Nasscom encourages techies to work for NGOs

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 30 April 2009, 03:37 Hrs   |    19 Comments
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Nasscom encourages techies to work for NGOs
Bangalore: At a time when job insecurity is at its peak, IT body Nasscom has introduced schemes, to lure the techies towards voluntary works with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It has launched a 'volunteer' program to help IT/BPO employees who are interested in doing voluntary work find the right fit.

Nasscom is currently in the process of designing a comprehensive portal that will feature voluntary activities at IT companies and NGOs, so that 2.5 million knowledge workers will have a single-point access to various voluntary schemes/projects happening across the country. "To start with, we expect at least 10 percent of tech workers to evince interest in some kind of voluntary activities," Nasscom Foundation, CEO, Rufina Fernandes told The Times of India.

"Based on a dip stick study we conducted among tech/BPO workers in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad we have realized that there is need for a common platform that can assist employees make a decision on what kind of voluntary activities they can take up," Ruina said. The basic objective is to further the impact of social development through employee volunteerism. Employees can log in to this portal, search and sign up for volunteering opportunities. Nasscom has already roped in 75 NGOs across 13 states in the country while many more are expected to be part of the program.

IT/BPO companies can also post their volunteering needs on the portal, which will be officially lunched in July. It was Infosys that pioneered the trend a quarter ago saying it would let 50 of its employees to go on a one-year sabbatical to work with NGOs, governments or trade bodies that work in education or healthcare spaces. During this period employees will be paid 50 percent of their salaries. But, as of now the scheme has attracted less than 10 Infocians.

A fortnight ago, Wipro too came out with a similar sabbatical plan.Industry experts believe it would be a good idea for employees (upto 3 years of experience) to explore such voluntary options as working on community/social projects with NGOs would help build impressive CVs, before applying for higher studies at universities abroad. Ivy League and equivalent institutions look for well-rounded CVs that portray the applicant as a socially relevant individual, who can contribute to society.

However, working with NGOs and getting involved in social/developmental projects requires a different call. "It's no pastime, its a 24-hour job. It demands intense involvement and in depth commitment and one year could be a very short period to make a difference to any individual in this field," said Dileep Ranjekar, CEO, Azim Premji Foundation.

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