In schools, colleges and academic institutes in India and abroad, participation in social service is a critical element of every student’s academic journey as well as overall personal development. Through a plethora of on-campus and outbound activities involving interactions and projects not only within the city but also at the grassroots level, students understand the issues faced by the community and attempt to provide research-driven, impactful solutions to these problems.
IFIM places tremendous focus on socially-driven programs. The institute established the V.B. Padode Centre for Sustainability, a CSR center to undertake programs to serve the community. One of these initiatives is the Social Immersion Program (SIP).
The Social Immersion Program aims to sensitize the students to the needs of the community by completely ‘immersing’ them into the community and exposing them to a unique set of projects and issues. IFIM partners with a clutch of NGOs across the country to allow students access to these projects.
As part of the structure of the program, students work in groups to conduct a Techno Economic Viability (TEV) study to analyse community related issues and design feasible and sustainable solutions that have measurable impact. Through this exercise, students imbibe valuable lessons right from how to work in groups and communicating effectively to developing critical thinking and problem solving skills in order to devise socially positive solutions for the community.
Some of the projects the SIP has undertaken are discussed below.
Interactions With Children With Disabilities
Student groups visited a home for disabled kids in Hyderabad and spent time with the children. The children at the home are deaf and dumb. They are trained to earn their own livelihood after the 10th grade, without being a burden to their poor and middle class parents. They can draw and undertake some tailoring work. They can even speak the alphabets as well as a few words with help from special speech and vocal trainers.
At Truckers Point in Hyderabad, students conducted an Awareness Camp on Life, Vehicle Insurance and Hygiene where health kits by World Vision were distributed. The students also explained to the audience the importance of being healthy and hygienic while travelling.
In Mangalore, students groups administered pulmonary function tests for local auto drivers as part of an Anti Pollution Drive initiative.
As a result of the Social Immersion Program, IFIM students are more cognizant of the world around them and become more socially conscious individuals. These are principles they imbibe for life. Furthermore, the community witnesses an upliftment through the impact-driven work done by the student groups.