The Hindu

Cam­paigns for change

So­cial ser­vice has be­come a defin­ing com­po­nent of col­leges in Mum­bai.

- NI­HARIKA PANDIT The writer is a stu­dent of Sophia Col­lege for Women, Mum­bai. Society · Education · Croatia · Maharashtra · United Nations · Mumbai · H.R.College · Students in Free Enterprise · Uttar Pradesh · Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University · Rajgurunagar

Stu­dent- led blood do­na­tion camps, plan­ta­tion drives, cy­cle ral­lies to spread the mes­sage of go­ing green are cus­tom­ary in col­leges in Mum­bai.

So­cial work has be­come an im­por­tant part of the cur­ricu­lum in th­ese col­leges. Many city in­sti­tu­tions en­cour­age stu­dents to par­tic­i­pate in ac­tiv­i­ties aim­ing to help the un­der­priv­i­leged. Other than aca­demics and co- cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, stu­dents are an ac­tive part of so­cial ser­vice cam­paigns or­gan­ised in col­lege.

Project Chi­rag, a project ini­ti­ated by HR (Has­saram Ri­jhu­mal Col­lege of Com­merce and Eco­nom­ics Col­lege) in as­so­ci­a­tion with SIFE ( Stu­dents in Free En­ter­prise), is aimed at pro­vid­ing so­lar lights in ru­ral vil­lages across sev­eral states. “This year, we pro­vided so­lar lights to more than 3,000 ru­ral house­holds in Ma­ha­rash­tra, Kar­nataka, Ut­tar Pradesh and Ra­jasthan,” said Ayan Jeloka, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Stu­dents’ Coun­cil, HR Col­lege.

Project Chi­rag, ini­ti­ated three years ago, pro­vides so­lar lamps to vil­lages at min­i­mal rates. “Dif­fer­ently- abled peo­ple in Mum­bai are em­ployed to make so­lar lamps for th­ese vil­lages. Col­lege stu­dents then visit sev­eral vil­lages and ex­plain the im­por­tance of so­lar en­ergy,” said Ayan. Stu­dents are in­vited to par­tic­i­pate, and they re­main ac­tive in this ini­tia­tive through­out the year.

Sev­eral other cam­paigns such as ‘anti- smok­ing on cam­pus’ and ‘anti-plas­tic’ drive have be­come an im­por­tant part of the cur­ricu­lum of HR Col­lege.

Sophia Col­lege for Women, as part of their na­tional Model United Na­tions Con­fer­ence, MUNSOPHI-CAL 2012, vis­ited sev­eral vil­lage schools near Ra­jgu­runa­gar, a town in Ma­ha­rash­tra. Par­tic­i­pants of this ac­tiv­ity ‘ Cul­ti­vat­ing Change’ held ses­sions on con­flict res­o­lu­tion and the sig­nif­i­cance of the United Na­tions Or­gan­i­sa­tion in schools at Pim­pri and Ve­tale vil­lages. “Our aim is to reach to the grass­roots and make peo­ple un­der­stand the im­por­tance of con­flict res­o­lu­tion,” said Tanya Singh, sec­re­tary, In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions Club.

A group of 20 stu­dents who vis­ited th­ese vil­lages were de­lighted to see stu­dents in ru­ral ar­eas ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in con­flict res­o­lu­tion ses­sions. “Stu­dents came up with ideas and sug­ges­tions which we hadn’t thought of while for­mu­lat­ing the prob­lem state­ment,” said Nikita Ser­rao, fi­nal- year Ad­ver­tis­ing stu­dent.

Sim­i­larly, Jai Hind Col­lege or­gan­ises the Bachat Gath fair ev­ery year in the col­lege premises to pro­mote hand­made ob­jects such as bags, and kur­tis made by un­der­priv­i­leged women in Mum­bai. “We pro­vide stalls to groups of women reg­is­tered un­der this gath free of cost. It gives them an op­por­tu­nity to ex­hibit their work and tal­ent,” says Asst. Prof. San­tosh Ghag, chair­per­son, CSR com­mit­tee of Jai Hind Col­lege.

LGTB rights

Stu­dents of In­dian In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy— Bom­bay, are ac­tively in­volved in cre­at­ing aware­ness about LGBT rights and ex­tend­ing sup­port to stu­dents with alternativ­e sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. SAATHI, a stu­dent or­gan­i­sa­tion, has more than 130 stu­dents mem­bers who ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in dis­cus­sions and help in cre­at­ing aware­ness about alternativ­e sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion among col­lege stu­dents. Aditya Shankar, a core group mem­ber of SAATHI, said “All mem­bers meet once a month to dis­cuss is­sues of LGBT rights and ex­tend sup­port to fel­low stu­dents with alternativ­e sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.”

 ??  ?? A ses­sion on con­flict res­o­lu­tion as part of
‘ cul­ti­vat­ing change’.
A ses­sion on con­flict res­o­lu­tion as part of ‘ cul­ti­vat­ing change’.
 ??  ?? The project chi­rag team
The project chi­rag team

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