Rajesh Thakur/ Outlook Group
For Lalitha AS Nayak, her work is never a job, it is a part of her lifestyle. Working on women's issues for the last 30 years, Lalitha is very clear that it is finally someone else's suffering that she attempts to mitigate, a view strongly endorsed by Leena Dewan who works with street children. Welcome to the brave new world of the development sector!
A loaded term, this development. And if the mention of the word, still conjures up the image of a stern looking jholawala, always frustrated about anything and everything, and living on peanuts, you are both right and wrong, but more wrong than right. This sector is currently populated by some of the best minds.
Nachiket Mor, the Prince-in-Waiting at the ICICI Group, who was tipped to be the next CEO, chucked it all. In his own words, he wants to bring the power of the market to benefit people. Today, Mor heads the ICICI Foundation, and is busy bringing management philosophies to bear on issues as diverse as rural electrification to water distribution. These people are rural managers, concurs Father Joseph, Director, Xavier Institute Of Management-Bhubaneswar (XIMB).
The sector is witnessing a substantial change, at least, in pockets. While at its core, it is still driven by thousands of one-man armies, who work on shoe string budgets under extreme duress, it also has space for young graduates with professional qualifications. Dileep Ranjekar, CEO, Azim Premji Foundation acknowledges,"The work in the social sector is no less intense than working in a highly-driven, result-oriented corporate organisation."
From sanitation to eco-living, from preserving Kargattam (a Tamil art form) to fund raising, this sector has jobs for everyone. The sector attracts two kinds of people. Some like Mor, have given up high flying corporate careers with an avowed motive to make a difference, a view brilliantly articulated also by Bill Gates.
But as Ranjeker asserts, the sector also needs committed professionals who see it as a viable career option and are in it to make a living, as they satiate their conscience. As Meenakshi Madhvani, Founder & Managing Partner, Spatial Access Advertising Communication (an agency that exclusively caters to non-profit organisations for social change) says, both have their own place and relevance.
The sector is vast, and the problems they encounter are mindboggling. So, we have put together a dossier of jobs, courses and career prospects on 10 such domains where you could earn a decent living even while making a difference.
Environment and Energy: Industrial waste, Toxic elements; Clean environment, preserving nature; Energy conservation; Forests, related development
Disaster Management: Societal crisis, intervention; Natural calamities; Emergency management; Relief and rehabilitation
Working for the Elderly: Hospice and palliative care, Geriatrics, Family counselling, Old age homes; Special education needs
Community and Society Development: Society development, empowerment; Rural and urban development, planning; Shelter providing, street denizens; Adult literacy; Refugees and resettlement, slum development; Population, poverty and related issues; Hygiene and sanitation
Health Care and Wellbeing: Public health; Mental health and related issues; Camp coordination; Improving hospital and nursing centres; Accidents and trauma; Drug abuse/ de-addiction units
Child Welfare, Schooling: Adoption and fostering; Child welfare and Rights; Education; Sexual and drug abuse; Counselling, including; Addressing dilemmas; Special education needs; Day care
Women Welfare and Empowerment: Women's empowerment; Maternity and related issues; Early marriage, dowry; Sexual exploitation; Domestic violence
Conservation and Heritage: Art and culture; Monuments; Tribes and indigenous people; Traditional knowledge
Microfinance, Asset Building: Investments; Relationship Building; Project Assessment; Default Resolution; Capacity Building; Loan Management
Allied and supporting sectors/ functions: United Nations, World Bank identified issues and policies; Advocacy; Teaching, research and policy; Public relations and media; Expertise, consultancy; Fund raising guidance and counselling