Corporate Social Responsibility · Impact Volunteering · skill-based volunteering · Volunteering in India

Dr.Shoba’s experience of working with Sahodaran ( NGO for Transgenders)

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Continue to read if you want to know how a small action of yours can shift your perspective of life and those that of others who do not have the privileges you enjoy every day taking them for granted. My association with iVolunteer was a rendezvous that helped satiate my quest for giving back. Giving back to the society we live in what we taken from it, learnt from it – it has moulded our thoughts, perceptions and who we are today. Giving back willingly, with a passion that will quench your inner lacuna which gapes inside – in spite of a great career and a fantastic family. This realization hits you hard and the urge to find opportunities become so frantic at some point. My moment took me to iVolunteer and bingo! They gave what I was seeking for.

As part of their Impact Project, I took up documenting annual reports for Sahodharan, an NGO for transgenders – a word much easily uttered than accepted. My own hesitations of the very act of meeting them, let alone collaborating with them for acquiring data for the purposes of documentation unsettled me at the beginning. The need for standing up to a demand opened my discernment’s towards certain unexplored grey areas, which almost 24 years of education did not impart to me. Mingling with the members of Sahodharan was by itself a discerning experience. They were extremely professional, knew what they wanted from me and presented their data clearly. All I had to do was consolidate the numbers and events into a comprehensive annual report. It was fairly simple a task. I finished it in a month’s time as planned, exchanged a few telephone calls for clarifications. Having done her Post Graduation, when she asked me about the whereabouts of pursuing her Ph.D. degree, I stumbled in giving her the right consultancy which I am otherwise extremely comfortable with. I didn’t know whom to refer to, where to ask her to start her search for a mentor, etc.

My understanding the third gender will never be the same again. And there’s nothing taboo-ist about it. What started out as a volunteering gesture has helped me in empathizing a facet of life, of human beings who cannot walk down the road, shop like us, hang out at cafes, just like us. And no university can give you that learning experience. It is not unfair that they expect life around them to give them what it gives to everyone else. It is not a matter of choice but a biological malfunction which constructs them worse than thieves or murderers. One member of Sahodharan mentioned how parents are ready even to accommodate criminal sons but will openly disown a son who wants to become a daughter. Some are more equal than others and that’s how life is.

Thank you iVolunteer for leading me to this realization. And I certainly hope this is just the beginning. I’m calling out to hearts who would like to open up themselves by making little things possible for others. Volunteering is not all about spending time or money for people who can’t afford it, but sharing your skills in helping the needy which can impact both ways – for you and the stakeholder. I am glad that I am able to show people a one-stop where they can fulfil their wish to help. There are quite a number of souls around us who want to help but don’t know where to go. So here’s news. iVolunteer can be of much help.

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