India is home to millions of poor people who have limited means in life. Some even struggle to get the basics in life: food, water, clothing and shelter. Despite considerable progress made in the socio-economic sphere since independence, even today, more than 23.4% of India’s population lives below the poverty line, as per the World Bank figures. This means that a staggering 276 million people in India survive on $1.25 per day on purchasing power parity. In such a scenario, interventions by charities and NGO become extremely important along with the initiatives and schemes rolled out by the government.
The key to tackle poverty does not lie in doling out benefits to the needy. The focus here should be on equipping them with all the necessary tools (quality education, healthcare, safety and security, professional skills, etc.) so that they can attain personal economic growth and in turn contribute to their own, society’s and country’s growth.
Here are some ways in which you can contribute your bit in fighting poverty:
Donating to an NGO is a great way of helping poor
NGOs like Save the Children are providing children of today (who are the future of tomorrow) theright tools and paving the way for them to march ahead in life. The organisation is helping deprived children get a chance at a fulfilling childhood by providing them quality learning opportunities, access to healthcare, protection from abuse and harm and relief and rehabilitation during disasters and emergencies. The idea is to empower the most marginalised children of India to grow up into mature, healthy and skilled adults who can earn a decent livelihood and leave behind the life of poverty.
However, for all their activities, NGOs are reliant on donations. If you have the heart and the bent of mind to help people come out from the quagmire of poverty, what better thing to do than to donate to a credible and trusted NGO working for disadvantaged children. Your money will be put to efficient use to conduct social welfare projects for children and enable them to get a sound childhood. When thousands of donors contribute to NGOs on a regular basis, the latter build a pool of fund which is then used to devise and execute projects which bring poor children under the purview of several benefits.
Become a fundraiser
If you’re really passionate in working for the cause of poor in India, then you have an opportunity to go much beyond making a donation. You can use your social clout and organize different types of fundraising activities. This includes marathons, social events, concerts, birthday fundraiser, etc. The latest in the world of fundraising is Crowdfunding. This involves funding a social project by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.
Volunteer with a charity
Interested in helping the poor beat poverty? Then apart from your money, you should also give your time and efforts to the cause. There are opportunities galore here. For example, you can teach children at an NGO’s learning centre or take up a pro bono job with a charity. You can manage a community kitchen for poor or you can conduct enrolment drives for slum children and help them reach schools. If you’re a student or someone who has just finished college, you can pick up asummer internship/internship with an NGO where you can get hands-on training on how social welfare projects are carried out on the ground. Remember, you must focus your efforts on providing real benefits to the people you work for. Volunteering needs to be a completely selfless exercise.
Become a campaigner for a cause
Spreading the word about poverty is equally important as working to alleviate it. This is because more the people know and understand the cause there are more chances of them getting involved in the process of working towards tackling it. Join a movement which seeks to address issues of lack of shelter, education, healthcare, etc. for poor communities and be a torch-bearer. These days, you have the tremendous power of social media at your disposal which can be leveraged efficiently to make noise.
There are several ways and means to help the needy but nothing works better than making a contribution to an organisation dedicated to helping poor communities battle poverty. Not only do you bring about change on the ground, but you also get donation tax benefits as an added advantage. Apart from donation, volunteering, becoming a fundraiser and campaigning for a cause are some other ways to fight the menace of poverty in India.