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Colleges for a Cause

Humanity is an instinct way beyond the ‘give and take’ policy of the world. Lending out a helping hand to the deprived doesn’t require a Bachelors or a Masters degree in social work; heartfelt affection and compassion is all that’s needed to make the world a better place.

“I spend my leisure time in making efforts to help the underprivileged. We cannot eradicate their misery completely, but can at least do our bit to motivate others,” says Deyashini Ghosh, a college student and a member of a Kolkata based NGO.

St. Xaviers College Kolkata started its very own project, Prayas in 2006. Presently, there are around a dozen South Bengal villages adopted under this project. In June last year, the Prayas camp was organised at the campus with the theme ‘Ashim aakashe agono kiron’ (spreading a ray of light as vast as the boundless sky). Here, students from villages were taught English communication, discipline and time management. Recently, members of this project extended a helping hand in building a 6ft wide road in the village of Hugalkuria.

The Swacch Bharat Abhiyan seems to have influenced students across colleges in India.
Students of Wilson College, Mumbai have come up with a very out-of-the-box idea. They’ve taken responsibility for the cleanliness of a local railway station. It has been decided that a few students once a week, will clean the station premises and make it appealing with works of graffiti.
Students from Thakur Institute of Management and Research recently carried out a cleanliness drive at Bora Bazar outside the CST. They will spread awareness about proper segregation of various types of garbage, with distribution of garbage bags.

Students' Initiative for Integrated Rural Development (SIIRD) is a voluntary students’ organisation conceived by IIT Roorkee. SIIRD came up in 2005 with the objective of holistic rural development and to inculcate a sense of social responsibility into young minds.

National Institute of Technology, Patna has come up with the association named SANKALP, which works towards the education of children in nearby slum areas. SANKALP is completely run by the students.
The students of Ramkrishna Mission Vidyamandira, West Bengal, do their bit to keep the campus and surrounding areas clean. In addition to that, they also pay regular visits to rural schools to supply books and uniforms to the underprivileged students. A lot of colleges across India, including Vidyamandira, are affiliated with the NSS (National Service Scheme).

A number of colleges lent their support during the recent floods at Chennai. The CSI College, Coimbatore, did their bit by gathering essentials like biscuits, blanket and candles and sending them to the flood victims in Chennai. The Madras Christian College, Tambaram and SRM University were also among the educational institutions that offered shelter to the distressed residents of Chennai.

Nirmaan, a non-profit organisation was started by some students of BITS Pilani in 2005. Nirmaan aims at providing basic education and livelihood opportunities to the needy. It now has over 500 members working in four different states.

Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, New Delhi, conducted their annual fest MOKSHA in association with Smile Foundation, a prominent NGO. The idea was to create concern among the students about social issues like women empowerment and education for deprived children with special stress on the safety of women in Delhi.

Premier institutes such as the IITs and IIMs also have had tie ups with this NGO.IIM Ahmedabad partnered with Smile Foundation for a youth sensitization drive for fighting against child labour, and supporting compulsory basic education for all. IIM Bangalore and IIT Kharagpur also have had association with Smile Foundation.

With more colleges coming forward with a helping hand, India possesses potential to metamorphose from a developing nation to a superpower. Droplets of compassion can together bring about a sea of change.

Author: Sanchari Pait


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