Long queues outside banks and ATMs have been a common sight for the past few days, and students from city-based colleges are taking this opportunity to step outside their classrooms and help people in need instead. Be it helping people fill forms of money exchange at banks, or serve refreshments to people standing queues for hours together, students from various city colleges have been visiting several banks to help ease out the process for many citizens.
Last week, close to 50 students of Vivekanand Education Society’s Institute of Technology (VESIT), Chembur set out to banks in their area to serve water and refreshments to people standing in queues at banks. “The queues looked never ending and people were visibly exhausted, so we decided to help them out. Not only did we serve water and refreshments, but we also helped fill out forms for many people,” said Saurabh Khatri, a student of the institute. The students visited three banks in a day and lent their help to anyone who required it.
Many colleges have also encouraged their students to take up similar projects as part of their social awareness program. Students of Matunga’s R A Podar College visited two colleges in their neighbourhood to help people, especially senior citizens, finish their work with as little hassle as possible.
“Not only did our students help the public, but we also extended our help to banks. I personally spoke to bank managers in the vicinity and asked them if they need help in crowd management or other duties, as they too were overloaded with work,” said Shobhana Vasudevan, principal of the college. She added that while the first and third year students of her college are currently busy with their university examinations, the second year students are managing the work with minimum manpower.
Sankalp Kumar, a student of Birla College in Kalyan said him and his friends have been going around slums near their neighbourhood as well as college, to spread awareness about the current situation. “There’s so much panic but very little understanding of what is happening, especially amongst the economically backward classes. We have been going to slums and talking to people about exchanging notes, the process and the importance of this move by the government. We have received a very good response by the public in general,” added Kumar.
Other duties that college students take up as part of their social awareness programs
*Many colleges in the city have adopted railway stations, and not only maintain the up keep but also cleanliness at these stations. Vile Parle’s Mithibai College has adopted Vile Parle station, and the students keep undertaking cleanliness drives and awareness programs there
*The NCC cadets at many colleges help out Mumbai police and traffic police during Ganeshotsav, especially the idol immersion days, by helping with maneuvering traffic and public
*Many colleges also send out their students to the city’s various beaches for cleanliness drives a day after Ganpati idol immersion day, to clear out the garbage left behind by revelers
*Colleges have also sent out their NCC cadets during heavy rainfall days, which have often led to traffic chaos in the city. Matunga’s R A Podar College regularly sends their students to maneuver traffic outside college on such days