Merely rolling your eyes isn't a satisfying enough response to the things we hear as development sector professionals.

Here are some (over)reactions inspired by Indian soap operas to help you respond to your family, friends, and strangers.

1. “You work in the development sector? Development of what?”

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GIF courtesy: Giphy

2. “My friend’s sister’s nephew’s girlfriend also works for a nonprofit. You probably know her.”

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GIF courtesy: Giphy

3. “But why? You could earn so much more in the corporate sector!”

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GIF courtesy: Giphy

4. “Can my son spend some time at your office next week? He’s applying to US universities and his career counsellor told him he needs voluntary experience to get in.”

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GIF courtesy: Giphy

5. “Beta, why did you spend so much time studying engineering/medicine/insert illustrious degree if you were going to do volunteer work.”

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GIF courtesy: Giphy

Related article: Sh*t people say in the development sector

6. “What a great way to take a break and re-energise!”

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GIF courtesy: Giphy

7. “So, when do you plan to get a real job?”

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GIF courtesy: Giphy

8. “Oh I’m really into charity too… I donate all my kids’ old clothes to my maid.”

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GIF courtesy: Giphy

9. “You really are doing God’s work, beta.”

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GIF courtesy: Giphy
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Sneha Philip

Sneha Philip

Sneha leads content development and curation at IDR. She has nearly a decade of experience leading research, building partnerships and mentoring young people. Prior to IDR, Sneha worked at Dasra where she played a key role in leading the organisation's research and due diligence vertical. She has worked on areas as diverse as public health, sanitation, gender, strategic philanthropy, and the care economy. Sneha has also worked at EdelGive Foundation, AIESEC—the world’s largest youth-run nonprofit organisation, and was a founding team member of SELTI International (now Educate Learning Center), a language training company in Budapest, Hungary. Sneha has an MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex and a BA in Economics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

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