Wednesday, April 28, 2010
City students want to do their bit for rural India. Over
a hundred of them have thrown their hats into the ring
to get a chance to spend the summer vacation working
as volunteers in rural areas.
An NGO, iVolunteer, has taken the initiative under
the Indian Fellow Youth Programme to take students
from various cities to remote villages, where they will
be working on developmental projects. The fellowship
offers a unique challenge to students with a philan-
thropic bent of mind.
iVolunteer has tied up with other NGOs working in
villages, which will host the selected students and pro-
vide them basic accommodations. “The idea is to in-
troduce the students to a world beyond the city limits.
At the same time, it will give them chance to use their
knowledge for developmental proj-
ects in villages. The selected stu-
dents will be sent to villages across
10 states for a period of four
weeks,” Shalabh Sahai, director
and co-founder, iVolunteer, said.
The selected students will be
given basic training on how to live
and work in rural areas. They will
also be trained in basic communi-
cation skills and social develop-
mental skills. “We are screening
applications from students based
on their area of interest, skills and
willingness to work without mon-
etary reward,” Sahai said.
Mihika Mirchandani, a Jai Hind
College student who volunteered for the programme in
2007, said, “The programme opened my eyes to rural In-
dia, and the problems faced by the women there. It was
a vacation well spent, and it widened my horizons.”
Durgesh Solanki, another student from the same col-
lege, was placed at Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh to
work on Narmada Bachao Andolan. “Initially, I had
been against the project. But after working with the
team, I started supporting it,” he said.
“We always try to ensure that students work with
people whose languages they know. We will soon be
closing down receiving applications for this year’