Written by: Sayani Kundi (Intern, UPAY)
Individual social responsibility is an ethical framework that encapsulates the very essence of humanity — to be humane. It’s not just the ‘art of giving’ but also the ‘science of being’ in an exceedingly dependent relationship with our immediate surroundings, communities, society and the world at large. It’s about sustainability, perseverance with ethics, integrity and unwavering generosity. Today, individual social responsibility has all the makings of a high-impact changemaker.
Collectively taken, it deals with more responsible actions from people. Many of us consume green products, invest in socially accountable funds and devote our time to good causes. Incorporating acts of social responsibility into our daily lives can be challenging.
Hence, community organizations must be compelled to reinvent the opportunities they create for individuals to contribute. This can include micro-volunteering opportunities, which are short-term activities that are typically done on one’s own and presumably from home. Another example may be advocacy opportunities like signing a petition or raising awareness through social media.
One might ask why it is important to volunteer our time for a certain cause?
Giving back to society and enriching your community is a great way to broaden our perceptions and outlook. By serving those around us, we can help better their standards of living and also achieve a novel sense of purpose for ourselves.
Our individual social responsibilities should guide us to tend to those who are left out of education. There are many NGOs that operate day and night to eradicate illiteracy and raise awareness.
UPAY, established in 2010 by Varun Srivastava, an IIT Kharagpur graduate, has been flawlessly operating in this field for the past twelve years. The inception of the organization was also out of the motive of giving back to society by the means of volunteering. What started with one small learning centre grew to over 40 just because people associated with the cause and volunteered.
At present, we have 370 volunteers functioning in 7 cities all over the country. Volunteering opportunities provided by UPAY allow us to initiate socially responsible actions as well as make a difference in the lives of countless children.
Individual social responsibility is a way of life — the only way to build a sustainable change and facilitate the betterment of society. Besides being driven by real, intrinsic unselfishness, they help raise one’s self-worth. After all, our conduct defines the kind of person we are, not solely within the eyes of others but also in our own eyes.