T5E Vacation Guide: Volunteering


You can read the entire T5E Vacation Guide 2014-15 here.

 By Manu Halvagal and Akhil Ashok.

Instead of spending summer in a fug of movies and mindless browsing (although the Absurdist Slacker may protest vehemently), here are a few ideas on how you can make yourself worthwhile to society. This may well be your ticket to the World-Changer category–many of the top NGO’s engaged in social service today have a bunch of enthusiastic students including IITians behind them. If nothing, the reward of mental satisfaction beats it all; money isn’t all that matters.

 For starters, IITM itself has been home to quite a few social service ventures — for those of you spending summer on campus, checkout these groups:

  • NSS (National Service Scheme) IITM: Although it’s mainly a setup for freshies to fulfil government-mandated extra-curricular requirements, NSS IITM is also open to anyone who wants to pitch in. Work over summer mainly comprises collecting usable clothes, footwear, etc. left behind by the pass-outs. The collected items will be donated to the underprivileged. NSS also organizes awareness campaigns, beach cleanups, etc. To join, send in a mail to [email protected]

  • Campus Palliative Care aims at raising funds for and bringing smiles to cancer patients. They have collection drives and weekly visits to the Adyar Cancer Institute where the volunteers play with the cancer-affected kids. Those interested in volunteering need just post on the Facebook group.

  • IViL  is a voluntary organization that undertakes projects in rural areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. This is a great forum if you want to start up your own summer projects with the help of other interested volunteers. To know more or join the efforts, drop a mail to [email protected]


Even if you are not at IITM or even in Chennai, there are lots of ways to help out. We have handpicked a few:

  • Make A Difference–This NGO aims at empowering homeless children by improving their living conditions, teaching them english, etc. Register on their site and they will get back to you when they need volunteers.

  • Bhoomi–An organization that offers volunteers a chance to teach/educate underprivileged children or help conserve the environment. They also offer a chance to volunteer online.

  • Asha for Education–This organization has its focus on child education. The Chennai chapter aims at improvement of government schools. A plus: there is no hierarchy in this organization.

  • Blue Cross, Velachery— Blue Cross is the perfect internship opportunity for animal lovers. Volunteer with them to spread awareness about animal rights, help with adoptathons and caring for the animals at the shelter, with fundraising events, contribute writing skills, management skills or even medical skills.

 So you don’t want to step outside? Don’t worry; we’ve listed a few online volunteering opportunities too.  A lot of NGOs in India use online volunteers for translations, web design, online mentoring, editing articles, publication design, moderating an online discussion group, etc.

  1. UNVolunteers Online Volunteering–This internet service provided by UN connects NGOs, governments and volunteers. Submit your application based on your area of expertise and the organizations interested will get back to you.

  1. Child Rights and You (CRY)–The site offers a lot of online volunteering opportunities based on your skill. (For example graphic design, content editing etc.)

  1. The Kanchan Foundation (TKF)–You don’t need to have much expertise to be a part of this NGO. It offers you resources for any social service effort you may take up, or provides opportunities to coordinate the CSR (corporate social responsibility) efforts of different companies.

 These are just a few to get you started–so go ahead and do your bit this vacation. Whether you make the world a better place or not, it’ll change for the better the way you see it.


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