Over 100 Hindustan Times Paathshala Volunteers, who are working professionals, teachers, engineers, students and social workers, gave up on their Sunday to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children.
They gathered at the Swami Sivananda Memorial Institute which provides free education to 1,000 underprivileged children.
The volunteers helped school authorities paint classrooms, clean the garden and also paint the outside wall of the school with graffiti. The volunteers also planted saplings and seeds in the front and back lawn.
26-year-old Shruti Goel, a software consultant, came from Pitampura to the east Punjabi Bagh school. “The good feeling that I get to be of a help to someone brings me here. Earlier, I used to visit the blind school regularly, but now with work I rarely get time. So, I am always up for such volunteering initiative,” said Goel.
Some volunteers such as Anirudh Ringe say it was a fruitful way to utilise the weekend. “At least one day in a week I wanted to utilise it well. This has been a wonderful experience and reminded me of my school days,” said the operation manager at a retail firm.
The schoolchildren also joined the volunteering drive. Hindustan Times Paathshala is a CSR initiative to support the education of these children. Over 60,000 lives have been impacted under various projects of Paathshala since its launch in April, 2012.
“It is so nice to see people from outside coming and decorating our school,” said Samir, a student of the school.
This was a special volunteering drive for those who cannot be regular volunteers. There are around 110 full time volunteers working in the field devoting several hours to teach children.
Volunteering program was initiated on 7 December, 2015, with partner NGOs. When the volunteering registration started, more than 10,000 people had responded. Some of these volunteers also get an opportunity to share their experiences.