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Friday, November 22, 2019

Social work

Be'Cause' Within Us...


There are many reasons why individuals take up cause-based work
PRASOON MAJUMDAR | Issue Dated: June 5, 2016, New Delhi
Tags : Prasoon Majumdar | Deep rooted personal connection | Inactive enlightenment |

Though I have always taken keen interest in cause based work, but never have I delved into the operational spheres of them. I have always wondered as to why, while a few people are involved towards a cause centric work, others aren't. So while speaking to various people, I arrived at the conclusion that cause based work gets primarily triggered by the following reasons.

The first reason is when people at large – who have indulged the best days of their life, in the manner that they chose to, without much caring about anything that impacts there ecosystem, but only for bottom lines – finally, find their calling for a ‘cause’, as they feel that it is their way to achieve renunciation. I have heard these enlightened lines –‘to give back to the society’ – so many times from this section of people, that I do not even need to wonder as to why did society acquire such ‘inactive enlightenment’ towards their retirement. But the good part is, even if it is towards the fag end of life, it is good that the thought of 'giving back' has dawned upon them, because for most, unfortunately, it does not. The organizations driven by this kind of mindset typically do very micro, patchy, non-sustainable work, that too in a very limited geography. They prefer indulging in non-intervention based causes and feel that they have done commendable work by distributing blankets, food, setting up a few computers, or paying the school fees for a few children. There is absolutely negligible involvement and interventions at any level.

The second reason is when people at large have a ‘deep rooted personal connection’ with a particular cause. It is here that I have gotten to experience that people do put in some incredible effort. It is as if they would want to single-handedly change the entire conventional thought processes associated with the associated cause. So, be it causes with respect to child abuse, women empowerment, differently-abled children, or ailments like cancer, heart-related diseases... the engagement and involvement is quite high, as somewhere, there exists a sense of ‘loss’ from within. But then, here too, depending upon the socio-economic status of the founder, there are a few organisations who are finally able to do some sustainable work, whereas most others get constrained on account of their financial limitations and lack of operational bandwidth.

The third reason is purely on account of selfish reasons and for 'altruistic' gains, which are only and only driven to build an image or for lobbying. This, I do not even want to discuss, because it is not just a sham in the name of any ‘cause’, but probably the worst example for any good work. In such cases, what matters is less of work, and more of noise. Most people who are involved in such work, are either looking for some kind of ‘positioning’ for themselves, or worse, are using the cause based set up as a veil for their own selfish needs. The most unfortunate bit is that on account of such people, the image of ‘cause’ based work has gotten hugely tarnished.

The fourth reason is when people at a very young age become selflessly romanticized with the idea of changing the world around them. Here, they do not have any personal association with any particular cause, but they are universally connected and impacted with the way the entire ecosystem functions. It is these ‘few good men’ who create long term, sustainable, outcome driven work wherein engagement and interventions are at unprecedented levels. As a result of it, they are also successful in terms of creating sustainable change, and possess the entire wherewithal to carry out their operations, seamlessly. Their organisations are not just run professionally but also conduct themselves with a very high degree of transparency and accountability. Most of them have been successful in keeping themselves lean, so that they can transfer most of the funds towards their respective good work.

I personally feel that good work is something, which is inherent to any human being. If all of us, in our own way. can keep doing some good work, and sustain it, this would not just eternally satisfy us, but would completely change the world around us, for good. But the key here is that it should be bereft of any kind of expectations. There are seven billion people who house in our world. And of these, just a billion possess 100 percent of global resources. All we need to do is find just 6 people around us, hold their hands, every day, till they are able to hold someone else’s hand. Or alternatively, take one cause around us, and engage with it every day, till we achieve our desired outcome. We actually do not need ‘inactive enlightenment’, we actually do not need such ‘strong personal caused centric associations’, we can get rid of all such ‘feudals’, and we should not just depend on those ‘few good men’ to clean our mess.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017