10 years, 60 NGOs: here’s how Sathya Natarajan finds time to volunteer for social causes

From saving a historical lake all by himself to teaching underprivileged kids during weeknights, Sathya Natarajan has been working for various social causes for a decade now.
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Be it in school or college or even during our work life, most of us have volunteered for a social cause. While a few do it occasionally, some do it on a regular basis. Sathya Natarajan is of the regular kind, having volunteered with 60 social groups and NGOs for various social causes since 2009.

Hailing from Pune, 43-year-old Sathya was an executive council member of a Boston-based MNC for 15 years. Now, he teaches underprivileged kids in night schools on weekdays, and conducts food drives. On weekends, he volunteers for land and water-related issues.

Sathya is a core member of Plan Action Committee of Swachh Bharat, and Area Sabha Association of Pune, which works for tree conservation. He has also been a finalist for the National iVolunteer award.

Speaking on his volunteering activity, Sathya said to The Logical Indian,

Apart from weekday and weekend volunteering, I also institutionalise and promote ‘desktop volunteering’, wherein people instead of travelling can use that time to plant a tree using a Google Map location and get an e-tree certificate from Grow-trees.com. They can also raise funds by sitting at their computers to serve workers who are in remote villages by way of Rangde, a crowdsourcing platform for eradicating poverty by sustainable fund-generation. Technology can often do wonders.

In addition, he also leads his own hygiene and sanitation group, which promotes the usage of sanitary pads, and alternatives such as menstrual cups.

Sathya with volunteers, (Image: The Logical Indian)


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Sathya has also helped government officials conduct surveys and riverfront development projects. On the same note, earlier this year, he had conducted a cleanliness drive to save the Mastani Lake. Being a weekday, people couldn’t turn up and Sathya cleaned the lake all by himself, removing 100 kg of plastic waste in four hours.

He said to The Indian Express,

I stay in Phursungi, Maharashtra. The cleanliness drives in which I have participated were carried out in other parts of the city and not in the area where I stay. With the World Environment Day around the corner, I thought why not do something near my area and start with the Mastani Lake. I could clean only half of the 20-acre lake.

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Sathya says he enjoys volunteering, and if someone loses motivation over time, they should try something adventurous and different to keep up the zeal.

He added, “One must focus on making an impact and enjoying the journey. There are three essential things to keep in mind. First, we need families and friends to support us when things go wrong.

Second, it is important to carry on with our day/night job to ensure stability. Third, it helps to have like-minded NGOs/social groups who invite us with open arms, with whom we must tag along to grow as an individual”, reports The Logical Indian.

Now, Sathya leads campaigns like the Maharashtra Urban Trees Preservation and the Protection Act, and Red Dot (Dignity of Labour). He has conducted 100 sessions under these two campaigns so far. Sathya also interacted with 4,000 women on the importance of segregation.


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