Best Practices

Title of the Practice: College Social Responsibility

Objectives of the Practice

The College initiated this programme with the objective of empowering people to aspire for greater things in life with a positive attitude, while thinking beyond themselves and working for the greater good of society.

The Context

The aim of education is not only to earn a degree to find a means of income, but also to create awareness among learners about the fact that they are members of a society; a society that they can change for the better, or worse. Social activities are conducted with an aim to reach out to the poor. Social awareness programmes and activities that encourage the students to actively reach out to the disadvantaged sections of society are organized. Through bodies like the NSS and the Students’ Council and other non-statutory bodies like NKare, Youth with Vision, and the B –Foundation, various activities are organized to involve the staff and the students in the College’s CSR Programme.

The Practice

Activities like beach cleaning, beautification of railway stations, street plays about various social issues, blood donation drives, etc. are organized regularly. Issues such as hygiene, water pollution, organ donation, rainwater harvesting, etc. are highlighted and awareness programmes are planned.

However, the social programmes are not limited to awareness campaigns. For instance, during Diwali, the Students’ Council promotes local, handmade diyas to support local small-scale manufacturers. The Gandhian Studies Centre promotes the sale of Khadi products made by local women through annual sales organised in the College.

The students are conscious of the problems of the poorer sections of society. Clothes, pulses and food packets are often distributed by the students. At the height of the pandemic, during the lockdown, many student volunteers from the Students’ Council, Youth with Vision (Team Rays), NSS, and other College groups organised food distribution drives.

As part of a project titled ‘Patang’, student volunteers of Youth with Vision have been visiting old age homes and orphanages in Malad, Kandivali and Panvel. As a part of ‘Project Poshan’students of Youth with Vision have been distributing food packets and clothes, even during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Educational needs are also addressed. The members of the B-Foundation have taken up the responsibility of teaching English to the Gujarati Medium students of Nahalchand Laloochand High School. The members visit the school twice a week and teach the students of the primary section.

Additionally, a village school in rural Maharashtra, Karambeliwadi, Pen Taluka has been adopted, and the students of Youth with Vision are completely involved in that project. As part of the Project Patang, the students of Youth with Vision provide Ayurvedic Massage and Hot Water Therapy to the elderly villagers. Their floors are floored with cow dung and their clothes are washed. This is done on a regular basis. As part of Project Pehel, the students of Youth with Vision organize an annual four day camp for the students of that village. Games are organized, and hygiene awareness programmes are conducted. Sanitary pads are distributed to the girls. The students also spend some days teaching the students to read and write in English.

Similarly, the NSS conducts a special residential camp in a rural area in Arnala/Bhuigaon, where the students conducts various programmes and activities for the residents. Games for the school children of that area are also organized and food packets are distributed. Cleanliness drives and beautification activities (Shramdaan) are conducted. After the COVID-19 lockdown, the Youth with Vision team visited the village for the camp on 27th March 2021, where they organized Karambeliwadi Khel Mahotsav for the children.

Evidence of success

The students of the College have been able to reach out to the destitute and provide them with food and water through their social activities. Regular visits to the orphanages and old age homes has helped in making the youth more responsible and grateful for what they have in life. The activities have also helped the youngsters realize how important it is to contribute towards the needs of the society. Even the parents of the students have willingly contributed food and grocery on numerous occasions to boost the morale of students.

The success of the project in Karambeliwadi, Raigad, is evidenced by the enthusiastic response of the residents. The regular visits of the student volunteers are eagerly awaited. The school was reconstructed by the efforts of the students and a stable school building is now available for the children.

Similarly, the residents of Arnala/Bhuigaon village look forward to the annual residential camp of the NSS cadets. The school children eagerly participate in these activities and even the local corporator has recognized the efforts of the students of Nagindas Khandwala College.

The various activities organized in the areas around the campus has earned Nagindas Khandwala College a lot of goodwill and support from the locals.

Problems encountered and Resources required

The team, while conducting the social activities, faced problems in transporting groceries and food items to the destitute. Sometimes there would not be enough food to distribute amongst the people.

With regard to the school in Karambeliwadi, due to the parents’ seasonal employment, the education of the children is disrupted.

Notes

The social activities conducted by the student volunteers instil values in them of serving the society. They also realise that they are empowered enough to bring about a change in other people’s lives. The College is now considering similar activities that can have a lasting impact. At the same time, additional projects for the betterment of the residents of the villagers of Karambeliwadi are being considered. For instance vocational training for the women is being considered. At the same time, possible employment opportunities for the parents that will not disrupt the children’s education are being explored.