Pune students take the road less travelled and volunteer to give back to society

A number of students have decided to join organisations working with underprivileged communities, either voluntarily or as part of their curriculum.
An Aasra volunteer teaches Mathematics to children at a slum near NIBM, Ishrat Baug.(HT PHOTO)
An Aasra volunteer teaches Mathematics to children at a slum near NIBM, Ishrat Baug.(HT PHOTO)
Updated on Apr 13, 2018 04:09 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Pune | ByAnanya Barua

While most students prefer to enjoy a long vacation or spend their time as an intern after a month of exams, many from Pune have decided to take the road less travelled by volunteering for community service in order to give back to society. 

“Students like us are very privileged to have opportunities to receive a good education and eventually go on to start a secure career. Education is not just a tool to uplift just oneself, it is also about giving back to the society and that is exactly what drove me to join Reach Out, which is a student-run NGO,” said 22-year-old Shraddha Dalvi, a BCom graduate from Fergusson College. Like Shradda, a number of students have decided to join such organisations, either voluntarily or as part of their curriculum.

Twenty-two-year-old student of Manasa Rao, a fifth year law student from Symbiosis Law School (SLS), along with her classmate, Shishira Johny (22) had begun Reach Out in August 2016 to provide legal and health assistance to women in oppressed communities, in addition to imparting education to children from these areas.

Speaking about the recent trend towards volunteering, she said, “We get a lot of requests from young college students asking if they can join as volunteers, especially after the exam season. Sometimes, it is a part of their curriculum, like it is in all Symbiosis colleges, but for many it is a purely voluntary decision. At the end of the day, such an experience pushes one to see beyond their privilege, which I feel is extremely important for the future leaders of the country.”

Run by a core team of six female students, and over 350 volunteers, the organisation has been reaching out across Pune and beyond, emphasising on issues like menstrual hygiene and Devadasi intervention programmes among others.

Twenty-year-old Oshin Bamb, a second year history student, said, “These college years are vital and these experiences are priceless and will teach you much more than you can ever learn in a classroom or an office.” A volunteer with Project Aasra under the ‘I Care’ initiative, in collaboration with Sahyadri Nature Foundation, Oshin has been teaching general history at a slum near NIBM, Ishrat Baug. 

Led by Mohammad Saif (25), a political science graduate from Fergusson College, project Aasra has been working towards providing meaningful education to children living in slums. “We have students coming from several colleges. Many of them work as teachers, educating students through an interactive, activity-based method. Our ultimate aim is to help children understand the importance of education and its relevance today.

Teaching is always a two-way street. At the end of the day, volunteers often feel that they have learnt much more from the children, than what the children have learned from them,” said Saif.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) declared the Class-10 results on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

    PSEB Class-10 results: Mohali rises in ranking, slips in pass percentage

    Even though Mohali district rose by two spots from last year's ranking in the PSEB Class 10 exams, its pass percentage dropped from 99.91% to 99%. Last year, Mohali was placed 17th among the 23 districts. This year, it improved its standing to 15th, with Gurdaspur district bagging the top spot. As many as 9,401 students from 109 Mohali schools appeared in the exams and 9,307 passed.

  • A pack of five atracurim vials, a paralytic drug used in anaesthesia, was lying near the doctor, with four of the vials empty, said Mohali police. (iStock)

    32-year-old doctor ends life in Mohali’s Phase 2

    A 32-year-old doctor allegedly ended his life by injecting himself with a paralytic drug used in anaesthesia at his rented accommodation in Phase 2 on Monday night. The doctor, who hailed from Rupnagar, was living alone in the rented house for the last three months and worked at a private hospital in Sector 34, Chandigarh. The autopsy will be conducted at the Phase-6 civil hospital on Wednesday.

  • On Monday, Kalyani had applied for bail before a local court. Her plea will be taken up for hearing on July 8. (HT Photo)

    Sippy Sidhu murder: Kalyani’s judicial custody extended

    A local court on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of Kalyani Singh, an accused in the murder of national-level shooter and lawyer Sukhmanpreet Singh, alias Sippy Sidhu. Lodged in Model Jail, Sector 51, since June 21, Kalyani, 36, was produced in court via video conferencing. On Monday, she had applied for bail before a local court. Her plea will be taken up for hearing on July 8.

  • Chandigarh administration had recently appointed 30 medical officers on deputation from Punjab, two from Himachal Pradeshand one from Delhi, while hiring none from Haryana. (HT)

    Haryana miffed over Chandigarh hiring medical officers from Punjab, other states

    The UT administration's decision to appoint 33 medical officers (MOs) on deputation from Punjab, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, and none from Haryana has not gone down well with the Haryana government. Highlighting its displeasure through a letter, the Haryana government has urged the UT administration to maintain the 60:40 ratio between Punjab and Haryana while filling up the vacant posts of MOs and dental surgeons. Till then, Haryana had not sent any panel of doctors.

  • The fee hike will not apply to students belonging to SC/ST and EWS categories. (HT File Photo)

    Panjab University senate okays fee hike for campus, affiliated colleges

    In a major decision, the Panjab University senate on Tuesday approved the proposed fee hike in its teaching departments, regional centres and affiliated colleges for the 2022-23 session. A 5% increase in fee will be implemented for students of the ongoing batches. The fee hike, however, was met with opposition by some senators. The fee hikes over the past years have never gone down well with students.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, July 06, 2022