Thursday, September 27, 2007

Shrug off the garb of Designer Social Work and "get your hands dirty"

Thanks Badhri for including me here. I would like to see the creation of this group blog as the first step towards our "walking the talk" resolution. I would start this blog with one of the very few pieces of introspection that I intend to put here. Otherwise, our intention is to put real good ideas and work, and to be sure, all serious things need not be done with a serious face. Humour is an indispensable part of a happy life. Back to the current topic.

Badhri and I have regular discussions on the state of affairs in our country. Lots of opinions and ideas are generated out of these discussions and there is always a healthy difference of opinions between us. Last night for a change we concurred on the fact that it is high time we made some noticeable efforts and brought about REAL change, which may not necessarily be big. This set my thought rolling on the thought process that goes inside an individual's mind when he/she tries to "contribute to the society". Are we heading towards a concept of "Designer Contribution" where we work towards social causes only to get rid of our guilt, embarrassment and to gain respectful glances from our fellow beings.

Of late this entire concept of social work and volunteering has gained a lot of popularity in terms of media and mind space. People have started thinking about it more often. My analysis, which I agree may not be totally correct on this is:

Most of the youngsters today in the age group of 23-27 have a job which pays them a decent salary. Many of them experience this "shock factor" when they come face to face with real people who are embodiments of what they thought exist only in the distant land of documentaries and Doordarshan reports. They see the boy begging outside their offices and on busy roads, they hear and see kids who want to study but are not able to due to lack of financial wherewithal. They see such deviations from the ideal society and feel embarrassed for being the right side of the deviation but not doing anything for those on the other side. This feeling is primarily responsible for the initial rush shown by we, the youngsters.

Now here, we need to make an honest assessment of our abilities and willingness. To what extent are we ready to go?If we can contribute only monetarily so be it. Be a regular contributor to a good charity. At the same time, disabuse yourself of any wrong notions of active contribution to the society.

Once you have identified your stand, you have go the whole mile in fulfilling it. If you choose to get associated with only events that require minimal effort and no deviation from your normal course of event, then it is your choice. In my view and from my limited experience, I can come to the conclusion that only a handful of the hundreds of sparks in out young minds actually translate into a path lightening torch. It is for us to choose - do we want to exact our rights from the society and then lodge ourselves safely behind the tinted AC glasses (from where we can still give thousands of discourses of a degenerating society) or do we want to get our hands dirty by making contributing to society a priority in our scheme of things. All the best to you, Badhri and me !

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