Tolkein very famously says in The Lord of the Rings that “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it, there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”
This for me sums up the experience of working with GiveIndia’s partner NGOs. As a part of the Credibility and Assurance team at GiveIndia, I have the enviable job of travelling across the country, visiting our 200+ NGOs, meeting their founders, understanding their programmes, going through their accounts, and creating suitable Donation Options.
I love this part of my job not only because it gives me tremendous exposure to the non-profit landscape in the country, but also because it restores my faith in humanity every single time I’m close to losing it. Thanks to the advent of 24X7 media, and ubiquitous smartphones, we are constantly bombarded with events from across the world, most of which are negative, and make us look mostly at the darker side of the world.
My travels, on the other hand, show me a completely different side of the world. They expose me to a world where there is hardship and poverty, yes; but also where people are trying hard to find solutions to these problems.
Take for example the Japanese American lady from Hawaii, a former high flying investment banker, who now runs a home for children in Mysore; seeing her communicate with the children in a mixture of English and broken Kannada is heartwarming beyond words.
Then there is Mr. Kakani, an eighty-year-old retired Deputy Adviser from the Office of the Indian Economic Service of the Planning Commission, who now volunteers full time as the Secretary of one of our NGOs. The speed, efficiency and enthusiasm with which he works could easily put most twenty-somethings like me to shame.
Then you have schools and organisations that provide such high-quality education that children from a small village in Telangana are now representing the country all over the world in sports ranging from Archery to Taekwondo.
And it’s not just the non-profits and their founders that are the heroes, but general people like you and me who help out in the most unexpected situations. Take for example, the auto bhaiya in Srinagar who refused to let us de-board the auto rickshaw unless he himself was sure about the safety of the area; he would get down at each address, verify if it was the same people that we wanted to meet, and only then let us meet them. These examples are just a tiny microcosm of the many, many people and organisations working towards making the world a slightly better place to live in.
As an employee of GiveIndia, I see the people and organisations I meet embody the spirit of giving way more than I ever did or can ever imagine. They make me realize that giving is not just about money, it’s not just about making the world a better place, but also about giving a part of yourself, and gaining way more than you give. It’s also about gaining happiness in the process.
So if you’ve lost your faith in humanity, you know what to do, right? Volunteer with us. Or better still, Give. Give, because it makes the world a better place. Give, because it might make you happy.
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