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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Mumbai

Mumbai College fests turn into tool to fight India’s problems
Apoorva Puranik , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, September 30, 2013
First Published: 08:54 IST(30/9/2013)
Last Updated: 09:08 IST(30/9/2013)

College students are looking for ways to make their college fests different from hundreds of similar events in the city, and they have hit upon a novel idea to make their fests not just more popular, but also more meaningful.

Most colleges are now incorporating a campaign against the ills plaguing our society in their fests.

One of the flagship events at IIT Bombay’s Techfest this year is ‘ReformNation’ a competition designed with a vision to sensitise the participants to the underprivileged people in society.

“In this competition, teams will select activities from a list of 100 tasks, focusing on eradication of 18 of the most ignored social and ecological problems, such as holistic development of a child, sustainability, human rights and healthful living,” said Divyam Bansal, organising member of Techfest.

For help, the students have tied up with many NGOs, such as Child Relief and You, (CRY), Smile Foundation, Pratham, Muktangan, among others.

“Instead of only focusing on technology, this year we strive towards making some difference in people’s lives,” said Bansal.

Mass media students of Lala Lajpat Rai have come up with a campaign called ‘Ab Main Ek Bajaoon’, which protests against sexual harassment.

It urges women to carry a small whistle which can be used to raise alarm in case of harassment.

“It aims at safeguarding women and helping them gain confidence against molestation. A simple whistle can be an important tool to gather attention and support,” said Sangeeta Makkad, a member of the campaign team and head of the college’s BM department.

“Getting youth to be sensitised and aware of social issues affecting the society is very important and it is great that they are taking up the task themselves, through various campaigns and festivals,” said Makkad.


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