Quleen Kaur Bijral Bijral
Columnist, The Logical Indian
Image Source: projects-abroad
In our system of work and reward we do our daily jobs in hope of receiving a better pay, promotion and/or some other monetary gain. But there are also some activities which we pursue without any reaching after a prize. How many of us give tuition to our friends, cousins and strangers just because they need it and are unable to afford it. Many a times people take time out of their hectic schedule to get in touch with their philanthropic side- donating clothes to needy people, sheltering victims of natural disasters, collecting funds for community/public service, filling potholes, building houses and other life-affirming initiatives which do not come with a salary. Such people volunteer knowing the strain it will put on their personal life, especially in the face of the blunt fact that there are no rewards. Volunteerism is indeed a feat of human selflessness which imbibes the spirit to give, share and better other people’s lives-to spend some time for a random fellow out of labour of love than any incentive for returns.
We measure most of our activities in life according to the profit we can get out of it. But seeing so many remarkable men and women working hard to rehabilitate the lives of the downtrodden, one’s faith in humanity is definitely restored. Let’s take a leaf out of these people’s lives who volunteer to help and do what we can to encourage such an altruistic behaviour. Having said that, it should also be noted that Volunteerism is based on free will than coercion so if a person is not open to volunteer, force should not be the answer. The best way is to encourage people by example than compulsion.
How Can You Volunteer?
Volunteerism begins at home and all it takes is a simple step to knowing how you can help, who needs help and when you are experienced enough you can spread this network of helping others. There are many ways to volunteer -you can join an organization which needs people of your skills and you can assist accordingly; you have an idea then you can bring it up in your campus or workplace or district either on an official or personal level; and/or fund volunteering organizations or volunteers so they are not impeded in their work due to lack of resources, infrastructure etc. Some of the ways you can volunteer are given below as mostly
it is seen people are willing to help but they do not know how to go about it, so these ways can suggest you the right direction.
Donate to trusted NGOs; donate clothes, books and other amnesties to your neighbouring slums etc. It’s not about how much you give; even small fraction of your help can go a long way. Start small and eventually when all will, these small steps will have a pronounced effect.
Doing Pro bono Work
Pro bono means when you volunteer to work free of charge especially with a motive to do public service. If you are a lawyer, you can take up pro bono cases and represent people who need help but cannot afford the fees. Same goes for the doctors, teachers and other professionals.
A community can come together to tend to matters of their own districts as a start towards volunteerism. Ensuring cleanliness of common parks, painting or rebuilding the houses of the old who cannot pay for it or do it on their own, repairing roads, working in the orphanages and old-age homes etc and other services which foster bonhomie, trust and stability among community members.
Share Your Skills
You can also share your skills and facilitate in the teaching of children or adults who cannot meet the expense of schooling or private tutorials.
How To Encourage Volunteerism
Starting form school volunteerism should be talked about- if you want you can help. Academic institutions have a social responsibility to emphasise on the ways students can volunteer in a willing and constructive manner.
Government should promote policies for peaceful as well as safe civic participation in Volunteerism. It should also support volunteers and ensure obstructions as hostile environment, lack of resources and coercion do not come in the way.
The Idea of Volunteerism
Finally the onus is on the society to build the culture of Volunteerism as in helping others we are helping ourselves. Volunteerism in instilling bonds of solidarity among strangers and random people ensures that we in the race towards utilitarian gains do not forget to pause for the next fellow. It does not solely promote charity but also aims to keep people connected, true to themselves, and aware of the problems of the local and global world. We need to know so we do not grow indifferent towards others. We also need to know so we can help to show how simple an idea of Volunteerism can better lives, societies and nations in the long run-be the change to make the world a better place, isn’t it? (Gandhi)
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