Disclaimer: Whatever written in this post, is just my perception. Its not written with contempt against any people or any NGOs whatsoever. Its just how i think, and it should be taken with a pinch of salt.
I’ve nothing against social work. Even though i define my self as an individual, driven by my selfishness, i still hold no contempt against NGOs and what they do. Even i admire a few NGOs that do real good work, like Redcorss. But a few others look like they’re actually doing bad to the society. And thats why I’ve always been skeptical about joining an NGO as a volunteer.
Recently I was proved right at my decision once more. An NGO which is connected to a few members in the photography club that i’m a part of, undertook a really silly activity in the name of charity and social work. They temporarily gave cameras to slum children, saying they wanted to teach them photography. May be they had a real good reason behind why they thought THAT was what those children needed! All i can think of is, the people who came up with this idea, were just having fun trying to act a superpower god figure. What they wanted to give was a moment of happiness. But what they did not understand was that, they were giving those children an impossible desire, which would then be a corrosive grief. The desire to have confort of cultivating an expensive hobby as PHOTOGRAPHY. I mean, really, do those children need that more than they need education, food, or work to earn money?
What makes me think right now is some poor kid’s mental dillema that i could hear in my head, so clearly, like he was shouting in my ears. After having touched that camera, having seen the miracle of capturing a moment in an 50 grand priced DSLR, when the camera was taken away from him, his happiness was replaced by thousand times more misery. He would then sit in a corner, and hate his life, hate his fate, for not having those comfort those guys had, who had the camera. He would remember the last time when he felt similarly sad, that was when some lady took him in her car for a drive. A big AC car that he had seen only in ads in those torn newspapers that he used, to cover himself while sleeping due to the lack of blankets. THAT car was now around him, in fact he was sitting inside. He was happy, never happier. But when the lady was gone, he was back to his life where he didn’t even have a bicycle to call his own. It was not his fault that he was born poor, but then he started to think may be it was. May be everything/everyone, even God was against him, that he didn’t have the luxury that lady had.
What he failed to realise was that the lady EARNed that luxury her self, the lady wasn’t born rich. But he was miserable, ignorant of that reality in life, that things aren’t always handed down, given to us, But we have to earn them. His childish mind was in utter torment, with the question “wHY?”.
The happiness of sitting inside an AC car, was gone, right then and there.
I’d not do that to a kid. That sadness is not worth the moment of happiness.
I’d not join a NGO which does this to a kid.
Better i’d teach some kids some sort of small level art, that could earn him some money, some food. And then see the happiness on his face that he EARNED it himself. That is much better in a long run then to just those singular moment of happiness.