Rina Dev, 27, loved animals as a child and had a habit of bringing injured birds home and tending to them. Volunteering for People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) came naturally to Dev during her college days.
“When you are passionate about something but do not have resources, it is ideal to volunteer in that field. There is nothing better than helping another person or animal. If you feel passionately there will always be time,” said Dev, who is now a veterinarian, and still volunteers with PETA.
She is one of the many youngsters volunteering for their pet cause. On No TV Day, take time off to volunteer for a cause that is dear to you. Everyone has thought of volunteering at some point, but January 28 is the day to begin.
Not-for-profit organisations require your help in more ways than you can imagine – be it making posters, manning a stall at an event, taking a class for the underprivileged, fund raising, getting books, clothes, rescuing birds, essentials for calamity-stricken place or simply spreading the word– the list is endless.
For Pranav Nayak, 20, volunteering began as a way to score marks in a project, but the experience was so fulfilling that he now volunteers often for Prerna, a non-profit working with children of commercial sex workers in Kamathipura. “I loved it so much that even I now keep in touch with them and work for them,” said Nayak, who studies in Pune.
City’s non-profits are always looking for volunteers. Parimala Bhat from Snehankit requires volunteers to help the visually challenged – to record study material, write their projects/exams and help with workshops. “Despite having 70 to 80 volunteers all over Mumbai, I still need more people. People have to make little effort in their spare time.”
Minal Bhide is someone who ensures she does her bit to society. In her fifties, the homemaker from Matunga, records study material for visually impaired.
“There will always be work to be done, people to be looked after but it is possible to make time if you wish,” said Bhide, who lives with her family and reminds them gently to be quiet when she is recording or reading out to a blind person at her residence. “It gives me the satisfaction of having done something meaningful. Otherwise time just goes by, whether you are online or watching TV.”
While some jobs need commitment such as teaching children for the academic year, many activities need only basic administration skills and enthusiasm. Arti Sinha, a music therapist, feels people can contribute according to their talents. “Even a song-and-dance session with special kids can help them. Just come for an hour or so,” Sinha appealed.