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Opportunities for Professional Volunteers in Andhra Pradesh

Abstract
Find the Volunteer in you is the theme of this National workshop. Having realized why & how one would like to volunteer, one needs to know sources / organizations where one can fit in. This paper describes volunteering opportunities with special reference to Andhra Pradesh, both for professionals and general volunteers. Preference has been given to volunteering in aged care sector as against other areas . Besides a brief description of the NGO per se, their activities, strengths and weaknesses in engaging volunteers, areas of opportunities, etc are given. Contact particulars which are a must in this kind of paper are also included in most cases. Info was collected in most cases through telephonic conversations supplemented with web search in some cases.

Dr P Vyasamoorthy President, Society for Serving Seniors, Secunderabad Email: vyasamoorthy@gmail.com Mobile:+91 9490804278

Opportunities for Professional Volunteers in Andhra Pradesh


Introduction Volunteering is the commitment of time and energy - in an activity that involves spending time, mostly without financial reward, doing something that aims to benefit the community, the environment or individuals outside one's immediate family. Volunteers could be general volunteers who can perform any duty without any special qualifications or skills say manning a queue, directing patients to right places in a hospital, helping elders in high traffic roads etc. Professional volunteers on the other hand use their professional education and background in discharging their assignments like doctors, teachers and librarians. We may also easily come across situations where a professional does a generic task say as a volunteer qualified and well placed as a software engineer, working in a religious outfit serving food in the dining hall. Professionals may take up administrative responsibilities, offer their time & energy in directing a huge project making use of professional skills. Benefits of volunteering Volunteering offers many benefits to the volunteer such as: Developing new interests, new skills, meeting diverse people, Improve career opportunities, get a sense of satisfaction / fulfillment, being a part of the community etc. However all these benefits are immeasurable and vary according to volunteers. This paper discusses avenues open to volunteers, professional in specific, in Andhra

Pradesh. NGOs, Voluntary organizations, Corporate bodies, religious trusts etc are covered. Wherever possible, opportunities with a slant in the Ageing / Elderly sector are given priority.

Directory of NGOs Directory of NGOs and VOs in Andhra Pradesh working for the welfare of the Aged and elderly persons (2010) lists nearly 400 organizations. However, only 4% of 400 NGOs / VOs deal with the problems of the older persons on an exclusive basis. For the rest, Elder care is only one among many topics of concern. As most of these NGOs work on shoe string budget, volunteers are most welcome. Volunteers interested in the elderly (say members of Senior citizens Associations) will find this useful. Similar directories have been released by Society for Serving Seniors, Hyderabad for other southern states: Tamilnadu, Kerala and Karnataka. All are specific to services NGOs in ageing arena.

Planning Commission has a program called NGO Partnership System. As a part of registration efforts of all NGOs and VOs in India, a huge online database of some 40350 organizations is available: http:/ngo.gov.india.in/ This online directory is searchable state wise or sector wise. In the case of Aged Care nearly 11000 NGOs are listed all over India. The Directory of AP (and of other southern states) mentioned earlier is a specially extracted subset of this All Indi database.

Aasara Aasara is a senior citizens cell set up by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. It has been set up and run HelpAge, Hyderabad. Main activities include: Issue of ID Cards to senior citizens, Help set up SCAs and DCCs, conduct medical and eye camps, run a helpline (1253) during week days. Most important feature is that Aasara has a volunteer force of 100 general volunteers and 50 professional volunteers. Registered volunteers meet every month and exchange opportunities and experiences. The type of volunteering activity involves issue of ID Cards (verifying of applications, data entry, preparation of cards, maintaining registers, carrying out corrections, delivery of ID cards through SCAs & DCCs), rescuing deserted older persons from streets, helping victims of elder abuse, answering routine calls on helpline, helping patients in hospitals, distributing warm clothes in winter etc. Aasara also offers a few concessions to senior citizens like free entry into GHMC parks, waiver of parking fees for cars / scooters etc. Aasara Helpline also ties up with Medical Helpline 104 and 108 meant for Health / Medicine / Emergencies). Within a short period Aasara earned such a good name that the govt thought it fit to Aasara type of cells in other Municipal corporations. Visakapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur have started some activity. TMAD - To Make a Difference TMAD To Make a Difference: Started in 2005, this NGO helps school children with fees, uniforms, laptops books and other such materials.

They have adopted two schools in Medhipatnam and Borananda. Also help poor patients with surgeries, About 20 volunteers mostly professionals render regular help and meet once a month. Interested volunteers may contact FOUNDER / SECRETARY : U. L. PRASANTHI 9885026676 prasanthi@tmad.org , prasanthi.tmad@gmail.com They have an outfit called Birds of the same feather where like minded individuals gather once a month a chalk out plan of action for coming months.

GoVolunteer.com Govolunteer.com is an agency that offers volunteering opportunities for foreigners to work in NGOs in India. Areas of work include: HIV, Children, Disabled, Crime victims, Drug Addiction, Women Empowerment etc. The Agency charges around UDS 2000 for a 12 weeks placement in rural India. This is suitable for persons looking for travel to India combining cheap accommodation and food plus social work opportunity and weekends free for sight seeing. Charges include all help, counseling, initial orientation, emergency care and proper placement in suitable NGO. Voulnteeringinndia.com is another such agency. They take care to explain why they charge for placement in a very convincing way by presenting a detailed account of costs involved. Annual Seva Melas During 2010 in October, Seva Melas were conducted throughout India in about 40 cities.. Events are organized by individuals, social groups, schools, colleges, NGOs, corporates, media houses and others. 1 million+ people participated in 400+ events across 40+ cities in Joy of Giving Week was the theme. JGW2010 raised over Rs20 crores in money and resources donated, and millions of volunteer hours.

In Hyderabad, SEVA Mela was conducted during October 2011. Nearly 60 NGOs and Voluntary organizations showcased their products and services. The objective of this three day event was to help NGOs to

enlist volunteers for their activities, get donations in kind and cash,, and promote interaction among themselves (NGOs) and consumers. Nearly a hundred persons among visitors registered as volunteers.. The exhibition was organized by Sri A Thiagarajan of Karmayog Hyderabad Chapter.

Special attractions were Food Stalls, entertainment, incentives by way of lucky dip & prizes for visitors etc. Home for destitute women, Shelter and rehabilitation homes for street children, orphanages, old age homes, educational institutions that address the deprived and mentally challenged, organizations that address the emotionally depressed and distressed, silent transformers working in the area of environment, the list goes on. Areas of their services include at a broad level: Education, Empowerment, Environment, Food & Nutrition, Health, Rehabilitation, AIDS, Self Improvement, Social Development, Counseling, Water treatment, etc UN Volunteers United Nations Organization provides volunteering opportunities in many countries. Volunteers need to register online. This does not guarantee placement abroad. Volunteers may offer their services within their own country also. Online Volunteering, a specialty, can be availed even by persons who are younger than 25. One has to be a graduate with minimum two years of relevant experience; commitment is a basic requirement. http://www.unv.org/aboutus/faqs.html

Karmayog

Karmayog (nothing to do with spirituality!) is an orgnaisation in Mumbai serving NGOs and Voluntary sector to get closer and cooperate. It is one of the largest and most vibrant resource for Non Profits. It has 8000 Non profits listed as their members, IT has a discussion group where 63350 members take part in discussions so far some 78000 messages have been exchanged. It is very strong in helping those who want to volunteer and those who offer such opportunities. Karmayog has a branch in Hyderabad too where volunteers in AP can approach. Most importantly, everything in Karmayog is free!! http://www.karmayog.org/volunteers/ ISHA Foundation ISHA Foundation. Established by Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev with HQ in Coimbatore , Isha has brances and centers all over the world. They are basically into offering various type of Yoga and meditation type of courses. Publishing, Teaching, Training, Community welfare activities relating to Health, Education, Environment, Rural development are other related activities. Isha is totally run by volunteers both professional as well as general. Some 250000 volunteers serve ISHA through some 150 city based centers. In Andhra Pradesh there are about a dozen centers including Hyderabad and Visakapatnam. To cite an instance of involvement of volunteers, one could mention city wide events where Sadguru participates of training all by himself. In

Chennai the meetings are attended by 8000 strong participants and EVERYTHING connected with such mega events are fully carried out by volunteers! Professionals from all walks of life like Accounts Finance IT, Health, Education, merchandizing, Designing etc sign up. Such opportunities are valuable to persons who wish to combine spirituality and service. SEVA Hyderabad SEVA headquartered in Padmarao Nagar, Secunderabad offers free and confidential counseling services to anyone having emotional problems without any restrictions of caste, creed, gender or religion. They have two centers (branches) in Dwarakapiri Colony and Balkampet- both situated in Shridi Saibaba Temple complexes. Nearly seventy trained volunteers offer solace to disturbed individuals be it family, school, matrimonial, health or sex related issues. SEVA conducts training program for volunteers also. It is free. Some of their volunteers spend time in hospitals, palliative care centers with terminally ill patients. Most of the volunteers are set to work after initial training in counseling. Society for Serving Senior, Secunderabad - Pesu Society for Serving Seniors, Secunderabad offers listening services for senior citizens. It is called PESU, an acronym for Personalised EarLending Services Unlimited. In Tamil, PESU means please speak. The service is offered through telephone. The service recipient need not move out of the house. No fee is charged. Loneliness mitigation of

the elderly is the only motive. There are 15 volunteers capable of listening to different languages. Anyone who can spare time can sign up as a volunteer. Details are given in Appendix -1 ROSHNI Roshni is a Hyderabad based NGO offering counseling services to depressed and the suicidal persons. It has more than 70 volunteers trained in listening and counseling. To avail the service one has to go to the office of Roshni. It is supported by Dr Reddys Foundation. Free , confidential, unconditional support is given. They have helped several victims of Elder Abuse as well. It is a part of Friends of Same Feather outfit which is famous at international level. Goonj Goonj is a very large NGO engaged in collection of used clothes and re-distribution. They have enlarged their activities to include: flood relief, disasters, distribution of clothes, woolens, footwear, school bags, blankets, utensils, toys etc also. They have activities with a network of some 250 grass roots level organizations spread over in 21 states resulting in dispatching some 70 tons of clothes every month. Such mammoth operations are achieved through volunteers at all levels. The HO is in Deli. Volunteers in AP may contact Hyderabad office at 9640433473 / goonjhyderabad@goonj.org Volunteers can help in collecting clothes, providing collection centers (space), sponsor school kids for various items, spreading awareness, even sparing

office equipments spare capacity (Photocopier, computers printers etc) are welcome. YouSee - United Care and Development Organization (UC) UC is a Hyderabad based NGO working in Education, Environment, Livelihood and health areas. Their working model and method of raising funds are very unique. It is best described as a quote: UC is a new initiative to channel investments to Education, Health and Energy & Environmental services sectors, in order to improve access to these services especially for the poor. These sectors need a much larger infusion of capital of various kinds including Financial, Intellectual and Social Capital. UC's model aims to improve the scale and efficiency of financing these services through a Resultbased and PostPaid model of funding. In this model, UC applies its own funds to provide services to beneficiaries. It then documents the work and results from such projects into Result Certificates. Interested donors are then invited to PostPay for results by acquiring these Result Certificates. UC's objective is to generate greater Social Returns for philanthropic investments through a Resultbased and PostPaid model of funding. This initiative commenced in June, 2009. They have projects in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar and Bangalore. About twenty dedicated volunteers are engaged. They have contacts with Isha outreach and similar outfits. Based on four principal means of donation viz: Money, work, clothes, knowledge, UC invites volunteers in all areas especially work and knowledge. Volunteers both professionals and general - in AP may contact Sri Gunaranjan in Vizag on 9000183123. Volunteers need to have: good

communication skills, motivation and transport. UC also helps their partnering NGOs - actually carrying out their projects - by securing volunteers. ( http://yousee.in ) Sahara NGO This is again another Hyderabad based NGO working in the area of Older Persons, Children, unemployed youth, HIV / Aids & environmental protection, rain water harvesting etc. They have activity in city (Amberpet & neighbourhood) and in Villages as well. They require volunteers to teach English (specially Spoken English ) to unemployed youth and poor children. They also need volunteers for office work, tailoring, counseling at home, handling computers and resource mobilization both in kind and cash. For the last activity they offer training. ONLy general volunteers who can foot their own conveyance / travel / snacks expenses are entertained. Contact: Sri Narsing Rao 9440483089 Email: sahara_ngo@rediffmail.com. HelpAge The AP Chapter of HelpAge is another big orgnaisation where volunteers can look forward to. Older Persons welfare is their special emphasis. In Hyderabad they support and maintain Aasara and all its activities as outlined elsewhere. Apart from specializing in developing grass root level Vruddha Sanghas (SCAs) in rural areas, they organize a lot of training activities

through seminars workshops, carry out advocacy at all levels. Awareness creation, loneliness mitigation, creation of self employment opportunities, supporting old age homes, fund raising are some of better known activities. They enlist both professional and general volunteers. Contact: Sri S Dass 2742 6472 Religious outfits Sri Datta Human Services (SDHS) is a part of Sri Ganapati Sachidananda Swamy Trust. The IT company IServe is part of this group. They send volunteers for events like seminars, workshops to manage queues, catering etc. The objective of SDHS is to facilitate Vedic learning and spread of vedic knowledge by scholars and teaching. There are 72 Ashrams world wide including one in Dundigul near Hyderabad. They have an old Age home for destitute women. All their services are free. All activities are carried out with the help of a large number of volunteers owing allegiance to the Guru. Major events like Sivaratri, Datta Jayanthi, Navaratri, Ugadhi are celebrated on a big scale in all ashrams with volunteers contributions. Other welfare activities include: blood donation camps, healthcare, cancer care, educational financial assistance etc. Sri Satya Harischandra Trust well known for taking care of disposal abandoned and unidentified dead bodies- also recives help of volunteers from SDHS. Contact: Sri K Narayan Rao 9849025470 TTD

Tirupati Thirumala Devasthanam TTD offers volunteering opportunities to serve in the temple premises. Annadanam, Gardens, Queue lines, Laddu counters, Vaikuntam Queue complex, information centers, Vigilance, central reception office and bus stops are places where volunteers are employed. The pilgrims are free to choose the area of service. Accommodation & food is provided free. A group up to 10 persons can also be considered but they must stay at least for one week. One common complaint from Senior citizen volunteers is that there is no cot or bed for sleeping they have to sleep on the floor. Professionals like doctors and engineers are also welcome. Contact---Public relations officer TTD, Tirupati International Longevity Centre (ILC), Pune International Longevity Centre has a national presence in India through its office in Pune as India Chapter. Associated with 13 countries through is parent body ILC India carries out research advocacy and outreach programs in the field of ageing. Volunteers training, help set up volunteer agencies / volunteer bureaus is one of the expertise areas at ILC. As such, ILC is not of direct help in offering onelself as a volunteer but you can locate voluntary bureaus set up across the country by NGOs through them. Others Centre for Social Initiative and Management CSIM, having operations in Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore offer capacity building and training for persons starting NGOs. In this academic pursuit they rely heavily depend on hundreds of volunteers. Prof Srivatstava of CSIM

says: Professional volunteers should explore volunteering opportunities in Dr Reddy's Foundation, Naandi Foundation, Nirman, Care Foundation, SAFA, Bhumi, CSIM etc. Mahindra Satyam has a strong CSR wing called Satyam Foundation and employees devote good amount of time in volunteering activities. Appendix2 summarizes volunteering opportunities in a Table. Indian Red Cross Society, last but not the least but best agency to enlist oneself as a volunteer, is not elaborated here as that will amount to teaching someone to breathe!

PESU Personalized Ear-Lending Services Unlimited FAQ


What is Listening Service? A trained senior citizen volunteer listens to you over the phone at a scheduled time. Listening is neutral, confidential, non-judgmental, unbiased, non-advising, and supportive. It involves simple, plain listening with empathy in a language you are comfortable. You do not need to move out of your house. Our volunteers are just a phone call away. You are not required to learn and apply anything new. No solutions are offered. Plain simple earlending service is offered. Why will anyone ask for this service? You may be lonely and just want to talk to someone. You have a problem and would like to pour it out and unburden yourself. You just want to share your experience, ideas and information with someone. You are rehearsing to say something important to someone and would like a listener to start with. You have something to confess and prefer non-religious confession platform / person who would not put you under any obligation. You want to share some grief or a sudden disappointment in your life.

Appendix -1

Who are these listener - volunteers? The Society for Serving Seniors has enlisted the co-operation of many senior citizens who have accepted to offer this service. They decide the time for taking calls, put their phone numbers & email address in public domain, mention the languages they are comfortable with etc. Many of them know the exact needs for listeners themselves. They know what it is to be lonely and craving to be talked to or listened to. Most of them have retired from senior positions in industry, government, military, and consultancies and as independent professionals. They are decent, educated, and polite. Listeners in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, English, Hindi, Malayalam and Konkani are now available. How much does this service cost? Absolutely free. You pay nothing except for phone calls you make. As volunteers are offering free service, please follow their timings and other restrictions if any. How does one utilize this service? By contacting us at the address given below, you will receive details of one or more active volunteers who are free and ready. Then you may contact the volunteers directly and fix up suitable timings for regular interactions.

Dr P Vyasamoorthy, President: Society for Serving Seniors 30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph 040-27846631 / 9490804278

Appendix 2 Volunteering Opportunities NGO / Service / resource SSS (Pesu) Roshni Seva TMAD Isha Aasara Karmayog UN Volunteers Seva Mela (Event) Directories (book) Govolunteer.co m Goonj Yousee Target beneficie ry Seniors All All All All Seniors All All All Seniors All All Children mostly Operating Area: AP / India India Hyderabad Hyderabad Hyderabad India & abroad Hyderabad India & Hyderabad Global India & Hyderabad India southern States Global India & Hyderabad Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Bhubaneshw ar Hyderabad & nearby Villages Global Including Hyderabad India, Hyderabad Tirupathi India including 23 branches in AP India Professional / General General Yes Yes General Both Both Both Professional s Both Both Both (volunteers pay!) General Both

Sahara SDHS HelpAge TTD India Red Cross Society International Longevity Centre, Pune

Seniors included Seniors included Seniors All All

General General Both General General

Seniors

Help locate Volunteer agencies