Top 10 NGOs in India for volunteering
From imparting life skills and mentoring children to helping disadvantaged elders and acid attack survivors, the NGOs in India are bringing change one step at a time. If you want to partake in their efforts while also building your profile, read on…
Did you know that thousands of students actually take out the time to volunteer for one whole year? It not only helps in building a unique profile but also ensures that they are bringing change by volunteering for one cause or another. Be it child education, women empowerment, or saving the environment, there are hundreds of NGOs that exist for every cause imaginable. It can be difficult to choose which organization you should work for. This is why I have compiled the best NGOs in India for each of the most pressing issues our country is facing. Go through this list of NGOs in India and choose the one you want to volunteer at. Also, while you’re at it, forget yourself and your profile for a second.
Also known as Make A Difference, MAD is changing the way in which families care for children. Spread across fourteen states and 23 cities in India, MAD affects the lives of 3000 children every year. The aim of the organization is to help build a reasonable quality of life for every child so that they don’t have to struggle to make ends meet.
The best NGO in India, MAD helps save the children from exploitation and teaches them how to cope with life crises. They do this by improving a child’s surroundings and empowering her with knowledge and resilience. Mentoring also plays an important role in helping a child evolve.
Their latest campaign, ‘It’s #nevertoolate to Make A Difference,’ is driving awareness of the realities of over 35 million children in need of care and protection. After becoming a part of the MAD family, you could teach, impart foundational skills, or mentor children. You could help raise funds to save the children and help the organization provide financial security and stability to children.
Launched in January 2000 in India, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) fights against the suffering of animals. Their principal is that animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way. Consequently, PETA focuses on industries where animals suffer the most, including laboratories, food industry, leather trade, and entertainment.
One of the most famous NGOs in India, it uses public education, research publications, animal rescues, and media coverage, and has saved countless animals’ lives. You can even see how their home page is filled with articles against animal sacrifices, using animals in circuses, and even animal testing.
To help PETA save and protect animals, you could either intern or volunteer with them, become a member, join PETA Youth, or become a part of the PETA Activist Network. The groundwork promotion, I believe, happens when you’re a part of PETA Youth. Here, you can go on rallies, flash mobs, promote animal rights in college festivals, or share the message by painting on graffiti walls. As an activist, however, your job will be to talk about the breaking news and promote urgent action when needed.
In today’s world, materialism prevails and profits are given more importance than people. What we don’t see in our mad rush is how severely this mindset is affecting the planet. Greenpeace is taking collective action to voice its concerns about how the environment is suffering because of us. And to act against it, Greenpeace is working with over 26.5 lakh activists and volunteers from India.
With so many people to help, Greenpeace is able to focus on several issues related to climate change and sustainable agriculture. These include fighting air pollution, solarising rooftops, defending the Amazon Reef, empowering farmers, and so much more.
Their latest campaign, ‘Rebuild a Safe Future #TowardsBetter’ is a demand for inclusive, holistic, and comprehensive systematic changes that will make humanity resilient to any further health crisis, like COVID-19. If you wish to get involved, you can sign the petition. You can also volunteer with a local group, start your own campaign, or land an internship and work toward a cause.
The World Wildlife Fund, or WWF, is the best NGO in India. The organization aims to stop the degeneration of the planet’s natural environment and has been working in India for 50 years now. Its commitment toward building a future in which humans can live in harmony with nature is commendable.
The organization participates in ensuring the conservation of Earth’s biodiversity, minimizing wasteful consumption, reducing the impact of climate change, decreasing pollution, and promoting policies that will improve environmental governance.
As a volunteer at WWF, you could help save priority species (like the Asian elephant the Bengal tiger), preserve critical regions (like the Western Ghats or the Himalayas), or reduce carbon footprint by promoting sustainable agriculture and alternative energy sources. WWF also has a Young Conservationist Programme, which provides leadership skills and training to secondary students looking to address conservation issues in India.
During the 68 years that CARE has been in India, the organization has focused on alleviating poverty and social injustice. CARE’s primary focus is to empower women and girls because they are disproportionately affected by poverty and discrimination. The organization believes that, when women are empowered, they can lift whole families and communities with their knowledge.
To that effect, CARE helps improve the lives of women through their Health, Education, and Livelihood Programs. The organization also partakes in Disaster Preparedness and Response. In the past year, CARE worked on 43 different projects which impacted 37.2 million people across 17 states in India.
To get involved, join one of their campaigns, volunteer, or intern with CARE. If you choose to volunteer, you’ll get to work with the organization for a period of one to six months, or on specific projects that might come up during emergency and disaster situations.
One of the most famous NGOs in India, HelpAge India has worked with disadvantaged elders for over 4 decades. The organization advocates for their needs, including pension, healthcare, and elder abuse. Not only that, but HelpAge India also looks after their basic needs, runs helplines across the country, and provides rehabilitation for elders after disasters.
HelpAge India’s Welfare and Development Programs include Surgeries, Cancer Care, Livelihood Support, and more. Their Rights and Entitlement Programs, on the other hand, involve Value Education, Elder Policies, and Senior Citizen Associations.
While the NGO is a leading charity organization, you can also choose to volunteer with them. Depending on what you can best do, you might end up supporting a gran, working in an old age home, or helping establish livelihoods, or manning elder helplines at HelpAge India.
An association working for social and ecological justice, ActionAid engages with the most marginalized communities in India. Spread across 24 states and two union territories, the organization is a part of a global federation. This means that it is a part of ActionAid International, an organization with a presence in over 40 countries worldwide.
With the aim to eradicate poverty, patriarchy, and injustice from our society, ActionAid is working toward providing people the right to live with dignity. Consequently, the organization promotes children’s rights, helps farmers, protects the Earth, and promotes women entrepreneurs.
As ActionIndia keeps conducting various campaigns, projects, and programs across the country, there’s always something you can get involved in. As a volunteer, you will also gain several new skills, experience, and recognition. This is because ActionAid volunteers work closely with the staff and under the guidance of Volunteer Coordinators.
One of the rarer types of NGOs in India, LEPRA is working in countries around the globe to beat leprosy. In India, LEPRA helps diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate people affected by the disease. The organization also works in collaboration with the government and other organizations. Its aim is to ensure that people are not discriminated against and have access to good quality healthcare.
Most of LEPRA’s work happens in populous states where people suffer from extreme poverty. These include Telangana, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and New Delhi. You will find that LEPRA has established referral centers and rehabilitation facilities in these areas.
To help the organization fight for its cause, you could either donate, have a fundraiser, or volunteer. Current opportunities include Festival, Faith, School, and Event Volunteering, among others. Using your qualities, skills & experience, you can change the lives of people affected by leprosy and lymphatic filariasis.
Teach for India
Teach for India has been addressing the educational quality in India at scale for around 14 years now. The organization’s aim is to equip children and youth with the knowledge, skills, values, and mindsets needed to be empowered individuals. It is also working toward honing leadership skills in these children, hence building a community of knowledgeable and responsible citizens.
Their primary model is a 2 year Teach for India Fellowship Program which calls out to individuals from the nation’s best universities and workplaces. As a fellow, you can serve as a full-time teacher to children from low-income communities with under-resourced schools. But if you don’t have the time, you can always volunteer and teach the kids or assist a Fellow.
In the long term, you can engage with Teach for India Alumni to become a part of a growing community. Here, you can work with curriculum designers, school principles, education policy researchers, or even journalists and lawyers. The idea, in the end, is to accelerate progress towards that day when all children in India have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.
Make Love Not Scars
The mission of Make Love Not Scars is to provide dignity and independence to acid attack survivors. The founder of the organization started it when she met an acid attack survivor and ran a fundraiser for her. Since then, Make Love Not Scars has launched several campaigns to help acid attack survivors across the country.
Through medical, legal, educational, vocational & psychological rehabilitation, the organization has changed the lives of over half a million people. They also fight against the selling of acids and exhibit the importance of having skills over scars.
To get involved, you could check out one of their 6 campaigns, including #SkillsNotScars and #IStandWithRekha. As a volunteer, you can work as domestic, on-ground help, or a social media volunteer. Another way to work with Make Love Scars is to intern with the organization for a month.
It breaks my heart, too
But look at it this way – whatever amount of bad there is in this world, a greater amount of good exists. It’s your choice that makes all the difference.
So? Have you worked towards making this world a better place? Or are you planning to do it now? Comment and tell me which one you’re going to choose from this list of NGOs in India!