How youngsters can be the catalysts in bringing about positive change in society.

As a founding member and programme manager of Cognizant’s voluntary grassroots CSR initiatives over the last four years, I can confidently say that today’s youth have a far more evolved sense of social responsibility. They actively seek to support causes that have the potential to bring about a positive change in the communities they live in. I have seen how our volunteers, mostly busy software professionals, have transformed the lives of underprivileged children in their own ways.

When we introduced an internal blogging platform in 2007, we discovered that many Cognizant employees were actively involved in community service. That was the time when people like me, who were passionate about CSR, moved into it full-time. This opportunity to pursue social service with a professional focus has been the source of immense satisfaction and happiness. Education is a great leveller. Every child, if given the right opportunity, can make it big in life. It is our endeavour to help underprivileged children turn their dreams into reality. Seeing the impact one is able to make in the lives of underprivileged students is in itself a motivating factor. Working in large teams enables youngsters to make new friends from diverse personal and professional backgrounds. This reinforces a sense of belonging and builds better camaraderie. Working in rural areas with underprivileged children helps them understand the world better and motivates them to do their bit by bringing about a positive change.

 By teaching children English, mathematics, computer science and science, youngsters are able to help them not only improve their grades in schools but also become more confident in facing the challenges of the world. This is a very fulfilling experience. In several instances, the motivation and guidance provided by our associates has helped some students do well in subjects they otherwise considered difficult. This paved the way for them to pursue higher education in those subjects. When you look back you realise that, at the end of the day, these are the causes that have touched and affected the lives the most.

 The youth of today are far more conscious and aware of their responsibility towards society. The joy and satisfaction one gets from making a difference in people’s lives is priceless and no other experience can match it. And this can sum up the many reasons why youngsters should do their bit for society.

Archana Raghuram is the Director of Cognizant Outreach.

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