Monday, July 28, 2008


Social service???? Well a lot of things would probably come into one’s mind on hearing the term. I have heard people doing social service or being a part of such causes for varied reasons, a few of which are as follows:-
They feel good about it and genuinely want to work towards the up-liftment of the society.
They think it is COOl and they should do it because everyone does it.
They think it would like nice on their CV.
They think it would secure them admissions in B- Schools abroad easily
They think it would make people look up to them in the society.
They think it would make them popular and help them seek attention.

As usual I may sound as cynical as ever, but even after giving it a million thoughts, I can say that there are a few who would fall into the first category. For many people social service is about donating huge chunks of money. I think that is understandable as people may not have time to help in any other fashion. The money probably would help to fund educational and infrastructural needs of orphans, disabled etc.
But what about the emotional support that that every individual needs? What about the little children who are deprived of a sense of belonging….When I say this, I recollect an experience.

A few months back I visited an old-age home. It was not a very big home. It was a small home and was equipped with decent furniture and had mediocre facilities. What caught my eye out there was the beautiful chapel, where mass was held regularly. There were about 15 old ladies and around 6 to 7 old men.
One of the old ladies was physically challenged. She had deformity in both her legs and had always been crippled from a very young age. So she had been abandoned by her family. Since I had started visiting the home every fortnight, a couple of ladies out there started opening up a little. I got to know that a few of them had families who had abandoned them because they found them to be a burden. In one case , the person apparently had her whole family, niece and nephew staying at Mumbai. Still they came to visit her only once in 2 years , which they felt was a favour that they were doing on her. I still have a lot of hope on mankind and I do believe that someday things would change. It is never too late to mend.

Coming back to the aspect of emotional support, I completely understand that it is not possible for all to give in that kind of time. I have come across many people of the opinion that they would like to donate money and look at the larger happiness rather than spending time with a select few and seeing a smile on their face. I guess they are entitled to their opinion and I respect it.
But an earnest request from my end would be to make sometime for the old. It makes a very big difference to that one day of their life. The satisfaction and sense of fulfillment that one may get is unparalleled.

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