Wonder who does the ‘charity’!

I joined IIFT after working in a corporate house for three years. When I got to know that IIFT has a 4 credit course where each student would have to work with a local NGO, it did not make much sense to me. After working with Aarohan for the past 3 weeks I realize what an important role it has played in my life. There are few experiences which we tend to call ‘life changing’ and I would term this internship as my first.

Now most of us believe that NGOs are just looking for charitable donations. Hence, we cannot contribute much because we are not earning yet. Also we tend to remain so engrossed in our own lives and problems that we never get to know the reality about our country. We do not realize that there are so many people struggling to make ends meet. Whether I was one of those who thought so is something I am not sure of but one thing I know is that the experience with Aarohan has completely transformed me as a person.

I will come to the sensitivity part later which obviously was the most important thing that I gained or anybody can gain from working with an NGO. Let’s first talk about the so called ‘MBA benefits’. Not only did I get a chance to talk to corporate honchos and NRIs to try and convince them about my cause, but I also got a chance to deliver a presentation at “The 12th India-NRI Summit” (at the Taj Palace Hotel) on behalf of my NGO. I could not have asked for a better stage to test my marketing and presentation skills. NGOs are always in need of grants from corporates, the government or the UN which can keep their cause going and for that reason they prepare proposals. In college we keep fighting about getting a live project which is mostly about analyzing old data and here I was working on live proposals, not just one but at least three, and testing my finance, strategy and marketing skills.

My NGO works in the area of child education and during such a stressful period of my life, I got a chance to see those cute, joyous faces and play with innocent children. The enormous amount of love that you get there makes you believe that it were you and not them who needed that affection. I met students who are a living inspiration for all of us, kids who in situations as hard as not getting even one meal to eat for 2-3 days, not having a roof to stay, cracked IIT-JEE or scored above 90% marks in boards or for that matter had me in awe with their outstanding painting, dancing, cooking and other skills which I always had dream of just trying my luck on.

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I also had the opportunity to visit these kids’ homes, distributing warm clothes among them on roads, meeting trans-genders and getting to know their problems. The more I introspected, the more I felt ashamed of myself for every time I had complained to parents/ friends or even God about trifle issues in my life. The happiness with which they faced such tough situations and the gratitude that they had for everyone who helped them forced me to reflect hard about my view on life. All these poor kids never got an opportunity to live their dreams for no fault of their own, only because they‘re born in a poor family! Isn’t this very unfair on them?

 

Isn’t becoming a better human being really important to all of us? I believe I have changed for the better after my internship with “Aarohan. Here I would like to express my gratitude to IIFT for including an NGO course in their curriculum and my NGO, Aarohan for letting me be a part of them.

I would request everyone reading this to take care of at least one poor child or support any NGO serving a good cause. It would cover the needs of one child for a year at about the same cost of one party that we give to our friends.

People always say we should do charity in different ways and here, after getting so much knowledge, experience, happiness, sensitivity and change in my life, I wonder who was doing the “charity”.

 

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Sanjeev Kumar is a First year student at IIFT and wishes to pursue his career in Risk management. Before joining IIFT he had worked for 30 months in HSBC. He is an avid novel reader and also has active interest in Indian politics.

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