Monday, August 3, 2015
I have become a misfit to modern social service organisations
Twenty five years ago I expressed my wish to one of my friends that I was considering to join a social service club so that I could meet many people and could engage myself in meaningful social service activities. He suggested me an International Service Organisation in which he was a member and suggested me to attend a meeting of that club. I attended and I was well received by the other members. The then club President was an academician and because that I am a graduate from a premier institution he liked me instantly. I was inducted as a member and I happily paid the subscription.
Then on wards I was actively involved in various events. I got many friends from different professions. The culture of our club was very good that all the family members attended most of the meetings. Ladies and children were very happy since it was like a family recreation club. No doubt there were meaningful service projects like eye screening camps etc. . We also donated to educational aids and uniforms to poor students.
After a couple of years, I was chosen to be the secretary of our club and it was a very easy job because the President who preferred me and proposed me as his officer was a great administrator. During this period I could develop close relationship with many members. Since I was tech savvy and knew to drive a car as well, our then President liked me very much and that year the club was excellently administered that we were encouraged with many awards.
A couple of years later I was proposed to be the President of our club and in fact I was a very young President who had a very senior Government Officer as secretary and another Government Engineer as the Treasurer. Every one cooperated very well since two of our club senior members occupied higher administrative positions in the district of the organization. The district consisted of people of high status and high caliber as leaders. The members, especially the club officers had wonderful opportunity to learn relationship skills, public speaking skills and leadership skills.
It was the time that every one of us could develop a good personality and could do continuous services to the society. Money was scarce during those days and people eagerly accepted whatever services we could provide.
Today things have changed. Money is in plenty. To become an officer one needs to spend a some amount of money that he or she can get back by way of benefits offered by the rich and affluent candidates who want to contest to become the District Leaders. Cocktail parties have become open and the candidates are happy supplying the members with sophisticated alcoholic drinks that are golden coloured or pink coloured and sometimes even colourless. However all these drinks reveal the true colour of the members. The members are ready to vote for the candidate who is lavish in gifts and drinks. Very few clubs do some social services but many file false reports of the services. The trend has changed for the worst.
Some of the members from our club wanted to join yet another service organization. It was also international. It was not ruled by money as in the earlier set up. We formed a new club and hoped that we could look for an elite association. Since our club was formed with likeminded leaders, things were very comfortable. A couple of times our members could also raise to higher positions in the districts but the inefficient people in some other clubs who were surviving by sheer false reports did not prefer the active members or the organization to grow. This organization was offering some fringe benefits and one administrative unit occupied a large geographical area. The growth of the organization will result in the bifurcation of the unit and the benefit of wide contacts will be lost to the selfish people who were the king makers.The new club that we started has been shifted to cold storage.
Now few more international service organizations are left for me to join but again only when I join them I might understand the specific problems. In general there is something wrong with the mindset of the people. After independence they have spoilt the politics. After globalization they have spoilt the service organizations. Money assumes different dimensions these days.
The value system has changed. We have accepted the new way of politics, the new way of academic trade and heath care business. We have to similarly accept the new ways of the service clubs if we want friends outside our professional contacts and neighbourhood. There is some resistance to change in me that is quite natural. Women are fast in adapting to changes and I hope to change my values also if I have to move with the new trend.
Long ago I joined a club for elite friendship. Now I may have to settle for expensive gifts, cocktail and dinners in return for the hefty amount I have to pay in American Dollars towards membership.I am not interested in any of these three benefits. With my experience in service organisations I can form a new club but I am not convinced of the benefits that a new club can offer to the new members. Moreover I a have to devote more amount of time for building a new club. Since I am holding on to my business as the leader I don"t want to do that. So ultimately I have become a misfit to service organizations.