The social service sector is a fast-growing one, with thousands of new nonprofit organisations coming into existence every year. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) serving various pertinent issues have become a common occurrence, especially in the subcontinent’s bigger cities.


Until a couple of years ago, the concept of ‘nonprofits’ was mostly correlated with foreign organisations working in third world countries. Growing awareness and the emergence of big Indian companies paved the way for some of the earliest home-grown nonprofit organisations. Its widespread media coverage and the youth’s growing demand to help their fellow citizens have made nonprofit organisations the most favoured amongst college students. Choosing the right NGO, or in fact, making the decision to work for any NGO at all may seem like a daunting task. To simplify the same, here is a list of pros of working with a nonprofit organisation while in college:

A Novel Experience

Working for any form of nonprofit organisation can be a new, and sometimes intimidating process. If you lack prior experience of working for a non-governmental association, keeping an open mind is important. Depending on the NGO, you may get opportunities to work in remote villages, multinational companies, foreign countries etc. Meeting people from various walks of life as well as working for the welfare of those in need can prove to be a new experience altogether.

A Career-Changing Tenure

Many people find themselves falling in love with the prospect of helping other beings during their tenure with nonprofit organisations. Some may convert this new-found passion for helping others into a career and choose to continue working with these NGOs or get professional degrees, thereby gaining easy access to the world of social service.

A CV Booster

Having a snazzy Curriculum Vitae (CV) in this competitive job market is a must, especially for those looking for employment for the first time. People partake in several summer schools and competitions throughout their school and college lives. However, adding social service or even heading nonprofit organisations that come under the National Service Scheme (NSS) in colleges can add luminosity to your CV. It sets you apart from many, allowing your CV to champion over the others’.

An Edge Over Your Competitors

Modern-day Universities stress a great deal on the requirement of social service hours. They prefer applicants with at least some social service work in their academic career, over those with none. It highlights how socially responsible a student is. Foreign universities may even list social service as a mandatory requirement for entry to various courses.

Delhi has a number of nonprofit organisations on offer for those interested in an enriching experience. The Smile Foundation, Goonj, Teach for India and Circle of Animal Lovers are a few amongst the many organisations that give people of all ages a chance to help make the world a better place.


Feature Image Credits: Teach For India

Meher Gill
[email protected]


If I ask people about their most-used platform for daily news, majority of them are likely to speak of social media platforms. This is the reality of today. Due to the emergence of digitalization and an immense growth of technology, people of all age-groups are heavily relied on websites like Facebook and Twitter to get their daily dose of updates from all around the world. News channels are seen investing in mobile applications to keep up with the pace of technology and provide timely updates to the readers.

All of this is giving people a power. One, no longer, has to switch on their television set to become aware of the latest debates in the world, and nor do they have to wait around for the arrival of any newspapers. One can actively broadcast news and watch it unfold without any lapse of time.

So, all in all, traditional platforms and social media have become two powerful forces which are working towards a common goal of spreading awareness as efficiently as possible, despite the differences.

But, every power comes with a responsibility and its own set of pros and cons. As we already discussed the pros above, let us now look at some of the disadvantages posed by such a change.

“Half knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance”

This becomes significant in witnessing the relations between the users today and their news-reading habits. Through the help of status updates, shared posts and various 2-minute videos, we sure know what the latest news is all about and have a general idea or an overview of the specific situation; but do we really make an effort to know the whole story?

We know that Donald Trump is contesting in the US elections but do we even know anything about him? Do we understand why he’s being criticised by so many people? He said something about Muslims, right? But what did he say, why did he say so, and what is so wrong about it- do we ever question that?

Also, most of the times, when we come across a piece of news through the social media, we are so constantly involved in doing something else that we are likely to get distracted easily. There is also a fat chance of the article that you read, which is slowly forming your opinion, being factually incorrect because of its autonomy provided by the social media and a lack of stringent fact-checker.

So, somewhere, I believe, reading the headlines in our notification bars alone is creating a false sense of security among us. It sure helps us seem not-so-dumb in a social gathering because, “hey, at least I know there was some movie which was in news for being censored” but this is soon going to harm us in the longer run.

So, use the power, wisely. While the internet is a wonderful place with social media making everything accessible for everyone, do not run away from your own efforts. Read extensively from different authenticated platforms and then form an opinion. After all, knowledge is power, right?

Image credits: www.thehindubusinessline.com

Nishita Agarwal

[email protected]

reality-shows-in-indiaREAL FUN!

By Tanya Agarwal

A seventy year old man forced to admit to having slept with a prostitute as his tense wife and daughter look on, Rakhi Sawant fluttering her eyes at the camera and accusing participants in her Swyamvar of playing with her delicate heart, Gauhar Khan bursting into tears and piling all the blame for her bad dancing on her hapless choreographer… if you condemn such harmless, albeit theatrical entertainment and say it debases popular taste, then you’re just a puffed up snob who hasn’t yet tried watching the said shows, conveniently assuming that it’s for those with low intellect and no one but the likes of Udita Goswami to look to for amusement.

The supposedly blatant unreality of reality television creates the most unlikely situations and the reaction of the various pseudo celebrities featured in these shows is pure entertainment. It is precisely this that keeps even the cerebral people glued to shows like ‘Big Boss’ and ‘Sach Ka Saamna’. High brow attitudes are out of vogue and society sees no harm in being entertained by any kind of entertainment at all nowadays. Reality shows are the symbols of the age of mass culture that we live in today.

We are so accustomed to the petty dramas of everyday life that they’re no longer of much interest to us anymore. The lives of people like Manmohan Tiwari and Abhijeet Sawant played out on national television therefore, comes as a refreshing change, presenting us with a peek into a world exotically different from our monotonous, scheduled existence. It is amazing fun to watch celebrities on TV and find out how they actually are in real life and whether they truly live up to their typecast roles. It also funny to hear Anu Malik, the architect of songs like “do me a favour, let’s play holi” and “oonchi hai building”, pretend to be a connoisseur of music and dole out advice to participants. Once in a while, it’s good to just go with the deception and sit back and enjoy.

Reality shows not only keep us entertained but they are also a great platform for those with aptitude and willingness to work hard. These shows can be credited with churning out some pretty great talent, examples being Sunidhi Chauhan and Sonu Nigam – both hugely successful singers.

In the end, we are after all, a democracy. Neither is anyone compelled to participate in these shows, nor is anyone obliged to watch them. So cheers to those who can afford to step down from their high ground and appreciate some mindless fun, and to the rest, live and let live, people!


By Aina Mathew

If on one channel you have old men jumping up and cracking coconuts with their heads in the name of entertainment, on another rival one you get chubby little toothless girls prancing around dressed as bais, all to instigate laughter. While Shah Rukh tackles fifth graders, Salman has roti-making competitions with Mallika Sherawat. At absolutely no time of the day can you channel-surf without coming across at least ten reality shows featuring complete madcap behaviour. The idiot box is truly living up to its name these days.

With the overwhelming number of reality shows flooding our TV screens, you’d think we’d get to see fascinating, inventive programmes with something new being offered each day. On the contrary, almost all these shows are rip-offs of popular western shows. ‘Indian Idol’ is an exact copy of ‘American Idol’; ‘Is Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao!’ follows in the footsteps of ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!’; ‘Sach Ka Saamna’ is modeled exactly along the lines of ‘The Moment of Truth’ and so on and so forth, until originality, much less sense is the last thing you’d associate with Indian television. The format is the same, the rules are the same, and everything is the same except the quality, which falls dreadfully below tolerance levels. Our answer to Simon Cowell’s sharp, witty remarks is the sad shayari of Anu Malik who, by the way, takes up more footage than the participants themselves with his histrionics. While western audiences are left shaken by the candid confessions of participants on The Moment of Truth, we have to contend with the ramblings of retired cricketers. Why would anyone want to subject themselves to such torture?

I fail to understand why the producers of all these nutty programmes classify them under reality TV. Whether it’s a stand up comedy competition or a game show or a singing contest, it all eventually turns into a K-serial anyway. Drama, suspense, romance – name it and you have it. All the elements of an Ekta Kapoor hit are intrinsic to every “reality” show that have graced Indian television sets. More than their singing abilities, endurance levels or dancing skill, the talent that always comes out best among participants is their acting. With every elimination, rivals who couldn’t stand being in the same room without a torrent of beeps renting the air turn into friends for life who drown themselves in tears of remorse. Thanks to “reality” TV, our desi Pamela Anderson has turned into a blushing, demure sati savitri who gets a heart attack every time a potential husband so much as brushes against her little finger. If this is all the reality that TV can offer, I’d rather just revert to the saas bahu serials, thank you very much.

In conclusion, reality TV is a complete waste of time and energy. If anyone gains from these shows, it’s the medicine industry that now has a bigger market for headache pills and those resuscitated stars of yesteryears who can finally stop selling water purifiers and scream at wannabe dancers instead.

Are a great idea

Ragging- the term initially meaning an interaction between freshers and seniors has now come to be a much dreaded word for every student, and not without reason. Some individuals, owing to their seniority, remorselessly misuse their authority for shallow pleasure, often leading the victim to suffer physically and/ or mentally. Furthermore, the lenient laws against ragging initially made it very easy for the accused to slip out of the crime with a petty penalty or none at all, thus leading to a more insecure environment for the times to come for the fresher. This reason alone held back a majority of the victims from lodging harassment cases, thus going on to show how ineffective the laws against such an abhorrent crime were and resultantly the vulnerable position which the students were forced to occupy. The population most affected by ragging was that of the outstation students, who due to the absence of guardians and familial help had become easy prey to such incidents. These factors and more made it easy for such exploitation to remain rampant.

The predicaments of ragging didn’t just end there. Such adverse incidents carried out by a senseless few eventually led to the status of seniors being questioned by the juniors and the authorities alike, thus leading to lack of communication and resultantly a lack of cooperation between the three. This has since gone on to severe the relationship between the respective parties, and none seem satisfied. Amitav Roy, a third year student of Sri Venkateswara College says, “We never had a proper interaction with our juniors last year due to the misdoings by a few people highlighted by the media which caused all seniors to be stereotyped as reprobates. Hopefully this time this myth will be broken leading to a mutual, more mature interaction between the two groups. Though the affidavits are a highly unnecessary step, if it makes the freshers feel any more secure then so be it.”

The colleges have been provided a nine page notice defining ragging and stating the newly established rules against it along with the do’s and don’ts for the freshers. According to the Union Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal, the stringent measures against ragging this while include rustication of the student, withholding of scholarship, derecognising the institution, debarring student from appearing in any test and stopping of grant to the institution.

While the authorities seem happy with their decision, the freshers too seem to share the same sentiments. States Anant Ghughe, a freshman from Hindu College, “The ‘If we suffered, they’ll suffer too’ psyche needs to come to an end. Compromising on one’s dignity for the sake of acceptance is unjustified.” Thus strict as the new anti ragging rules are, they will finally put an end to the psychology of ragging being passed down as a right by virtue of hierarchy.

Are a disaster

The only time our country reacts to a problem we may be facing is when the problem suddenly becomes large and threatening, at which point the authorities inevitably get carried away with the solutions. This was seen during the reservations issue, when instead of offering the underprivileged equal grounds for competition they simply gave them huge advantages without the groundwork needed to support these advantages. Similarly in the case of ragging, when the Supreme Court did take action was when suicide and murder finally brought this long existing problem into the media glare, at which point in order to save face they simply announced a blanket ban on ragging without attempting to understand the situation.

The problem you see is not with the fact that ragging has been criminalized, which is perfectly justified, but that the laws doing so are so terribly sloppy, poorly thought out and ridiculous. By the extraordinarily wide definition of ragging provided in the law, anything, virtually ANYTHING can be construed as ragging. If someone is blocking the passage and you ask them to make way for you to pass, you can be booked under ragging. If you ask a fresher their name you may be seen to be ragging. Even speaking to a fresher puts you in danger of being accused of ragging. It is no wonder than that most seniors are determined to avoid the freshers like a plague, which is hardly a healthy situation to exist between co-students.

What is even more irksome is that the laws, while more than adequately protecting the ones being ragged, are absolutely deficient in shielding the ones falsely accused of ragging. The law states that it is for the accused to prove themselves innocent rather that the complainant to prove them guilty. Moreover third party complaints also hold equal weight, meaning that if any random student, senior or fresher happens to complain that you were ragging another unnamed fresher, you would still be suspended. Such extremely one sided laws are so easy to misuse it would be a huge surprise if they weren’t.

Apart from the misuse that these laws will be put to, and the lack of protection against such misuse provided to seniors, these laws combined with the affidavits to be signed will only sour the relations between freshers and seniors, a situation that can be disastrous in a learning environment. Hence though extreme cases of ragging may be avoided, the lack of interaction between the students will certainly strain the university environment, leading to a whole new problem.

The whole crisis is a result of the lack of effort in creating the laws. Instead of understanding the problem of ragging and identifying exactly which aspects of it are dangerous and how to stamp them out, the authorities decided to put together such broad laws that any and every interaction could be penalized. Instead of balancing the power equation, what they did effectively was to simply shift the power from the seniors to the freshers. Only when cases of freshers bullying seniors or a large number of seniors being unfairly expelled comes into the lime light will the authorities realize their error, at which point they shall again try to save face by coming up with more hurried and ridiculous laws with their own set of evils.

This vicious chain can only end when the law making bodies become mature enough to look before they leap, but then again that may be a far fetched dream.