BENGALURU: Volunteers form an important resource for a community organisation. Volunteering not only helps you give back to society but also gives you a positive perspective on life.
The group Volunteer for Cause spends its weekend volunteering for different causes. It started in 2012 by Surendran Krishnan with a Facebook page to support various volunteering events across the city.
An assistant engineer Surendran says that unlike most of the NGOs that caters to just one cause, this group provides a platform fo the volunteers to participate in the activities, they are interested in.
Surendran says, “There are about 12 causes we work on, under the categories children, elders, governance, environment and disability. We cover all causes every month, on a rotation basis. We meet every weekend and volunteer for three hours at different places in Bengaluru.”
Savio J L Sequeira, a HR professional says, “As the name suggests, it is volunteering for a cause.” He joined the group two and half years ago and became a volunteer champ in 2015 for the cause Penpals. Penpals is about volunteering as scribes for visually impaired students. Savio coordinates with the volunteers and connects them to the students. He claims, “We could organise scribes for 800 scribes last year.”
There are other causes like Meet the Paws where the volunteers visit dog shelter homes and help in cleaning, painting, bathing the dogs or taking them for a walk. There’s Dhwani Granth where they record and convert textbooks to audio files and provide them to visually impaired students.
Surendran adds, “We assist the NGOs with physical work or help, they need.” Close to 800 people have registered for volunteering. They do not have an office and mainly coordinate through Whatsapp, Meetup and Facebook. Depending on the requirement, the volunteers participate. “On an average, 20 to 25 people volunteer for each cause every weekend,” says Surendra.
Amarnath Ganesh, a volunteer, says there’s no money involved. “There’s no monetary contribution invloved. We encourage them to contribute materials. If someone wants to make financial contribution, that is welcome. We buy the materials required and provide the bills.” The volunteers had recently contributed for movie tickets for the elderly from an old age home in Mandur.
Amarnath joined the group in December 2012. An IT professional, he went in to volunteer as a scribe for a visually-challenged student. He later attended their two-day programme VoluThon to celebrate the International Volunteers Day. He says, “It’s a continuous two-day event where we volunteer for various causes like reading to children. It has been a good experience.”
Last weekend, they planted trees at a farm on Sarjapur Road and bathed and took the dogs of Maruthy dog shelter for a walk. Amarnath adds, “Recently, we have also started to create awareness about child adoption.”