Corporate Social Responsibility Employee Volunteering Volunteering

When persistent knocking opens the door…

As I held the permission letter in hand I didn’t know what to think, feel or say! That was it. All the brainstorming, efforts for quick fix solutions, assimilating previous year’s progress report, listing of nearby government schools paid off.. If only I could read the letter and rejoice! Yes, being illiterate in the local language can be quite a curse sometimes..

iVolunteer is running a national level awareness campaign in schools on environmental friendly practices in partnership with a corporate company. After we on-board schools, schedule sessions, the corporate volunteers conduct video screening sessions on environmental awareness.

Approaching private educational institutions is convenient as the buck stops with the school management. Either the Principal or Chairman decide whether to permit us to conduct the program. However, this is not the case with schools administered by state government. Their governing authority – Block Education Officers need to give permission to external sources like us to coordinate programs for government school children.

With the aim of organizing sessions in Government schools in Bangalore, I set forth gathering documents required for seeking permissions. But there was a major roadblock – photo identity proofs were required for the corporate volunteers. This was difficult as depending on the time schedule volunteers would be allotted a day before the session.

After weeks of planning and calls to the BEO office if the officer in charge was available, I received an appointment. (Festivals, unplanned curfews, examinations in schools kept both the BEO office and the schools busy.) It was explained that the corporate volunteers had finished their target permissions in schools. However, since we wanted to reach the children in Government schools could we be given permission in a few schools only. Our team could organize the sessions. In case of any external volunteer – corporate or any other representative, the BEO office would be notified.


What seemed as impossible became possible. We got the permission! (It is another story that it took me sometime in finding a translator and to understand the permission letter given!)

All’s well that ends well. Gearing up to run the show in our state administered schools (even if a few of them.) A humble beginning this year to reach Government schools for an environmental awareness program in Bangalore with iVolunteer is taking off…


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