A number of college students work for NGOs and take care of the underprivileged.

In an attempt to use their time in more constructive ways, students often volunteer with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), where they can apply the skills they have acquired. And sometimes, it is this crucial selfless act may be all the edge one needs during placements. While NGOs depend hugely on the student community, NGOs also provide an uninhibited learning ground for students who want to experiment, lead, or simply spread joy.

The Hindu EducationPlus interacted with a few college students from Bangalore who volunteer with NGOs. Most say that they work with these organisations out of sheer personal interest and that there is no better joy than the joy of giving.

Vishnupriya S., second year B.Com., Jyothi Nivas College, Bangalore

I have been volunteering for ‘Rainbow Home for Girls’, an orphanage, since last October. This home houses several girls between the ages of two and 18, who are either deserted by their family for being born a girl or because of the family’s inability to support them. I visit this home on weekends and allocate a lot of my time for teaching the kids painting and playing with them.

These kids hardly have any visitors, so I try to make every single moment that I spend with them really special. I did have an ulterior motive when I enrolled for this NGO initially. I thought by doing such activities I could strengthen my resume. However, after being involved with the organisation for a couple of months, I have realised that the happiness derived by making someone else’s life better is the best feeling I can ever get. Each time I see a bunch of smiling girls running towards me I feel glad to have made a difference in their lives.

Uthara R., first year B.A. (Communication Studies), Mount Carmel College, Bangalore

I have always wanted to make a difference in someone’s life and this is what motivated me to volunteer with ‘Association for People with Disabilities’. This NGO is mainly for people with physical and mental disabilities and aims at empowering them with skills which would enable them to lead an independent life in society.

Majority of the people who come to this NGO are either deaf or polio stricken and are mostly between 15 and 30 years of age. Interacting with and guiding/teaching these students gives me immense satisfaction and I am elated whenever I manage to bring a smile on their faces. Going forward, I wish to volunteer and teach in many such organisations and hope to make a difference in several lives.

Samarth Kulkarni, first year B.A. (LL.B.), M.S. Ramaiah College of Law, Bangalore

I have recently started a NGO of my own along with my classmates called ‘Please Save Yourself’. Our NGO does not have a specific area of interest. Rather we try and focus on everything starting from tree plantation to providing a decent home for stray animals. I will also be volunteering for an NGO which concentrates on the safety and comforts of stray animals, called ‘Let’s Live Together’, next month. Whenever I volunteer or do something for society I try to give my best and do not expect anything in return.

I am often perturbed when people ask me if I am doing all this so that my Curriculum Vitae (CV) would look good when I apply for a job or seek admission in a foreign university. Honestly, I do this so that I feel happy and contended at the end of the day.

Emunah C., first year B.A. (Psychology), Mount Carmel College, Bangalore

I started volunteering with U & I, a NGO which educates children in slum areas, soon after I started college. I devote my weekends trying to help these kids with their homework and their day-to-day lessons. Volunteering with this organisation gives me immense satisfaction as I have the power to influence many young minds. I did not enrol with this NGO to be viewed as Mother Teresa by my friends and family members, but rather I offered to volunteer here so that I can empower young minds with education. I feel this is the best way I can do something for society. Interacting with these children has changed me for the better as they have made me realise how privileged I am. I only hope that I can teach and empower many young underprivileged children in future, for I feel that education is the best gift you can give to someone.

Vihan Damaris R., first year Communication Studies, Mount Carmel College, Bangalore

I started volunteering for APD (Association for People with Disability) last month and it has indeed been a wonderful journey for me.

I feel like a drop of water in a rising tsunami, carrying secluded, disabled people towards the shore of mainstream life. Volunteering has never been a nice word for me, but now I understand how necessary it is. By working in this organisation I have learnt to fit into the jigsaw puzzle of life, realising that each piece has jagged corners. It has enabled me to realise that disabled people are just differently-abled.

Arpita Mukherjee, second year B.A. (Communication Studies), Mount Carmel College, Bangalore

I have been volunteering in several NGOs for quite some time, the latest being at Auto Raja Foundation.

Whenever I go to these organisations I feel overjoyed and feel happy about the fact that I have done my bit to make a difference in society. Most of the people in these places require love, care and attention more than money. I hope that several energetic teenagers help and brighten the world of such people, and make them feel that they are not alone in this world.

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One for the worldSeptember 26, 2012