All the major religions of the world preach the virtues of brotherhood and service to the less privileged. In service to the needy lies humankind’s road to salvation. The ability to think and empathise is what distinguishes human beings from the lesser species.
There have been very successful programmes in the US and India where young graduates have volunteered to spend a year of their lives in spreading literacy in slums and rural areas.
Every person, whatever be the economic, social or physical condition he is in, has the power to serve others. Ordinary people the world over have demonstrated that anyone can contribute by way of time, expertise or wealth that can change someone’s life positively.
Tips to Serve Society
Small donations go a long way in strengthening the voluntary organizations to serve the orphanages or old age homes. At an individual level, a portion of the food cooked at home daily can be donated to those in need.
Alternatively money can be donated to an organisation which has a kitchen to feed the poor. Blankets and woollen clothes can be donated to the needy for protection in winter.
2. Train or Employ the needy
Each owner of a small business can start charity at home by teaching a trade to a person from the underprivileged sections of society and employing him/her.
3. Teach the young
Children can be taught to donate their old toys and books to poor children. Children become aware of how to care for their things if they know their things are going to be reused.
Visiting old age homes or orphanages, serving them special dishes on your birthdays and anniversary or any festive occasion are all good ways to inculcate empathy and sense of service in youngsters.
4. Woman Power
Women can educate their illiterate household helpers on hygiene and savings, consumer rights and more. Women can also do their bit through voluntary organizations offering counselling and other services to victims of various chronic diseases or victims of alcohol and drug abuse etc.
Women can spend their spare time in organizing welfare activities in the nearby slums such as teaching the poor women to run small enterprises, crafts and other small business activities to help them in income generation.
Doctors and medical workers can offer their services once or twice a week free of charge in rural and underprivileged sections of the society. They can organize awareness campaigns to educate people on the need for blood and organ donation and more.
Writers and artists can spread messages on social evils and create awareness among the public.
6. Medicines & Spectacles
Hospitals often have collection box where unused medicines can be dropped in – provided they are within the expiry date. These boxes can be used to donate medicines and used spectacles to the needy.
During natural calamities, people lose everything and end up with just the clothes on their backs. Donations in cash and kind must be made liberally to rehabilitate those affected by these natural disasters.
Volunteering and taking care of several important functions of these efforts to run them efficiently and smoothly and reduces the burden of the organizers.
8. Environment Protection
Tree plantation drives are an effective way to contribute to preserving the environment and corporates and local communities can get involved in such activities.
Conserving limited resources like water, electricity and fuel is another way to save the environment. Cutting down on wasteful expenditure can contribute to gift a better life to our less fortunate brethren.
9. Be a Scribe
Visually handicapped students need help by way of reading their lessons and also writing examinations for them. You can enrol as a scribe with organizations who seek many volunteers and lend your service when needed.
Being ordinary is never an excuse for not serving the society. As explained above, if there is a will, there are numerous ways!