Aarti Madusudan is the founder of Governance Counts, a board member of iVolunteer and an alumnus of NIMHANS, Bangalore. Her work in the subject of good governance, both in India and abroad is well known and has helped in identifying key issues and strengthening the board of various NGOs. She was part of the esteemed panel of speakers at the National Conference for Youth on Social Change.
Here she is in conversation with MTTN about what drives her in life.
MTTN: How can we encourage more people to volunteer for social causes?
Ms. Aarti: I think there are many ways to do this. In my mind, one of the most important ways is to inspire people and lead by example. If you show young people what it is possible for them to achieve and if you share examples of others, they will be highly motivated. The other way is to get people that are volunteering to share their stories of how it changed them, the kind of exposure they got, friends that they made, the networks they now have access to and things like that. And personally, I think getting people to be in situations and places where normally they wouldn’t find themselves in is the best way to make someone learn. It’s one thing to talk to somebody about it and the other is to get them to experience it first hand. It is like going to a restaurant. When you go to the restaurant for the first time, you know that you have to form an opinion.
MTTN: What inspired you to find Governance Counts?
Ms. Aarti: I have been working with NGOs for a long time and Governance Counts primarily started because I felt it was a booming opportunity for two reasons. One, was for the organizations to be better and become more efficient. There were a lot of NGOs looking for help to be smarter at what they were doing. The second opportunity which presented itself was that there were a lot of people who wanted to share their skills. For example, there was an NGO which helped in setting up a dental hospital and so, the best use of their time was to help people with what they were good at. So the idea is whether can we get more people to actually work with NGOs and their boards. Boards are finally the decision making entities. And since they are the owners of the organizations it is important to get the best people to make that decision.
MTTN: What qualities do you believe are essential for the Indian youth to succeed?
Ms. Aarti: Young people represent hope and they are hopeful, unlike my generation who are a bit cynical. A young person is far more optimistic, energetic and they definitely believe in trying new things and exploring the unknown. All of these qualities are very natural for a young person and they must be harnessed. I don’t think there is any need to look at something very new. The aim is to understand yourself as an individual and follow your heart.
In conclusion, Aarti Madhusudan works every day for the betterment of the life of the common people. MTTN wishes her good luck with her future endeavours.
Interview By: Soumee Sengupta
Written By: Anushna Sen.