“From Banking to the Social Sector? Wow, what prompted that?”
This is the primary, rather startled question that I get from most people when asked as to why I decided to join the NGO space and the social sector. Mumbai, Coventry, London — my 27 years have panned out in these rather dynamic cities with a multitude of experiences. Fresh out of college, I decided to join the corporate space, and I worked at J.P. Morgan, London for three years. Working bang in the middle of the credit crisis, my interest was piqued by the lawlessness that ensued in the rather grossly unequal distribution of wealth.
I moved back to India in 2014, after a span of seven years, and my rose tinted glassy view of the western ways of the developed world washed away. Shocking statistics in India like the lowest standard of living, minimum wages of a construction worker, the monthly salary of a waiter or a watchman saddened me deeply, because it led me back to think how little people earn and afford in those menial figures.
To overcome this innate feeling of guilt, I decided to volunteer at the Aakansha center and teach dance to kids between the ages of 5–7. During the same time, through word of mouth, I heard about ConnectFor. The basic philanthropy behind ConnectFor, is to capitalise on the value of human resource and time, by connecting volunteers to NGOs. This idea really appealed to me, and when the co-founders called me up to think about leading the North India chapter of ConnectFor (Yes, I am moving again to Chandigarh post marriage!) I immediately jumped at the prospect of working for a noble cause of touching lives of beneficiaries through actions, and not money.
My six month journey with ConnectFor has been extremely fulfilling, and the most fulfilling part for me has been the torch of hope that I carry today, that many years from now, while we may not to evolve into a Utopian world, we can definitely empower and enlighten many people to better their lives and #winwinforacause!
Raashi Seth is a Senior Associate with ConnectFor, and is looking forward to heading the first ConnectFor chapter outside Mumbai.
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