A late-night bike ride to India Gate, a trip to Rishikesh, learning how to analyse handwriting, pasta making classes or how to answer interview questions when you appear for a job.
These were just a few of the “skills” up for auction at the Faculty of Management Studies at Delhi University ’s (DU) north campus on Monday. Close to 250 students were involved in a bidding process in a classroom which was so quiet, you could actually hear a pin drop.
Auctioning in silence may sound strange, but the students of Faculty of Management Studies in north campus have been conducting the “Silent Auction” for the past four years.
In a unique initiative to raise money for charity, the social service cell of FMS called Vihaan conducts this annual auction, the proceeds from which go to help the underprivileged. “We write down the bids instead of shouting,” said Shankar Rao, a second-year student and the media co-ordinator.
“Last year we raised about Rs 90,000 and donated it to the three non-governmental organisations. Apart from donations to NGOs, this year, we are planning to hold career counselling classes for students in rural and slums areas,” said Daya Shankar Meena, a second-year student and the president of Vihaan.
The students put up their “skills” for auction and they themselves are the bidders. The minimum bid in the auction is Rs 50, and items fetch as much as Rs 6,000. “It is a very interesting way to help those in need and also have some fun in the process,” said first-year student Nupur Jain, who bid for a trip to Rishikesh.
Teaching is the most common item on the auction list with everything from classes in French and Tamil, to theatre, knowing the northeast to how to ride a bike, how to play lawn tennis, guitar and painting up for grabs.
Some of the less common ones include the delivery of homemade food and a combined package of classes and a date with the topper of a subject.