Why volunteer? A child’s perspective


This entire text is written by a team of two enthusiastic nine-year olds, with only minor grammatical corrections made by tyrannical adults.

My mouth let out a satisfying burp. Boy! I just had a scrumptious dinner at the 5 Star Taj hotel in India. My tummy was all happy and the doorman opened the gigantic, grand doors.  I took one last  look at the place as the doorman said “Goodbye!” in a pleasant voice.  We got into our car to head out and I peeked out of the big window and in front of my eyes were  a bunch of kids – around 7 of them. There was no mother or father, and all they had was each other.  All of them looked sad eyed, scattered around in the traffic, begging for money and at least some decent food, going through the waiting cars.  Suddenly, the green light made a flash and the children all ran to a lonely curb for their lives. I looked back at those helpless children till they disappeared into the darkness of New Delhi.  All of a sudden my eyes became all watery — I was just so sorry for all the poor children risking their lives on the streets.  I had a meltdown. Why do children have to live such a life?  It seemed so unfair.  I felt that I really wanted to do something to change this.

The authors have fun during the unusual snow last year in Dallas: (left: Ashwini Ganesh, right: Anjali Gonuguntla)

In India, as I travelled, I came upon many kids, and all of them needed two small things: love and shelter.  Some children sell items and make a living instead of going to school. If you have been to India Gate or any other tourist attraction in India, you have probably seen little stalls selling small plastic toys, jumbo sized bouncy balls, small pretend cell phones that sing shocking Bollywood songs, and bird attracting whistles.  A lot of these stalls will have small children working in there. Many times, I came across children even selling their own wares. These kids try to earn money by selling these trinkets and toys.   They have to work to support their families.

Once, at a train station in Rajasthan, a small boy — who looked like he was nine years old — was selling small puppets and dolls to earn a living.  He had very faded clothes, but he knew everything about running a business. He could easily make a sensible bargain. He could tell you prices in a blink of an eyelid. He was supreme at mathematics. We bought some doll like puppets and were on our way. We saw many other kids selling dolls and puppets, but not all of them were like this young boy. Imagine what could happen to this boy if he was in school or being educated. He could be the businessman of tomorrow – but if he is left as he is, we might miss out on a great mind of the future. He might, perhaps, change a lot in the world.

Have you ever been to a country other than India? Perhaps maybe Africa, China, or the Middle East.  Children there also have the same problem. Too many children in this world are working to make a living instead of studying so that their future can be better.  This can ruin the next generation of the world.

This is where Vibha is trying to help.   Vibha supports programs that help these kids go to school and gets them off the streets so they can have a proper future.  As JFK said, “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”  

Vibha  has many activities to raise money so you can have fun and help children.  Some of the activities are kite flying festivals, dance and music competitions, Art for Heart, Dream Mile, Cricket Cup, and many others.

As tomorrow is not yet here and yesterday is gone, lets begin today to help out in any way we can.  This is why I volunteer and why you should continue to also!


5 thoughts on “Why volunteer? A child’s perspective

  1. anand says:

    You guys made me cry, trust me, it’s not the easiest thing to do. Great job with the story!

    Rohini, would it be possible to have these girls read this story during an event (kff) or during one of Vibha meetings? It sends a very powerful message.

    Take care,

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