1. What was your initial motivation to volunteer?
“We spend 365 days a year serving our own interests, why not spend a few hours doing something for others? A part of me always wanted to protect the rights of strays and the underprivileged. I needed a sense of purpose, something that goes beyond just family and career. Volunteering was one such platform where I could contribute to various causes and have the privilege of making a difference, however small it may be
2. Why did you choose this specific cause?
Well, I’ve volunteered for various causes in association with ConnectFor. But strays, in particular, have always had a special place in my heart. Seeing them being neglected and ill-treated on a daily basis would make me feel really helpless and angry. It was getting harder to just ignore the plight of these poor animals and carry on with my life. Since I’m not allowed to keep them at my place, the next best thing was feeding them whenever I found them. But that alone wasn’t enough. I felt like there was so much more that I could do but didn’t know how to.
Then, one day I stumbled upon this opportunity to spend time with the dogs at WSD, and it was too tempting an opportunity to give up.
3. Please share details of the work that you did — the projects, events or the details of the experience as a whole.
I volunteered at Welfare of Stray Dogs for an activity involving giving the dogs a bath, taking them for walks and spending time playing with them. This was my first volunteering experience with dogs. And it was heartwrenching so see so many animals injured/abandoned. Despite the adversity, these furry animals were so full of love and so excited to see us.
4. Do you feel like you were able to see an impact through your effort?
I’m not sure if I was able to see an impact since it takes longer to see the impact of initiatives like these. But all I can vouch for is that it made me very happy and proud of myself for having had the chance to spend the day with these animals. The dogs were more than happy to have had new playmates.
I think it created awareness and sensitized the volunteers and the people on social media at large about what these animals go through when they are abandoned, tortured and left to die on the streets.
5. How has your volunteering experience impacted you? Tell us about some of your learnings and realizations, please.
It had a tremendous impact on me and has humbled me in so many ways. It made me realize the power each of us has to contribute towards a cause, especially one of pet abandonment, neglect, starvation, lack of medical attention and mistreatment of strays that are so rampant in our city. When it’s a cause that you believe in, the motivation to contribute towards it is that much stronger.
And it’s not even that challenging or time consuming to do something for others. It’s all about the desire and willingness to do it; to count our blessings and give back to society. I’ve realized that volunteering gives me a sense of fulfillment, happiness, and a great deal of satisfaction and accomplishment.
6. Based on your experience, have you encouraged others to volunteer?
Absolutely! Since my aunt loves dogs, I had brought her along for this activity. I have reached out to my friends whenever there has been an opportunity in their vicinity and raised awareness through social media so that people which might be interested but did not know who to reach out to, can do so.
7. Do you have any advice/ inspiring words for others who are keen to volunteer and be the change?
Volunteering is a rewarding experience that gives meaning to life and teaches you a lot of things. It helps you connect with people, learn new skills, make a difference, bring smiles on the faces of those in need and make you happier. Volunteering, after all, is a two-way street and it benefits you as much as it benefits the cause you choose to support. Seize the opportunity because the joy of giving is addictive and nothing helps you sleep better than knowing that you were able to volunteer for a cause that needed attention”