According to a March 2012 report from the ministry of statistics, 1.5% of India’s population volunteers for some activity or the other. Most of this volunteering happens at grassroots-level through small organizations.

Ashish Rajpal, Harvard-trained founder of iDiscoveri, an organization that seeks to improve education through changes in the curriculum, is sceptical about the effectiveness of small organizations. He calls for more introspection on their impact and scale.

Meanwhile, students at Indian Institutes of Technology, Delhi, who volunteer under the NSS scheme, stress that the issue isn’t that people don’t want to volunteer, it’s that they simply don’t know where to go or how to help.

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