Are we talking in air?

Jisko hindi mein bolte hain "Hawa mein baatein karna". I am strong advocate of the view that every social "kind-of" work one does should directly or indirectly make an impact on society. One cannot be talking in air about bringing about a change in society.

I am part of a team that is organizing a workshop on "Empowering the Underprivileged through Innovations". It is to be held on 24th May 2009 but this post is about something else. My friend's comment on the value of a workshop like this set my mind thinking. I did give him an impassioned and spontaneous response - maybe the response sufficed for the moment but I think I need to think about this. Are my actitivities, or to make it more generic and relevant, are our activities making a difference on the ground?

Are we just patting ourselves on the back and discussing sweet nothings in guise of conducting workshops and seminars and talks. Well, could be. Am not sure. And the fact that I am not sure is not a good thing. We should be doing our due diligence before plunging into any activity which "we think" we are doing for the society. Here are some questions I intend to ask myself and my partners next time I am involved in any activity.

i. Who are the beneficiaries? If the activity intends to benefit a particular section of society how do I intend to measure the extent of impact.
ii. How are you going to use the earnings, if any?
iii. Whom are you partnering with? Do your partners share the same view as you?
iv. How does your activity intend to maintain its impact after its tenure?
v. Are you entering a space because there is no other organization serving the need? If no, then are you doing it because your approach is different? Did you try to partner with any organization before going ahead?

I think these questions are important and really important to ensure you are on the correct path. You say?

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