At the stroke of today’s midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom,” said Jawahar Lal Nehru, on 15th August 1947 after India got freedom from the British Raj. The 70th Independent Birthday of India hallmarks a period that can be defined by dynamic change, rapid growth, global recognition and progression. As a proud Indian, I swell in pride while singing the national anthem and hoisting the national flag. At the same time, I am sadly reminded of the same nationals of this country who do not have access to clean drinking water, education or medical help.
With busy lives, it is can be hard to volunteer. It is not necessary that one has to constantly and regularly volunteer to reap benefits for the beneficiaries, even one day engagements have an immense effect on the happiness and the learning of both the volunteer and the beneficiaries. Here are suggestions on how to celebrate India’s Independence Day with the volunteering options and opportunities!
- Food Distribution Drive to The Needy: Collect a group of 3–4 or more people from your network and organise one item of food each. You can target distributing food to any number of people, from 10 people to even 50! Choose an area wisely depending on the number of beneficiaries so that nobody goes hungry. ConnectFor organised a collaboration project with The Robin Hood Army last year on Independence Day and distributed meals to more than 40 people.
- Indian Flag Making Workshop: Pick any NGO supporting Education & Literacy, or even a government school to conduct an Arts and Crafts Workshop. You could hold a flag making workshop with different coloured paper or even a painting workshop. Ensure you have the correct classroom size, and supplies for each student. Along with this, you could give an educational sermon on the history of India, key freedom fighters and singing the national anthem.
- Rangoli Workshop: Pick any NGO supporting Education or Empowerment. You could hold a rangoli workshop, teaching children and/or women how to do rangoli with and without stencils. Use only the tr-colours in spirit of Independence Day.
- Watch a Film Together: Choose any number of beneficiaries that can be managed by you or your team, and book any mini theatre or viewing hall to watch a movie together. Choose a film based on Independence or India, preferably in Hindi to watch together.
- Educational Session: Pick an NGO in which you can give an educational sermon. Topics suggested would be the Importance of Democracy, to the history of our freedom fighters, to the Life of Mahatma Gandhi etc keeping in spirit with Independence Day. This can be followed by distributing snacks, singing the national anthem and hoisting the flag together.
Make this Independence Day count to more people than yourself! Volunteering kindles happiness, in what I call The Happiness Effect. We all hold a responsibility in this country, to hold hands and progress together, and ask not what this country can do for you, but what you can do for this country. Jai Hind!