A voluntary organisation is an organisation which whether it’s worker are paid or unpaid, is initiated and governed by its own members without external control (Sundagram, I.S., 1986)
A voluntary organisation is an agency (organized or unorganized structured or unstructured) which work for the welfare of a community in any given area of its own preference. It may be just an individual or collection of individual or it may have a more formal subculture. It is basically a group of professionally trained, socially sensitized and committed persons leaving in area of activity and dealing and interacting with the community people. A voluntary organisation has special qualities in its style of functioning such as innovation, flexibility in operation and sensitivity to changing needs and high level of motivation of the functionaries. A voluntary organisation aims at helping the people to help themselves by mobilizing their own resources, taping their potential, identifying problems, finding solution to them to achieve their goals.
Role of voluntary organisation/non governmental organisations in Development-
The role of voluntary organisation in rural development has been recognized and considered vital because of the following reasons.
- Government alone cannot mobilize resources needed for meeting peoples need
- The quality and efficiency of government sponsored program increase when people are involved in program planning and implementation.
- Voluntary organisation complement very will the development efforts of government in terms of geographic and program needs
- They have firsthand experience and knowledge of local needs, problems and resources at local level
- They are closer to the minds and hearts of the people.
- Commitment and zeal of voluntary action
- Voluntary sector is more responsive and can operate with greater flexibility.
The Background, aims, motivation, ideology, legal status, dedication, and level of operation, program, personnel, funding sources and limited external control are the distinguished features of non government organisation or voluntary organisation.Voluntary organisation can play the following constructive roles in the field or social development
- Helping in identification of potential beneficiaries of different schemes of development, their proper selection and getting service of public institution.
- Securing peoples participation which is very important for the success of any development program as it increases acceptability and utilization of services.
- Implementing different social development programs.
- Ensuring that benefit of different development programs reach to the target beneficiary.
- Acting as a link between the administration and the people to bring about changes in their attitude through education, persuasion, motivation and building up of awareness.
- Supplementing government programs in rural areas by providing wide range of choices and alternatives to the people.
- Educating, mobilising and organising the society and economically backward population at the grass root level and making them aware of their rights and responsibilities.
- Functioning as watchdogs of the people to prevent the administration from slackening and reporting irregularities, checking misuse of funds and avoiding delays.
- Disseminating information, education and communication by using demonstration and technology.
- Assisting in monitoring and evaluation and periodical verification of the utilization of a assets by the beneficiaries.
- Assisting government machinary in the formulation of block plan based on household survey.
- Demonstrating as to how local initiatives and local resources can be better utilised.
- Activating delivery system and streamlining its functioning.
- Giving proper guidance to the illiterate and ignorant beneficiaries in the use of new technology and innovations in the field of agriculture and rural development.
- Providing direct services to the beneficiaries at individual level.
- Training and motivating grass root level worker and organising seminar, conferences and workshops for their professional growth.
- Mobilizing financial and human resources from within the community and promoting self reliance.
- Improving the condition of poor, empowering the women, preventing environmental degradation and promoting literacy and good health.
- Studying the problems of rural and urban areas and monitoring and evaluating different development programs and documenting information of voluntary efforts.
- Imparting professional skill to the functionaries and upgrading their competence in different areas of their responsibilities.