When I started as a volunteer, I thought I would meet new people and have something to do on weekends. I was new to Bangalore and I had no clue that there was something called “volunteering” which people take up seriously. No, it wasn’t that I had never volunteered. I had worked with Bakul Foundation, Bhubaneswar during my graduation but those were limited to special days a year. Also, in school we had a mandatory social service week every year where we had contribute daily essentials, medicines, clothes, vegetables, money per day of the week that would go towards the less privileged of the society.
But upon reaching Bangalore, my perception and notion about volunteering changed altogether. It opened up many possibilities rather than just “Passive Volunteering”. For the first time, I understood that I could leverage my existing skills to work as a volunteer, thanks to iVolunteer for that.
Through a Community Service Program of my previous employer, Thomson Reuters, I met Prarthana who had then taught us Braille and Tactile. After the event, all happy I just sent her a Facebook request to connect. Fast forward 2 months, I get an invite from her to attend Colorothon 2014 edition and I took up the idea to volunteer along with a few other friends. God! I did have a great time, made many new friends and that pushed my volunteering in a juggernaut!
Prarthana from then went on to introduce me to Giftabled Foundation and Om Ashram, another new friend Anita introduced me to Liter of Light Bangalore where I met Tripti, Pankaj sir and that became a real close group..almost family! Few months down, I happened to meet with Emal that opened me to Sambhav Foundation, then again I happened to meet Juhi who introduced me to iSupport Foundation. I’ll stop here, as the list would grow real long otherwise!
The roles I have played are simple. For many, I have been just another volunteer on the ground and I hope I have been helpful. The other role that I loved much was I could leverage my love for technology and social media and help them have a better online reach. I have contributed a bit to building the website of Liter of Light Bangalore(http://
It might sound selfish now, but I believe in enjoying anything I do. In my effort to help someone, I learn a lot. And the satisfaction gained from contributing towards something good, is an ever driving force. Plus, I don’t intend to stop.
Volunteering Experience written by Swateek.
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