Citizen Essay: Silencing all the cynics, one volunteer at a time

Times of India’s Teach India initiative had the following text on their website when they closed registrations to their Teach India initiative on September 5, 2008:


Thank you Bangalore! We are overwhelmed by your desire to give back to society. 
With over 15700 volunteer applications received by us all our current teaching slots 
are filled up. 5000 volunteers have already been offered to teach. We are currently 
in the process of placing the balance volunteers who have applied.


I know someone who’s actually sad she could not make it into the list.


And all this applying to do what? To go out of one’s way and give one’s valuable time to teach.


Think about it. This program is actually oversubscribed? And it is not competition driven or a monetarily lucrative venture? Young adults, shouldering all kinds of responsibilities, familial and professional, consciously want to make time for one more thing worthy of doing –teaching.

To all the teachers in India, here is a heartfelt message sent with love. This one event could find no better day than September the 5th – Teacher’s day, to express the underlying intent and latent capacity of the children you have once taught.

To all the cynics, both young and old, afraid of the new India, afraid of the myriad changes, seeing and seeking the negative in events, behold this one light among a myriad lights.

There is no doubt that we have a long way to go, and uncountable hurdles will be flung our way. But we can sleep well with one guarantee – that the youth of this resurgent India will find a way to better what already is. 


This puts in perspective the power of the news media to engage. The urban reach of mainstream media is clearly wide and deep. If the media were to engage even occasionally into meaningful projects, the outcome can far outweigh the efforts for the same.

Kudos to the Times of India group for their efforts in creating this avenue to channel the energies and minds of our people. Even the smallest avenues can overflow with goodwill and sincerity to contribute, as they have with this initiative.


Written By: Uday Arya

On: September 5, 2008

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