UNV Launches its Flagship Publication on Volunteerism on International Volunteers Day
New Delhi - “The Government of India is committed to promote and recognize the important role volunteers could play in national development,” said Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports (MOYAS) (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Defence, Government of India (GoI). “The values of volunteerism are relevant in strengthening a community’s capacity to achieve secure livelihoods, and to enhance physical, economic, spiritual and social well-being,” he further added. The Hon’ble Minister also recommended engaging the country’s youth— a potential and powerful resource — for nation building.
He was speaking at the launch of UNV’s flagship publication ‘Volunteering in India: Contexts, Perspectives and Discourses,’ organized by UNV on International Volunteers Day. The publication presents the perspectives and experiences of eminent people and volunteers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines on the ethos, tradition and diversity of volunteering in the Indian context. To strengthen the spirit of volunteerism in India, the Hon’ble Minister declared joint annual International Volunteers Day (IVD) celebration by MOYAS and UNV next year onwards.
The publication was launched by an impressive panel of dignitaries that included Shri Jitendra Singh, Ms. Lise Grande, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative; Dr. Vandana Shiva, Director, Research Foundation for Science, Technology & Ecology, New Delhi and Ms Yvonne Maharoof-Marathovouniotis, Portfolio Manager for South Asia, Development Division, UNV, Bonn, Germany.
“Volunteerism allows people to work with little but impacts more. It fosters a culture of sharing and not exclusion. The values of volunteerism are the road for the future. Young people today need to understand the futility of their ever-increasing needs and means of self-aggrandizement,” noted Dr. Vandana Shiva in her special address on the occasion.
Commending the work of volunteers in the field of social development, Ms. Lise Grande said, “Globally, India is an inspiration for volunteerism and solidarity. The publication is particularly significant as it reiterates the tremendous opportunities there are in India to harness the power of volunteerism”. Reiterating the important role played by volunteers, Ms Yvonne Maharoof-Marathovouniotis stressed, “On International Volunteer Day, let us celebrate the role of volunteerism in building the future that we want and recognize the contributions volunteers make worldwide.”
Published by UNV, the publication not only recognizes the value addition that volunteers bring to national development priorities and the society in general, but also seeks to draw attention to the dedicated community of volunteers. In addition to this, the report also outlines news trends in volunteerism in the 21st century.
International Volunteers Day is celebrated on 5 December every year to recognize the commitment of volunteers and volunteer organizations, to inform people about the impact of volunteering on peace and sustainable development, and to applaud volunteers for their dedication and impact.