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Selfless service?

Selfless service?

Social service, in principle, is as noble as it is necessary. Being involved in it is, sans doubt, laudable. There are so many "service" organisations doing commendable work. Several are of Indian origin with a good track record. Those like the Ramakrishna Mission and the Bharat Sevasram Sangha, among others, for instance. There have been remarkable people working to make lives easier for those deemed "less fortunate" day in and day out. Each and every one of them has been inspiration personified. Over the years, there have been so many service organisations, both of foreign and Indian origin. They have responded to natural and artificial disasters without wasting a minute. But it takes all kinds to make such organisations. Some, in the guise of NGOs, have flourished but operated rather dubiously, especially in the North East, as our Intelligence Agencies discovered. The major "discovery" came to light over a decade and a half ago when a prominent German dignitary went missing and was later found kidnapped by some of these flies by night operators. The credibility of some of these NGOs then came for serious "debating" in the corridors of power. Coming to other service organisations, some do serious, hard work as is evident from their projects, large or small. These include schools, hospitals and so many facilities for the underprivileged. Some others merely "exist". But the heart of hearts, all conscientious people, given the chance, do want to lend the proverbial helping hand. The question that has emerged in recent times is how many voluntary organisations serve as selflessly as they profess? Several do. Some, the percentage may not be all that much significant, make themselves conspicuous only by their presence and not always for the right reasons. Even in "selfless service", politics, pride and prejudice creep in. When such traits come out in the open, it certainly is not a happy state of affairs. In service and selfless service at that, there is absolutely no scope for arrogance and bitterness towards others in the same lot. There must be some serious introspection. No one must ever forget that the work and allegations against some of the most famous service organisations worldwide have been investigated by so many agencies and news organisations including even the BBC and papers like The Guardian. It is great to do good and be in the news for the right reasons. But do good with simplicity, honesty and humility. To assume "power" in a service organisation is no big deal. In the final reckoning, alone we come into this world and alone we shall depart. It is the good that we do with a smiling face is all that will be remembered. There is no scope for ego hassles, power mongering and politicking. That is being selfish, not selfless. India, among other countries, could do with the genuinely conscientious especially in the neglected areas of darkness.

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