techniques like making paper bags, or how to turn rags into cloth bags can also go a long way. You could also organise awareness drives in your community to teach people to separate wet and dry waste.
On similar lines of waste disposal, a company called E-Incarnation Pvt.Ltd. (ERPL) strives to provide a unique way to recycle and dispose electronic waste which can cause serious harm to the environment if left untreated. Gaurav Mardia, the founder of ERPL, says, “E- waste is the most hazardous threat to the environment so E-waste recycling should be made mandatory.” You can volunteer for ERPL to reduce E-waste and understand its recycling and disposal process by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Care for Your Fellow Buddies
Animals could use your attention too. And the simplest way to start would be to form an animal rescue team in your vicinity to help birds caught in wires and escort injured stray dogs and cats to veterinarians. You could even gather up strays from your vicinity for a vaccination drive and help establish dog parks with proper authorities.
An organisation that helps stray animals by providing rescue teams, ambulance services, treatment and other initiatives is Animals Matter to Me (AMTM). Ganesh Nayak, the owner of AMTM, says, “This society has given us so much, it is time to give back and AMTM is run on the pillar – the Youth of today.” Meehnaaz Khan who works for Youth Organisation in Defence of Animals (YODA) expresses her sentiments by saying, “Adopt pets, don’t buy them.”
Enhance Your Knowledge
You only better yourself by helping others. Volunteering for Wikipedia can expand your knowledge as well as help others.
- Editing Wikipedia pages, adding information to it, eliminating certain irrelevant text and formatting it to give it a new look helps to gain more knowledge and improve vocabulary. Nehta Hussain, a Medical student from Kerala, who does Wikipedia editing says, ”By editing Wikipedia pages you not only gain abundant knowledge but also develop contacts with certain experts all round the globe and get a chance to participate and represent Wikipedia in various conferences. So just look up Wikipedia, edit, add, format and make it richer and richer in knowledge, ultimately if you are interested in it, it is a fun affair.”
- You can also voluntarily use your skills to translate Wikipedia pages which help more people have access to information despite facing previous language barriers. Raziman who translates Wikipedia pages from English and French to Malayalam says, “A lot of Science based articles are written in English or French so it is essential to translate them to Malayalam to spread knowledge. Moreover, the translation is completely manual, I am not paid for this but I like doing this as it helps me and others as well.”
All for a Good Cause
Why not help spread awareness and help cause action to eradicate problems? Using your talents, skills and hobbies to better this front is a good idea. With the help of your friends, you can organise a street play or a musical performance to get people’s attention. If you like dancing, a flash mob followed by a donation drive can be quite effective. Even something as small as singing a jingle in a railway station or a beach can draw attention to a cause.
- Celebrate Bandra Trust, Mumbai organises various events for causes and a major festival called Celebrate Bandra which promotes rainwater harvesting projects, solar water heating projects, school buses for an orphanage and a school for underprivileged children. If you want to be a part of these events, you can contact them at ht t p: //www.celebratebandra.net/. Parul, who does events with Celebrate Bandra says, “Come out of your homes and volunteer, for volunteering not only gives you joy but also leads you to social interaction.”
- Sanved, an organisation situated in Kolkata, aims at empowering the victims of human trafficking to overcome their difficulties and live with dignity through unique dance therapy. You can volunteer for Sanved by visiting http://www.kolkatasanved.org/index.html.
- Kranti is an organisation that aims to help young woman who have been forced into the sex trade industry by providing them an education and making them economically independent. You can contribute to Kranti’s efforts by volunteering to be a Big Sister to one of the rehabilitated girls by emailing email@example.com.
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Volume 3 Issue 1