Community Service Day organised by Students’ of MES Night Degree College
As a part of our social outreach commitment, Mahatma Education Society’s Pillai Group of Institutions organized a ‘Community Service Day’ on the 18th December 2010, at the Dr. K. M. Vasudevan Pillai Campus, New Panvel. The aim of this event was to sensitise the students and involve them in community service. Social work has to become an integral part of our lives. We must give our students the opportunity to serve society. The world today should not just remain electronically connected, but also connected to the community.
The Community Serviced Day, was observed on a large scale with several NGOs participating. The air was filled with the spirit of service with staff and students volunteering their help. Dr. Daphne Pillai stated, “Community service cannot be obligatory or a responsibility, but it has to be a commitment that stems from within.”
A number of dignitaries were present on the occasion. Dr. Waman Bhatki, Consultant for the treatment and management of leprosy to the WHO (World Health Organisation), was the chief Guest of the event. The Chief Guest Mr. Waman Bhatki said that though leprosy has been controlled in a big way, the stigma still remains. Only awareness programmes like the one initiated by Dr. K. M. Vasudevan Pillai Campus will help and go a long way in bringing about a change. He commended the organizers on their effort.
Dr. Daphne Pillai, Chairperson of Management Board, Mahatma Education Society said that this idea was mooted to make the youth aware of the importance, meaning and usefulness of Community Service. Whatever the government is unable to do, the community should be able to address. She said ‘Ethics and morals cannot be taught in the classroom’, but can be instilled in children through community service where they are inculcated in virtues like caring, sharing, concern for the needy, respect for the aged, sympathy, empathy and other values.
Dr. K. M. Vasudevan Pillai, Founder and CEO of Pillai Group of Institutions, emphasised the need for helping drop-outs from school and providing them with basic education and vocational skills. He felt that the community should extend their service to this particular area which needs immediate attention.
Mrs. Annette Mascarenhas, President Elect of National Soroptimist International of India, Mrs. Anandini Thakur, President of Bombay North Soroptimist International, Jayshree Ramnathan, President Soroptimist International of Chembur were the other dignitaries’ present on the occasion.
Inmates of Ramakrishna Niketan Vridhashram, Shantivan, tribal children from nearby rural areas, inmates from Pratham Orphanage, Panvel were the main beneficiaries of the programme. A number of activities such as cultural programmes, games, computer awareness programmes for the tribal children were arranged besides the afternoon meal.
A general health check-up camp for the public, in collaboration with Life-Line Hospital, Panvel, a blood donation camp, in collaboration with Sai Blood Bank, Panvel, Aids and Leprosy Awareness programmes were the other projects organised for the day. Pillai Group of Institutions made generous contributions, in cash and kind, to ALERT India, Association for Leprosy Education Rehabilitation and Treatment, India, CHIRAG, College of Social Work, Pratham Orphanage, Panvel and Ramakrishna Niketan Vridhashram, Shantivan.
Enthused by the event, inmates of different organizations gave spontaneous performances which added colour to the event. A song presented by a 92 year old senior citizen, Shri. Vishwanath B. Bidaye, from Ramakrishna Niketan Vridhashram, Shantivan was particularly appreciated by the audience.
The ‘Community Service Day’ initiative started by the Pillai Group of Institutions will now become an annual feature. This will allow not only the participation of the student body towards this cause, but also the involvement and cooperation of the immediate community.
The ‘Community Service Day ‘put smiles on the faces of all the participants as they left the campus. It was an event which saw the bringing together of senior citizens, tribal children, orphans and abandoned children from several NGOs. It was a first of its kind initiative in Navi Mumbai. The Pillai Group of Institutions were the catalysts bringing about advocacy, outreach and community education.
Euridite Education Mission (EEM) is a registered NGO established by Mahatma Education Society (MES). Conceived in the early 1980s, it was actually set up a decade later and registered on 28th March 1995 under the Society’s Registration Act 1860 and the Bombay Public Trust’s Act 1950.
Our prime focus is to reach out to the underprivileged and marginalised section of society, especially unemployed youth and women, and help uplift the economic status of the poor.
School Based Activities
Marathi Madhyamik Shala
Students who have completed Std. VII in Municipal Schools have limited access to High Schools in this area. A large percentage of such students are from the lower socio-economic class of society. Our main focus is to uplift this group of students, and their family as a whole, by giving them a chance to pursue higher education and ensure their overall development. With this aim in mind, in 1995 EEM established the Marathi Madhyamik Shala for Std. VIII, IX and X.
Counseling for Students
Students are provided free counseling by a trained counselor for various problems relating to behaviour, learning, etc. On identifying a child with problems, a teacher refers him to the counselor, The counselor who provides guidance and helps to shape the child’s personality in a positive direction.
The counselor identify the problem through case-history or interview. If there is a need to involve the parents, the counselor, the parents too especially with the secondary school students Free Counseling services are provided to the parents too. Students of higher level (D.Ed., B.Ed.) are identified with different kinds of problems like – stage fear while teaching, stammering, public speaking, emotional problems, etc. The counselor offers guidance through different sessions and help them to overcome these problems.
Every year free medical check-up camps are organised for students of Chembur English High School, and for adopted communities.
Health Check-Up Camp
Health check up camp for the Chembur English High School students.
Eye Check-Up Camp
Eye Check up camp was conducted for the students of Chembur English High School Students, D.Ed. students, Pillai Campus and for Chembur Marathi Madhyamik Shala students. It was conducted in coordination with the Optolabs Company limited.
Session on Substance Abuse
A session on substance abuse was conducted for the D.Ed students and Marathi Madhyamik Shala students in the month of July. The resource person was Dr. Shanti from National Addiction Research Centre.
The ongoing activities like – Blood Donation Camp, Medical Camp, Student’s Camp etc. activities are continued on a regular basis.
This year we have conducted a major activity – Thalassaemia Minor Detection Camp for the students of M.M.S., D.Ed., B.Ed. and B.P.Ed. students of Panvel campus It was done in coordination with the Lions Club of Chembur and New Panvel. Among them four students were detected with Beta Thalassaemia Trait. Thirty students were detected with iron deficiency.
Awareness sessions on current issues are organised for high school and junior college students on topics like Stress Management, Yoga, Family Life Education, AIDS, etc.
Remedial Classes for Slow Learners
Several children find it difficult to cope with the learning process for various reasons such as low I.Q., behavioural disorders, family problems, etc. We conduct remedial classes for slow learners to help them cope with normal learning and keep pace with other students. At present we are concentrating on students of Anand Nagar Municipal School. This project is being carried out with the help of our D.Ed. students as a part of their community programme and N.S.S. students of Mahatma Night Degree College of Commerce.
Community Based Activities
Our major challenge was to identify all the social problems that persisted in the neighbouring slum area of Chembur and rural areas of Panvel. We carried out repeated surveys, field trips, and door-to-door investigations and compiled complete statistics on the socio-economic problems of these people. The N.S.S unit of the night Degree College was a great source of strength and support for this project.
Formal Education for Dropouts
School dropouts are a major problem today. Such students end up becoming troublemakers and anti-social elements. We identified dropouts in the area, and gave them another opportunity to join school. Our Night School admits dropouts into classes VII, IX and X. Students complete the S.S.C. board examination through the National Institute for Open-Learning System (N.I.O.S).
Free Computer Classes
We have set up a Computer Education Centre that imparts free computer education for economically backward youth from Chembur.
Health Education Programme
We have conducted various awareness programmes on the importance hygiene for the people of this area. These include:
- House-to-house awareness programmes
- Free medical check-up camps
- Aids awareness programmes
- Health surveys
- Poster exhibitions and poster competitions on various issues
English Speaking Classes
We conduct two batches of English Speaking Classes for needy students.
Our youth group regularly participates in all activities of our organisation, such as meetings, annual picnics, celebrations of festivals, etc.
Imparting Self-Employment Skills
E.E.M. has an excellent track record of providing vocational training for youth and women. We have a well-furnished tailoring centre at Vasinaka, Chembur where women are taught sewing skills, and learn to make garments which are sold, enabling them to earn profits. Our Beautician Centre at Vasinaka conducts a six-month beautician’s course.
We provide regular counselling for people especially to the parents of our own students who find it difficult to cope with the problems of life. If required, we refer them to other organisations for further help and assistance.
Several girls and young women in the age group of 15 to 35 years have never had the opportunity for formal education. Our adult literacy classes give them a chance to learn.
Although we are moving from charity to the animation approach, we continue to be helpful to the poor and needy. We assist people in various ways:
- Sponsorship for needy students, in the form of cash or kind.
- Financial assistance to youth for self-employment projects
- Assistance to handicapped in the form of cash and kind
- Distribution of books and stationery in our adopted areas at the start of the academic year
Networking with other NGOs
The Euridite Education Mission works in coordination with other NGOs working in the same field to fulfill our objectives.
Few organisations are:
- Soroptimist International of Chembur
- Inner Wheel Club of Chembur
- Rotary Club of Chembur, New Panvel
- Shree Gajanan Trust, New Panvel
All the above mentioned activities are conducted on a regular basis. One of the innovative activities which Euridite Education Mission has plunged into is reaching out to certain communities at Karnala, near Panvel. We have visited the area and will be adopting the schools in the locality and will begin special education programmes through our student teachers.