Volunteer for an NGO in India

Be the agent of change volunteer for an NGO

All of us are so entangled in our daily humdrums that we hardly have time to think beyond our calendars. Yet, there are a few amongst us who can be seen taking action to better the society. They are the volunteers – the agents of change. It is not that they have additional hours in their clock; rather they have the trait called ‘willingness’. The willingness to do something to improve a situation and not just have a conversation over a cup of tea. Be it an Indian NGO or any global NGO, all charitable organisations welcome volunteers with open arms. Even though funds are a critical aspect for an NGOs operation, volunteers play a big role in an NGOs lifecycle.

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time;
they just have the heart.” –
Elizabeth Andrew.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

Volunteering is a unique example of how selfless service can help evolve our individual selves from within while transforming the world outside of us.

  • Benefits for the self: When you volunteer your time and skill with an NGO, you receive the fulfilment of bettering the society you are a part of. The inner satisfaction of being a support system for the society is immeasurable. And, the impact you create in the society lasts forever.
  • Benefits for the society: Your time, skill, and efforts potentially change the ecosystem of the society in the most desirable way. For instance, if you engage in volunteer opportunities with a children NGO, then you help several children belonging to challenging socio-economic backgrounds to receive their basic rights, education, health benefits and more. Basically, you transform their lives bit by bit to make it better.

Volunteer with Indian NGO

Why not begin your volunteering journey by joining an organisation in your neighbourhood? Yes, there are more than 3 million Indian NGOs working in various sectors and there is all possibility that one among them could be operating in your neighbourhood too. Or you could also choose an organisation to volunteer with depending on your interest such as child rights, child education, animal protection, water conservation and the like.

As an example, let’s look at The Akshaya Patra Foundation. This is a mid-day meal NGO of India serving school children with nutritious lunch on each school day. This Indian NGO has been in the service of children for the past 19 years. Akshaya Patra has its own kitchens across 51 locations of 12 States and 2 Union Territories to prepare the mid-day meals. Cognisant of the importance of supporters, Akshaya Patra provides a several volunteer opportunities wherein supporters can dedicate their time in the kitchen activities and in beneficiary schools; they can share their knowledge and help in expansion of the Foundation’s reach; they can be online ambassadors and spread the work of the NGO in their social network, and more such opportunities – all to benefit children for whom school meals play a very crucial role. So, choose an Indian NGO you most identify with and generously extend your support as a volunteer.

Because your support matters!

 

 

The impact of mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of India. And, it is reported that over the next 10 years, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will together account for 31% of youngest Indian population between five and 14 years. This indicates that education and health will play deciding factors for them to turn into assets for the country. As per the Census 2011, the literacy rate of Uttar Pradesh is just 67.7%. Among the many factors that affect school enrolment and literacy rate is the provision of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme. The Supreme Court mandated Mid-Day Meal Scheme was introduced in the state in September 2004. And, currently this scheme covers over 123.57-lakh students in 1,14,125 primary schools and 54.94-lakh students in 54,394 upper primary schools in the state. Over the years, the state has observed tangible impact of the scheme in school enrolment, attendance, and health of the students. And, this impact was furthered by The Akshaya Patra Foundation, and NGO in Lucknow.

mid-day meal

In Uttar Pradesh, Akshaya Patra provides mid-day meal in two locations – Vrindavan and Lucknow. The NGO began its journey of providing mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh by establishing the Vrindavan kitchen in August 2004. Currently, 1,20,262 children in 2,010 schools get benefitted from this kitchen. The kitchen at Lucknow was established in March 2015 and presently provides mid-day meal to 91,418 children in 1,011 schools. Keeping hygiene and cleanliness as our topmost priorities while preparing mid-day meals for children, both the kitchens in Uttar Pradesh are ISO 22000:2005 certified. The mid-day meals served in Uttar Pradesh follow a local palate inclusive of roti with subzi, so that maximum children readily and joyfully eat their school lunch.

As part of self-assessment of the Mid-Day Meal Programme, Akshaya Patra time and again conducts third party assessments. One such assessment was conducted by Sigma Research and Consulting Pvt. Ltd. in 2014. The report studied eight location of Akshaya Patra based on the variables pertaining to four main objectives: elimination of classroom hunger, social equity, nutrition and health, and enrolment, retention and attendance. The assessment showed a positive trend on all the variables and the overall score of Uttar Pradesh was 9.43 on a scale of 10. This reveals that while there is significant impact of the mid-day meal in Uttar Pradesh, there is also scope for creating more impact.

Currently, Akshaya Patra is providing nutritious school lunch to 2,11,680 children in 3,021 schools in Uttar Pradesh. This means each day millions of children are able to attend school and take steps towards their aspirations. You too can act as a catalyst by choosing to sponsor a child. Come forward and join the ‘unlimited food for education’ motto of this NGO in Lucknow.