The term NGO stands for Non Governmental Organizations. NGO is defined as a non-profit making, voluntary, service-oriented organization, working for the benefit of the society in general and a target group in particular.
NGO performs a variety of roles in our society and there is hardly any area which is left untouched by NGOs, be it natural resources, finance, human settlements, social development, culture, education, or even energy. NGOs have played an effective role in changing the landscape of the current-day world. They have become the conscience keepers of the modern democracy. Earlier people had a vague idea about what working in an NGO entails but now a sea change has been witnessed in the public’s perception of NGO and NGO workers.
NGOs have become thoroughly professional in their approach. They are more focused and oriented towards their target areas. If you feel passionately about some issue, have the will to make a difference, have the ability to approach the issue at hand with objectivity and professionalism, if you are serious and committed to the work you are given, then a career in NGO maybe perfect for you.
Working in an NGO is not as comfortable a job as most people think. Nor is it a reflection of the all-out, shouting-for-the-underprivileged, taking-up-arms, stereotype we normally see in movies.
Contrary to the popular beliefs, now a days NGOs have become more specialized and business oriented. Owing to the nature of their work and their target group they aim for recruiting specialists for their jobs viz. a Non Government Organization working in the field of women’s issue would prefer a specialist (say Gynecologist to provide better medical care) on the issue.
Likewise some NGO working on issues relating to international issues would prefer post:graduates in international relations, one dealing with issues of industrial workers prefer post graduates in industrial worker’s laws or trade disputes. In this way a person has to be careful in choosing NGO which is related to his/her (job aspirant) qualification.
A post graduation degree in Social Work is desired for but even otherwise a degree in post graduation in the subject close to the target area of the NGO assures a beginning. An NGO like WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is most likely to prefer students who post graduate in environmental sciences. These days even
Skills and attributes: The candidate should be initiative driven, passionate about the cause of the NGO, serious, and committed towards his work. He/she should be highly motivated and should have a strong desire to work in any condition. As NGOs play the role of conscious:keepers of the society the person should be driven by the urge to act as whistle:blowers in the society.
Today NGOs have a highly corporatised structure where there are different levels of hierarchy. Usually the person starts as a Research Fellow depending upon his/her professional qualifications. Climbing up the hierarchy he/she can become group:leader and later team leader. Many professionals join NGOs at a later stage of their life in their capacity as goodwill ambassadors or advisors. There is definitely no maximum age limit but certain minimum qualifications are required.
On an average a social worker engaged with an NGO draws about Rs 5000 at the starting of his/her career. However, in most of the cases, one’s salary depends on the size of the organization. In a smaller organization one may have to start at a salary of Rs 3000 to Rs 6000 per month. While those hired as personnel and labour welfare officers can draw a starting pay of Rs 7000 or more.
Some of the known NGOs in India
- Aadhar :Action for Gender Justice and Empowerment.
- Aashray: Centre for Child Welfare.
- Action for Autism:Deals with health issues.
- Aadhar: Dealing with rural development.
- BAHA’I Office for Advancement of Women: Deals with Child welfare, education, human rights.
Deals with tribal issues.
- Bastar Sewa Mandal:
Deals with children..
- ICONGO: Deals with street children.
- Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment: Deals with environmental issues.
- INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage): Deals with issues of the preservation of Art and heritage.
- Helpage India: Deals with the problems of the aged.
- Prayas Juvenile Aid Society: Deals with the issue of street children.
- Prayatn Social Service and Public Welfare Organization: Deals with the disadvantageous sections of the society.
- LORDS: Centre for Logical Research and Development Studies.
- Lupin Human Welfare and Research Society: Deals with the issues of Education, Environmnt, Health and Rural issues.
- Sahayoga: Deals with orphaned and destitute children.
Deals with issues of internal security.
- Institute For Conflict Management:
Deals with environmental issues.
- Smile: Deals with situational management & Inter learning Establishment Society.
- Sewa Bharti: Deals with rural development programmes.
- TERI (Tata Energy Research Institute): Deals with financing education.
- WWF(World Wide Fund for Nature): Deals with environmental issues.
- ORF (Organizer Research Foundation): Deals with international politics.