In this much welcome break from college schedules, spend your time productively by signing up for community improvement initiatives that are not only fun but also rewarding in the long runVaijayanthi Kari firstname.lastname@example.org
Come summer and break from college, students try plunging themselves into various extra-curricular activities. Some want to learn dance while others want to paint and some just want to chill.
But there is always a group of youngsters who yearn for self-discovery. They want to develop their personality and skills constantly hence they become part of youth run organisations and NGOs and do voluntary work in summers. Few of the well known youth organisations in Hyderabad are AIESEC, Streetcause and P3PA (planet 3 protection alliance) which work on various socio-economic issues and curtain call productions which is a theatre group.
But does working for organisations really develop a person? Or is it just an engagement activity?
Luvieen Alva, 21 years of age, the President for AIESEC in Hyderabad says, “After being in AIESEC for a year and a half I have gained practical experience to support the theoretical knowledge I already have. Which I think will have a positive impact my immediate future. Everything I do here is an experience. It has been both good and bad but that’s how I have learnt. This experience also gives a person courage and passion to pursue their dreams or interests.”
Though students say it is beneficial for them, parents still want them to concentrate on their academics more and give less time for extra-curricular activities.
“Voluntary work is fine when only confined to a certain limit. What is happening is that kids start networking so quickly and to such an extent that they are always stuck to their phone and laptops talking to each other. Whereas it should be the other way round. Which is less talk and more work. That is how it should be,” says Venkatesh Prasad, a concerned parent.
But does the amount of time spent in these activities come under the category of wasting time or investment of time? Does this really develop a young individual? Does it improve his/her soft skills? Would this be of any help when they sit for an interview in their future?
An HR executive at WIN IT Softwares, Pragna Gope says, “Education is not the only important thing. A student with a score of 90% was once given utmost importance. But now a even if a student has 50% academic score but has a good skill set and valuable experience, they get the job. The attitude, behaviour in corporate environment, ideas and creativity, all of it counts. And I’ve noticed these traits in the people that come for recruitment. There is confidence in those who have been in a challenging environment previously.”
If maybe beneficial but what if the family doesn’t completely approve, how does one bridge the gap? Balance.
Spending time with family, working with a youth organisation/NGO, completing college work, keeping friends and girlfriends/boyfriends happy might seem like an army of strenuous tasks but is not. Keeping a track and managing so many things at the same time helps you multitask and prioritise in life. So gear up and give part time/voluntary work a shot. It might just be the best thing you ever do.
Other notable NGOs
- M.A.D: Made up of mostly youth volunteers, MAD imparts English communication skills to children in orphanages, street shelters and homes. Currently, around 1200 Make A Difference volunteers teach close to 3500 children in 18 cities
- Teach for India: One day all children will attain an excellent education is TFI’s working ambition. Other than their two year fellowship, there are various ways to get involved with TFI as their campus ambassadors, volunteers and more.
- Smile Foundation: Founded in 2002, Smile Foundation was formed by a group of corporate professionals who decided to finance, handhold and support genuine grassroot initiatives targeted at providing education and health to underprivileged children. They are always happy to have volunteers.
- Sphoorti: Sphoorti Foundation works for the rehabilitation of children belonging to underprivileged and vulnerable sections of the society. They support 140 children, run children’s homes in three different premises.
- Cherish Foundation: Cherish Foundation’s aim is to provide shelter to orphans and make them self-dependent. The NGO takes care of their daily needs and also provides for their education. Volunteers can help in whatever way they choose to help Cherish realise their aim.
“After being in AIESEC for a year and a half I have gained practical experience to support the theoretical knowledge I already have. ”
Luvieen Alva (President for AIESEC, Hyderabad)