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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Counsellor --- 18


Internet jobs 

Please tell me something about home-based internet jobs. Are they reliable? How can we ensure the authenticity of the advertisements? 
   Atul Nigam

Open any internet site and the chances are that you will be looking at advertising banners exhorting you to work from home and earn pots of money. But then if that were true, wouldn't we all be working from home? 
   Here are some dos and don'ts before you take-up any such offer: 
   1) Know the company you're dealing with. Often companies may have no plans to employ you directly, only to sell you training material and find customers for your work. Most importantly, find out if there is really a market for your work 
   2) Don't fall for promises of big profits. Operating a home-based business requires hard work, skills and time besides good products or services 
   3) Get references of other people who are doing this work. Ask them if the company has kept its promises 
   4) Be wary of offers to send you an advance on your payment. Some slick operators use this ploy to build trust and get money from your bank. They send you a check for part of your first month's pay.You deposit it, and before it has cleared the company contacts you to say that you were mistakenly paid the wrong amount so you need to return a portion of the payment for some reason. After you send the money back, the check that you deposited ultimately bounces because it turned out to be an elaborate hoax. Now the crooks have your payment, and you're left with a hole in your pocket. 
   So be very careful to only deal with legitimate companies that hire people to work for them at home. 
Social move 

I am interested in doing some social work in my spare time. How do I go about choosing a good NGO which can provide me exposure to the social sector? 
   Chandan Singh


Over the last decade, many NGOs have come up in India.There are over 12 lakh NGOs, over half of which are based in six lakh villages. Many do good work, but lack of accountability and transparency or voluntary code of conduct has allowed the lesscredible ones to undermine the work of the credible ones.This has led to a dilution of trust between donors and beneficiaries. Many of them have been found to have abysmal standards of accounting and reporting. Few put up their financial accounts on their websites. While it's not fair to paint the whole sector black, it's important to separate the grain from the chaff. 
Working in an NGO is certainly a good option if you are passionate about social work. However be careful about the NGO's bona fides and credibility. Before pulling out a leaf from your checkbook, make sure you check if it is genuine and committed. 
The Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) has blacklisted nearly 770 NGOs for indulging in unscrupulous activities. These NGOs have misused the funds sanctioned by the government, indulged in financial mismanagement and even submitted forged documents. 
A genuine NGO would have a systematic structure with an active set of trustees. 
Another way to check the credentials of an NGO is to visit the centre to get a first-hand knowledge of how it is carrying out the social activity. 
Apart from popular organisations like CAPART there are others like Give Foundation, Karmayog and Concern India that run independent checks on the credibility of NGOs. Use these resources to choose a befitting place. 

Special needs 

I am a graduate. I want to work in the field of special education. Please tell me about the institutes offering courses in this field? 
   Anju Jain


Surprisingly, nearly a quarter of the world's disabled live in India. Unfortunately, lack of education and awareness has become biggest obstacle in enabling the disabled to lead a normal life. 
   There are a staggering 35 million children with disabilities between 6-14 years, while there is a huge shortfall of special educators. Their number stands at just a little over 20,000. 
   Special educators mainly work with children with special needs like speech or language impairment, mental retardation, learning difficulties (autism, dyslexia, ADS, slow learners, Asperger's Syndrome), visual or hearing impairment. They help these students develop emotionally, train them to be comfortable in social situations, and be aware of socially acceptable behaviour. 
   Empathy, communication and co-operation are essential traits. After understanding their special needs, a special educator is required to be highly innovative to devise appropriate learning strategies and motivate the child to be as optimally functional and well adjusted as possible. 
   A course in special education equips you to work with such children studying either in special schools or in general schools in an integrated setting. But be prepared, while it is immensely satisfying and gives you the opportunity to make a difference, it calls for a great deal of patience, commitment and hard work. 
   A variety of options ranging from one-year diploma and BEd (spl) courses to three-four year Bachelor's degree courses are available. Since you have already done your graduation, you could opt for any of the one-year BEd (Special Ed) programmes offered at a number of universities. 
   Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) is a statutory body under the ministry of social justice and empowerment, located at 23-A, Shivaji Marg, New Delhi 110015. It is mandatory for every special educator to get registered with RCI. Log on to RCI's website for details:


Leisure management 

I am an executive with travel and tourism industry. I want to know about leisure management as a career option? 
   Sudhakar Gupta


Holidaying has taken on an entirely different connotation in present times. Today, it is not just about getting the right booking for a desired destination but a multitude of activities and 
events that make holiday a memorable experience. 
   With big bucks being spent on travel, leisure management has come of an age in India. Various industries come under its ambit including resort, hotels, restaurants, event management firms etc. Essentially, leisure management professionals are in-charge of managing their client's leisure time. 
   All the activities at a country club or resort including the live entertainment need to be flawlessly executed. 
   Behind all the fun-n-frolic are a bunch of hawk-eyed professionals who ensure that everything moves timely. 
   If the client enjoys the adrenaline rush of adventure sports like bungee jumping, white water rafting or rock climbing then organisers have to ensure that the client is cushioned against any mishap or inconvenience. 
   Although Bachelors, MA, MPhil and PhD courses are available abroad, there are hardly any programmes on leisure management in India. However professionals from the travel and tourism sector can join as management professionals.


 Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group


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