Meet Sagnya Das, a young software engineer from Bangalore… Here is her story of virtual volunteering amidst her busy and routine IT lifel!
I was a Software Engineer frustrated with my routine life. Sounds like a cliché, Right?
Yet it was true. Sitting in a tiny cubicle in this sprawling city of Bangalore made me crave for a different experience, a sense of purpose!
Hence I started volunteering. My encounter with volunteering activities started with CSR activities in my previous company, Infosys. The experiences had profound impact on me .They gave me a way to connect with people and in a way with myself. After I moved from Infosys, I was looking for a similar kind of opportunity. I was Googling and found iVolunteer, an organization which brings volunteers and NGOs to the same table for social development. Hence without delay I signed up and forwarded my resume.
Since I had some experience in CSR activities, I was mapped to an NGO – Cheshire Homes India which was looking at positioning itself better among the corporate circle and wanted volunteers to help collect data on corporate CSR spending and specifically those that fund projects on Disability – for training, education and employment search. My project was to collect information regarding contributions by various corporate to the field of disability. I studied annual financial reports of corporate to find their budget allocated to CSR activities in disability sector. After a few days I had short listed a few companies having headquarters in Bangalore who contributed towards disability sector. The study was enriching personally as I came across many unique initiatives started by organizations to help people with special needs. An initiative which stood out was that of a free match – making service provided by Bharat Matrimony, a thoughtful initiative indeed!
I proceeded to collect contact information of CSR anchors. This was a bit tricky since details are not readily available on the website or the internet. I reached out to my network of friends and family working in those companies and slowly the information started building up. Following this, I drafted a Concept letter to be sent by the NGO to those companies appealing to join hands in this initiative – to help people rewrite their destiny.
At the end of a month’s time, I handed over the data and the concept letter to Cheshire Homes India, and I felt happy to have contributed, although in a small manner, to their cause and their visibility as an organization.
This venture has given the perfect detour from my routine life and an opportunity to interact with people working for a vision which has inspired me. In the course of this project, I gained insights on work being done by people in this sector. Over visits to Cheshire Home, I saw people working to make the world a kinder place and I am glad to have got a small part in it.
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