“No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime.” – Kofi Annan
The anthem of Desh Apnayen starts with “Aao hum sab Desh Apnayen, chalta hai ko duur bhagayen.” Similarly, our pledge starts with “India belongs to all its citizens.” The mission of the Foundation is empowering the citizenry to transform a culture of apathy to one of ownership.
A responsible citizen is not just someone who casts a vote in the elections. She/he should take ownership of not only neighbourhood problems but also societal issues at large. The government has at its disposal limited resources to supervise all activities from local to the national level. Citizens have the right to approach the local governments but they should not stop here. Citizens can still contribute whatever little they can towards society through selfless service and volunteering. An active citizenry can prove to be supporting hands for achieving the goals of sustainable development.
For us at Desh Apnayen, the best example of an active citizen or what we call an “ACTIZEN” would be Gandhiji. On the eve of Gandhi Jayanti (2nd October), let us understand what being an ACTIZEN truly means and how important volunteering and service are for our country.
Keywords: Citizenship, Volunteering, Ownership, Opinion Survey
By the end of this activity, students will-
- Learn and understand the concept of active citizenship and volunteering.
- Be more conscious about the various aspects of volunteering.
The activity is divided into the following 2 parts–
|Activity Heads||Mode||Steps to be Followed||Time Required||Role|
|Section 1 - Explanation Session||Online class||
|Section 2 – Opinion Survey||Offline (Home assignment)||
Start the session by explaining the theme. Teachers are advised to refer to the introduction to explain the theme.
Play two small videos (total 7 minutes) in the class. If the teacher is not able to play the video, she/he should ask The ACTIZENS’ Club President or any other office bearer to play these small videos. There is a quiz followed by a debriefing session. The quiz is based on these videos.
Links for Videos:
Active Citizenship (2 minutes)
ACTIZENS and Neighbourhood (5 minutes)
Teachers are expected to emphasise the importance of volunteering. Many people wish to see changes in their neighbourhoods, but do not understand that this change can only be brought about through active citizenry and community involvement. As Gandhiji used to say- “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Wishful thinking will not bring in change.
Display the quiz in the online classroom. This is also available in the Student’s Instruction Sheet. Tell the students to open it on their respective mobiles/laptops/PCs, etc. Give the students 10 minutes to finish the quiz.
Answer Key for Self Evaluation by Students
Que 1 - B
Que 2 - A
Que 3 - All answers are correct
Que 4 - B
Que 5 - B
Que 6 - A
Que 7 - B
Que 8 - A
Que 9 - Any Answer is right. Ask Students their answers.
The quiz is based on active citizenship and volunteering by engaging in community service. Teachers should ask the following questions in the online class-
- How many of you have volunteered for community service?
- Do you think a community mobilisation movement is possible in your locality?
- Would you like to volunteer for the community in your locality? Have you seen any organisation (Government/Non-Governmental) working in your neighbourhood?
- Students should read the Information Handout and watch the video given in the Video Bank.
- Students should conduct Opinion Surveys with their friends/family members or neighbours using the questions that have been provided here. All the students have to record the responses and prepare a survey submission document. If students are interested, along with the survey submission document, they can also create a small story of 120-150 words based on the answers. The purpose of the Opinion Survey is to understand the kind of volunteering being done by the people they know. Students are advised to conduct call-based Opinion Surveys. Reach out to 4 to 5 participants. Conducting the Survey is compulsory but writing the story is optional.
- Have you volunteered for a community cause?
- Do your friends know that you have volunteered?
- What is the purpose of volunteering- getting 'likes'/popularity on social media or achieving self-satisfaction?
- Have you volunteered during COVID times? What was your experience?
- Do you think popularising volunteering will help in creating an active citizenry?
- [Please prepare a Survey Report for submission. In addition, if you are interested, you can write a story based on your Opinion Survey Experience and upload it.]
Ask the students if they have any doubts about the activity and share the Information Handout with them. Ask them to fill individual Reflection Sheets after completing the task.