During my college days in Vellore, I was walking outside the campus with my friends and saw some homeless children begging for alms. I gave them some money and asked them how they were. My Tamil speaking friend translated the response of one child — “I wish I could have a life like you all.”
This statement made a deep impact on me. I gathered information about the NGOs in the vicinity and joined a student-led initiative which aimed to impart quality education to children in orphanages. We visited the children during weekends and taught them elementary English and Maths in a unique and interactive way. Never had I imagined the joy I could experience by delighting these children who did not have much to be glad about. It was heartwarming for me to become a popular and welcome visitor for them and see their enthusiasm in showing me their art and craftwork. A shy little girl would hide behind her caregiver when I initially visited. Later on she would eagerly await my arrival because I got her a chocolate every time I came.
Volunteering changed me in a lot of ways. It humbled me and made me more sensitive to societal issues. It made me realize that emotion ignites passion, which can in turn can help you achieve anything you set out to do. I also discovered that language barriers can be broken through props, artistic methods and sign language.
I believe that while several of us invest in good causes monetarily, the value of our personal presence through volunteering is much more. There is a lot that we can do as individuals to fight the social challenges faced by our country and should definitely look for avenues and make time to do so.
(This blog was penned by Naman Sagar from our consumer partnership team at ClearTax.)