The concept of voluntary service began ever since man realized that he is a social animal. Man realized that he can never be happy until and unless within his surroundings all is well. With this basic understanding of life, the concept of voluntary service took birth.
With this attitude, the well off, started extending a helping hand to the not so well off. With this plan it was imagined that the world would become a happy place with happiness spread to every nook and corner of the world.
So far so good, but, in a period of time this blissful idea of spreading happiness and prosperity has got lost somewhere. The ideal concept of voluntary service has been converted into something of a farce as, the very basis of the concept has undergone a sea change.
At one time it was believed that one can be happy only if all are happy around, but now the belief is as long as I am happy, it does not matter what happens to all else. When the very foundation of the concept has changed, where will the concept be for all to understand?
Voluntary service as the name obviously suggests should be wholly confined to people who are really concerned about the masses, and are thus genuinely interested in the service to humanity. Here, people should come voluntarily and not wait to be invited to join the bandwagon of social workers.
They should join of their own free will. However, this has now ceased to be a truth any more and, organizations which have taken birth and grown into large sizes have no more than may be 10 to 20% of people who are really interested in serving and can be called true voluntary workers.
The rest of the members enter these organizations not to serve but only to get a label of status of a social worker with no intentions of working at any level. This has happened in most organizations because in most organizations, real service at the grass root level has taken a back seat for most of the members.
The irony of most voluntary workers is that, most of them are not even aware of the requirements of the poor and, neither are they interested in knowing – they are only interested in being included in the bandwagon of social workers as, it enhances their own personal image.
With this sort of people entering into organizations taking in voluntary workers, on a very large scale, has reduced the importance and authenticity of the phrase of voluntary/ social service.
This so called service is nowhere in the itinerary of most members and, this is why, organizations though increasing in number and membership – work is on the decline. It is not that work is not being done but, not as much as can justify the huge memberships of these organizations.
This is just because members are not joining voluntarily in the true sense of the word. They are just being thrust upon organizations to increase numbers in their fold, and in return, give a brand name to the elite members.
The voluntary ethics of most organizations is fast dwindling away and, they are more of talking matter than real work on the ground at the grass root level.
With the voluntary aspect missing automatically, the service graph is also declining because you cannot force any one to do work, he has to be interested in doing it, and this self imposition of service is missing now so, voluntary service is now a missing entity to a very great extent.