Insights + interviews

Pandian Parthasarathy shares his joy of volunteering

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Pandian Parthasarathy is a 56 year-old with a strong passion for volunteerism. Over the past 10 years,  he has volunteered with the People’s Association, became a Blue WaVe ambassador, and led two Blue Ripple sessions with Northbrook Secondary School. Project Blue WaVe is a movement by PA Water-Venture that aims to bring Singaporeans together and build a sense of ownership of the environment.

He is a nature lover who enjoys speaking about nature conservation while engaging with people around him, including students he meets for environmental conservation programmes that he volunteers for.

The Active Age speaks with Pandian to understand his reasons for volunteering, and how others can gather insights from his example and find the time to contribute back to the community.

Active Age (AA):  Can you share some background about yourself?

Pandian Parthasarathy (PP): I started becoming a volunteer in 1982 as an RC Member for Macpherson Zone A Resident Committee. I was a member, Auditor and Assistant Treasurer for around 7 years. I then moved on to Macpherson Community Club Management Committee in 1987 and am still serving till today. Currently I am appointed as an Assistant Treasurer for Macpherson CCMC. In between 1989 to 1995 I was also the Chairman for the Macpherson Youth Executive Committee. PA also had an adventure club called PAYMACC where I was the Chairman for close to three years.

I also have deep interest and appreciation for nature which started during my youth days when I went trekking in Singapore and overseas. Besides trekking, I do other outdoor activities to keep myself fit.

AA: How long have you been an active volunteer; and where at?

PP: I have been an active volunteer since 1987, involving in many activities and the current ones include being a volunteer trainer for Sport Climbing, Abseiling and a Lead Facilitator for Project Blue WaVe at Water-Venture (Pasir Ris).

AA: What type of roles do you do as a volunteer?

PP: I have been a PA volunteer-trainer for Abseiling and Sport climbing for 10 years. In recent years, I also took on the role as an ambassador of PA Water-Venture’s Project Blue WaVe Movement.

We facilitate environmental conservation programmes for Water-Venture clientele, such as the Blue Ripple education programme with Northbrooks Secondary School. In that role, we typically facilitate experiential games to educate the public on the consequences that human lifestyle choices can have on the environment. Project Blue WaVe is a movement by PA Water-Venture that aims to bring Singaporeans together and build a sense of ownership of the environment through education on marine biodiversity and environment conservation.


Blue Ripple programmes usually last 2 hours where clientele participants are brought out to immerse in nature and do their part in clean-up projects. The experiential session brings out a deeper appreciation in the participants towards environmental conservation.

I am also a Volunteer guide for at The Istana Heritage Gallery and Nature guide for the Istana during Open House and Special Occasion or VIP visits.

AA: What do you find most fulfilling about volunteering?

PP: I find that being a volunteer gives me a great feeling of enjoyment and a sense of belonging. It also gives me the opportunity to share information of relevant topics to the participants. To me, volunteering comes from the heart. Whatever the activity is, the participants must take away some useful information with them.

AA: What would you share with someone that is new to volunteering?

PP: Being a volunteer is a gift. Just enjoy and treasure the moments regardless of the activity.

AA: How do you recharge yourself after volunteering?

PP: I find that being a volunteer requires knowledge regardless of the activity. During my free time, I recharge myself by finding out new things and doing research on the volunteer activities that I’ll be doing.


Photo credit: PA Water-Venture



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