Our societies are facing extraordinary challenges: increasing inequality, rising poverty rates, unstable economies, climate change and a raft of other issues. At the same time, technologies are transforming the world in which we live, markets are undergoing massive change, and philanthropists are changing their practices. The speed of change is faster than ever, and the social and environmental need is reaching a frightening crescendo.
The Centre for Social Innovation was established in January 2016 with a vision to enact greater social links and creating new societal development and further to seek inspiration from the ventures so that others can take a step forward. The centre was set up as part of the star innovation project entitled “Sociovation”, sanctioned by University of Delhi, aimed to create a common platform to provide unison of all socio-innovators, students and the needy to be able to make a huge difference in bringing a radical change in the society.
Some major events and activities organized by the Centre are enlisted below:
1) The Centre organized a session on “Gender Sensitization” on 17 February 2016 to ignite the minds of the youth towards women safety and empowerment. Team from Womenite conducted the session and made students aware of the various social taboos, NGOs and ways of tackling this issue. They shared their experiences while working in this area.
2) An interactive session was held by Mr. Om Prakash from Sakshi Foundation on 2 March 2016. Mr. Om Prakash has been teaching a number of students in 10th class in Jasola. The institute, he is part of, is teaching around 200 students from various age groups. He shared his experiences in the session and told the students about various NGOs that they can engage with and some prospective steps that can be taken in the direction of eradicating the issue of illiteracy.
3) A talk and exhibition was organized on “Cleanliness and Sanitation” on 28 March 2016. Mr. Samirender Chatterjee, Executive President, Sulabh International was invited for the session. In the talk he detailed about the various initiatives taken by Sulabh International towards building a cleaner India. He told about the various public utilities and biogas generation plants installed and other women empowerment activities undertaken. He guided the students on how they could proceed towards working on the issue of cleanliness in the country.
4) A visit was organized in association with LECIN to National Science Centre on 3 July 2016. Students from Okhla slum were taken to the Centre where they were really elated to see several historical artifacts, science related theories through games and models, historical preview of advancements in technology and a 3-D movie. It was a moment to cherish for the bright young minds.
5) A talk was organized by Mr. Pratik Shetty, founder of the NGO Keep India Clean based in Mumbai on 10 August 2016. The talk was about his journey to establish this NGO and to provide guidance and motivation to the students to be able to develop ideas that could contribute further to the Clean India Movement.
6) Two fund raising campaigns were held in association with LECIN on 11 August 2016 and 4 August 2017 on the occasion of Rakhshabandhan. Two stalls were set up in the campus near the two porta cabin areas. The stalls displayed rachis, cards and pens with some beautiful messages made by slum students under the NGO LECIN. The money was given to LECIN for continuing their efforts.
7) A Cultural Event was organized on occasion of Independence Day on 13 August 2016. A cultural event was planned to celebrate the theme of Independence Day. Students under LECIN and Sai Sanskar Foundation presented cultural performances followed by a documentary/movie screening on the theme of patriotism. A drawing competition was organized on the topic “India of your dreams”.
8) The members of the Centre visited the Sulabh campus in Dwarka on 29 August 2016. Through this the students got to know about the initiatives taken by the Sulabh Organization in the field of cleanliness.
9) A session was held by Azad Foundation on the theme of “Role of men in Women Empowerment” on 14 September 2016. Mr. Srinivasan and Mr. Suraj (Founders of Azad Foundation), were invited to share the initiatives taken by Azad foundation in the aforesaid field. In the session, Mr. Srinivasan described the working of his organization and different methods to empower women. They talked about their “Women on wheels” program to empower women with minimal economic and social capital to become professional commercial drivers. They help qualified women drivers secure employment opportunities.
10) Innovatica-Let your Ideas soar with wings, was an event that was organized to provide a platform for the students to showcase their ideas that could prove beneficial for the society. More than ten teams were shortlisted in the first round and presented their ideas on the final event held on 28 March 2017. The jury panel was headed by Dr. Suman Chahar, Member, Sulabh International. It was a great opportunity to witness some great innovative ideas and promote collaborations for their successful implementation. Project Udaan from SSCBS was awarded the First Prize. Also results of the Photography competition held on the theme “Photography through the eyes of the Underprivileged” were announced.
11) Members of the Centre attended an event “Youthopia” organized by Pravah (NGO) in collaboration with ComMutiny-the Youth Collective on 16 September 2017. The event witnessed people from different age groups and backgrounds talk about their ideas which could change the society and also the role of education system in the same. The members gained a lot of guidance from the experts and were blessed with a broader vision by the eye opening words from the dignitaries.
12) The Centre organized an Orientation Program for the new members on 27 October 2017. The program not only briefed the students about the Centre but also served as a platform to share with them, the future plans of the Centre. Mr. Khursheed and Mr. Atul from Parvah were invited for the program to motivate students to think innovatively to create a better society for them supported with their idea of 5th Space. They carried the event in a participatory way by asking students to identify themselves in a unique way through interesting games which had deep lessons of life involved.
The session was followed by unveiling of the Logo for the Centre. Also Ankush, Vice President, LECIN, talked to the students about his NGO and its motto and the learning they have had in the journey so far.
13) Pathshaala- Ek Kadam Saksharta Ki Ore: An initiative, “Pathshaala – Ek Kadam Saksharta Ki Ore” was launched in July 2017 to provide support to underprivileged children from slums; to provide that missing link to their bright future. Inspired by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan and Skill India, this initiative is not only to help them academically but also to build their skills and make them employable. The idea is to shape them into able citizens of this country by mentoring them through education, skill based learning and self enhancement.
14) Members of Centre for social innovation attended an event Samvidhan Live! The Jagrik Project organized by Pravah on 24th January, 2018. It was an event to make the people aware of our Rights and Duties. If we have a right to something then we should also remember our duties towards the Nation. There were various activities which involved interaction with the Jagrik Nagriks and Enthusiastic songs related to constitution.
15) To create awareness about the significant role that nature plays in our lives, a new initiative “Our Nature” was taken up on 19th March 2018. Aloe vera plants were given to twenty children in a slum near Govindpuri who would take care of the plant along with one of the members of the Centre. He/She was given the responsibility to nurture the plant forever. This would help arise in them love for nature and the feeling of accountability towards its protection. They were made aware of the medicinal value of the plant and its relevance in our lives.
16) A Drawing Competition was organized in April, 2018 for the children of Paathshala. It was a joint effort of Centre for Social Innovation and Paathshala. The competition was organized to motivate the chilldren to discover and motivate their creative ability to express through art.
17) A visit to TERI (The Energy and Resource Institute) RETREAT (The resource- efficient TERI retreat for environmental awareness and training) centre located in Gurgaon was organised on 7th April, 2018 for the members of the Centre. The centre has undertaken several steps like efficient utilization of solar energy, plantation of trees, use of underground earth tunnels which has led to the cut down the requirement of electricity by 60%. They use biomass gasifiers and chulahs to reduce the amount of pollution. It’s a huge step towards teaching people on how to live a sustainable life.
18) A trip to TERI Himalayan Centre in Mukhteshwar near Nainital was organized for some of the members of the Centre. It was a three day trip from 27th May, 2018 to 30th May, 2018. The trip included a visit to Mukhteshwar along with a visit to Ramnagar under the programme Rural Immersion and Social Entrepreneurship (RISE). RISE is a social development program of TERI developed under the broad outline of the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna of the Government of India. The students visited their centre TRISHA (TERI Research Initiatives at Supi for Himalayan Advancement) and also experienced village life for a day. They saw their Radio station “Kumaon Vani “-India’s Manthon Award Winning biggest community Radiostation.
19) Project Why NGO visited the college on 30th August, 2018 to give a brief introduction about the activities they conduct for the students. They presented their current accomplishments in the area of education of the underpriviledged.
20) Some members of the centre visted the Okhla centre of Project Why Ngo. There we witnessed around 150 students from various age groups. The centre organizes teaching sessions for them. It also host a computer centre for basic computer education. A visit was also organized to their women’s centre where training sessions in stitching, beauty courses and computers were oranized.
21) An event on “Mental Wellness” was organized on 11th October 2018 in collaboration with IIT Bombay. It was an event related to discussion on issues like stress, depression and anxiety that is widespread among today’s youth. Dr. Anuneet Sabharwal was invited to make us aware of the above problems faced by even young people, identification of their symptoms and their resolution.
22) “Nawazish”- The Diwali Mela was organised in Ramanujan College collectively by Outreach Program, Centre for Social Innovation and Pathshala on 1st of November, 2018 to raise money for the welfare of underprivileged children being taught by Pathshala. All the societies had put up different stalls with games and eco-friendly diyas for sale. That was not all, to make the afternoon more fun and memorable there was live music and performances by the students of the college. Two competitions, painting and card making were organized for the students taught by Pathshala and Alankaar Foundation.
23) A joint Orientation day cum NGO meetup was organized on 13th of November 2018 for new incumbents into CSI, Pathshala and Outreach Program to showcase all the work accomplished during the previous session. The Chief Guest for the program, Prof. Shobha Bagai, graced the occasion of Orientation Program for the session 2018-19. The event was also blessed by the distinguished presence of members of ten NGOs who have collaborated with CSI. During the event, the E-Magazine of CSI was launched on this occasion. The present version of the online portal of the project Sociovation was also presented for suggestions and guidance. Certificates and awards were given to the students who completed internships, Volunteers and Best coordinator(s). Also, the program included some wonderful performances by volunteers as well as the students taught by Pathshala. All the NGOs gave a brief description about their work and accomplishments and guided the volunteers for the future endeavors in this area. The program ended with sessions by members from Azad Foundation on “Gender Sensitization” and Pravah NGO which talked about the “5th Space”. It was quite an informative and significant program for all the participants.
24) Team Pathshala conducted a workshop to create Best Out of Waste for the students of Govindpuri slum in May 2018. The kids were asked to collect re-useable waste items from their surroundings prior to the workshop. During the workshop, children were told the importance of recycling and re-using for conservation of environment. The volunteers helped children make different things out of waste, like boxes, pouches, decorative items, etc. The workshop turned out to be a huge success and the kids expressed their excitement for more such workshops.
25) Students of Govindpuri slum celebrated International Yoga Day on 21st June, 2018 under the guidance of volunteers. The students were made to understand the meaning and significance of yoga in daily lives. They were told the advantageous benefits of meditating. They were made to do the following Aasanas like Tadasana, Vrikshasana and Adho Mukho Svanasana.
26) A painting competition was held in Govindpuri slum in June, 2018 by volunteers of team Pathshala. The theme of the competition was “Conservation of Water“. The creative minds left no stone unturned to express this social message with their skills. The kids enjoyed a lot and were enthralled to see their paintings .
27) Approximately 40 kids children of Govindpuri Slum were taken to the National Science Center, New Delhi on the 15th July 2018. In the centre, they were explained different concepts and aspects of science like civilization, evolution, textiles, measurement, Human body and chemical elements. The kids were enthusiastic to explore and expand their knowledge.
28) Team Pathshala believes, as quoted by Mother Teresa, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier”. The children of Govindpuri slum celebrated the beautiful bond of Friendship on 6th August, 2018 by celebrating Friendship Day. Students participated in various activities initiated by Team Pathshala. With great zeal and excitement, students reflected their inner artists as they made Friendship bands and 3 dimensional cards for each other helped by the volunteers. The day ended with games, pictures and exchanging friendship bands.
29) Team Pathshala strives to keep its volunteers up to date with the latest teaching methodology so that the goal of “sharing knowledge” can be attained fully without any obstacles. Giving this motive supreme importance, a workshop by two esteemed organisations Lecin and Pravah was organised for the volunteers on 19th September 2018 in the premises of Ramanujan College in which the students were equipped with efficient tactics to handle children and teach them innovatively to keep them interested.
30) Team Pathshala organized an Awareness Programme in Govindpuri slum in collaboration with NSS of Ramanujan College in the month of September.The major aim of this programme was to spread awareness about waterborne diseases and how to prevent them as “Prevention is better than Cure”. The volunteers had an educational talk with the students and with their parents as well.
31) An event entitled “RANGILI DESHBHAKTI” was held on 2nd October 2018 in collaboration with NSS of Ramanujan College. In order to evoke the spirit of nationalism in the students the screening of the movie”Parmanu” was done and subsequently drawing competition was also held to let the creative minds draw their ideas on a piece of paper.
32) A cleanliness drive was held in collaboration with “TATVA“, the environmental society of Ramanujan College in the month of October. The event was a success as the children of Govindpuri slum also got involved and participated actively with the volunteers in the drive. As a result of this cleanliness drive two dustbins were installed in the vicinity of the slum.
33) A “Throwback Carnival” was organized on 5th October 2018 in the premises of Ramanujan College and included fun filled activities which took everyone who participated in the carnival back to the old school days. The students from the slum also got involved in the fete festivities and enjoyed to the fullest.
34) A Christmas Carnival was organized on 22nd December 2018. The students of Pathshala from the Govindpuri slum were apart of this carnival. Games,Christmas gifts, dancing, food became the highlights of this merriment carnival. By celebrating this serene and humane festival we tried to be the Santa in their lives and tried to impart them the lesson of being grateful and jovial.
35) On 26th January 2019,Team Pathshala to evoke the spirit of nationalism in the students,celebrated the glorious and significant occasion of Republic Day. The slum children were involved in various patriotic activities that instilled a sense of pride within them and helped them to recognize and work upon their responsibilities as the citizens of India.
36) IOT based model for Smart Irrigation: There is immense scarcity of water in the country. One of the areas where there is immense need for water is for irrigation. But this is also the place where water is wasted in large quantities. Two members from the Centre developed an IOT based model that would selectively release water for agricultural purposes depending on the condition of the weather, soil type, seed type and several other factors. The model is still in its nascent stages and would be developed further.
- Completion of the Web Portal for the project Sociovation
- Initiating a project for strengthening women by providing them opportunities to “Create” and “Sell”. The target would be women from slums and homemakers who wish to make a career out of some skill they possess in the area of textiles, food items, jewelry, crafts or any other product. The revenue generated would be given to them and would further be used to equip them with training and skill development programs.
- Spanning horizons by networking with more NGOs and experts
In the future, we wish to develop innovative models based on technological advancements like IOT to create a positive effect in the social scenario of the country.