Why India is the next volunteer destination?
A developing country is nothing without the contribution of its developed people. Every moment we witness the differences between two worlds but it’s not every time that we get a chance to work towards eradicating those differences and rise as one.
Non-profit organizations work towards minimizing these differences, supporting and providing for the people in need every day. According to International Center for Non-For-Profit Law, ‘Civil Society’ is not a term commonly used in India, although in recent years the media has begun to adopt it. Civil society in India is largely equated with voluntary organizations or the more colloquially used term “NGO,” or non-governmental organization.
The Central Statistical Institute of India announced in 2009 that there were 3.3 million NGOs registered in India or one NGO for every 400 Indian citizens. In 2020, GuideStar India (GSI) had more than 10,000 verified NGOs and more than 1,600 certified NGOs on its portal. There are also 100,873 NGOs registered on the ‘NGO Darpan’ Portal of Nitti Aayog.
Along with the rise in recognition of the NGOs, there is a parallel need for social workers. NGOs contribute to society’s welfare at large but they lack support. Corporate Social Responsibility has changed the scenario but it still doesn’t solve the deficiency of efficient human resources. If the social work sector is already surviving with the minimal resources they have, it will only thrive if all hands are on the table. It’s not every day that we get a chance to impact someone’s life with our skillset but volunteering is the way to contribute to that impact, to touch the lives of the needy, to live the chance of using our talent and skills for the betterment of our people and to contribute with our best.
People in India have already started contributing to the good of their communities. The government recognizes the efforts of the non-profit sector, corporates contribute monetarily to take responsibility of the areas in need through Corporate Social Responsibility, and the civil society works together to fill in the requirements of human resources.
Arun Sahdeo, Programme Officer, UNV India mentioned to the United Nations in India, The Government of India has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that youth volunteers are a part of the conversation and action in meeting India’s development goals. It formulated the first National Youth Policy during the seventh five-year plan and launched the National Service Scheme (NSS) and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), both volunteer-based programs that now have a base of almost 3.6 million volunteers and 125,000 youth clubs across the country, respectively.
Other than the State’s call for volunteers, the youth also is aware of the perks of volunteering and contributing to the social sector. In some academic courses, volunteering is a compulsory component and in other courses, it’s definitely considered an addition to the student’s profile. It’s not in relation to academics but the youth also gives importance to values individual gains through volunteering. A direct way to understand and solve problems on the ground, networking, increase in social and relationship skills, an add-on to the resume, and a ground-level experience, is an outcome of providing help to someone in need.
It’s a win-win situation, the best of both worlds — Gyles Randall.
The rise in NGOs, the demonstration of commitment to engage volunteers in achieving social goals, and the youth’s dedication and involvement in social activities make India the next volunteering destination.
— Blog by Abhidnya Salvi, Team ConnectFor .