In an effort to involve youth across the nation in Volunteering for social causes, Bhumi organized a National Conference on ‘Youth in Volunteering’ on September 1, 2018 at SRM Institute of Science and technology, Kattankulathur. This also served as a platform to bring together the key stakeholders of Daan Utsav to inspire and enable young minds in the act of Giving. About 320 students and 15 faculties from various colleges across the nation had participated in the conference.
The inauguration speech was delivered by Ms. Revathi, from the Directorate of Student Affairs, SRM IST, who highlighted on the need for youngsters in social change and how students should utilize such opportunities to work with NGOs.
Following this, Dr. Prahalathan KK, Co-Founder of Bhumi, enlightened everybody on the importance of the conference, Bhumi and its works. He also shared the opportunities that students can take up with the organisation like volunteering, internships, taking up a sustainable social project, etc.
TALK – I
The next talk was given by Mr. Anshu Gupta, Founder of Goonj, an NGO which undertakes disaster relief, humanitarian aid and community development across India.
He spoke about the purpose of Goonj and how students can initiate collection drives during Daan Utsav. Since the need of the hour is to collect utensils, study materials and stationaries, he urged the students to collect them for community welfare programs.
TALK – II
Ms. Sukanya, Volunteer of Daan Utsav shared the idea behind Daan Utsav and its origin. She also highlighted the need for a giving festival such as this, in our society and how the festival is celebrated across the nation; especially among college students. Students were moved by the impact stories she shared, which motivated them to further contribute to the festival.
Students from the drama club at SRM Institute of Science and Technology put on an amazing Mime show pertaining to domestic violence being inflicted on a sixteen-year-old married girl.
TALK – III
The final talk was delivered by Mr. Arun Krishnamurthy, founder of Environmentalist Foundation of India. His talk on Swachh Bharat (cleaning up lakes) had the audience captivated and motivated. He emphasized on how crucial our duty to restore lakes is.
Following this, students from the music club at SRM Institute of Science and Technology entertained the audience with a lovely singing and guitar performance.
The next session was an interactive panel discussion involving Dr. Prahalathan, Co-founder of Bhumi, Ms. Sneha Shankar, Program Manager, Teach for India, and Mr. Raj Dharmaraj, HR, Cognizant. The panel discussion focused on ‘Why one must volunteer’.
Mr. Raj shared his HR perspectives of volunteering, how one’s volunteering skills make a student career-ready and the need for such candidates in corporates. Ms. Sneha Shankar covered what a Fellowship is, fellowships in varied fields, why students must take up fellowships and how volunteering benefits a fellowship aspirant. Dr. Prahalathan shared his thoughts on volunteering, career opportunities in NGOs and the need for first-hand volunteering experience to fetch employability in social sectors.
THE LAUNCH OF BHUMI CLUB
Launch of Bhumi club was the most awaited session. We were immensely proud to launch Bhumi club as a part of the NGO club at SRM IST to multiply the social welfare activities in the campus which would enable students to take part in volunteering activities more effectively.
The Conveners – Mr.Lakshay Gopalka and Mr.Alekh Bajpai as well as the core team members of the club, were facilitated by Dr. Prahalathan.
Mr. Lakshay Gopalka, Co- Convener of the NGO club at SRM IST also delivered a talk on what was behind his motivation to initiate the Bhumi club, the activities he has organized and his personal growth that resulted out of being associated with Bhumi.
Finally, it was time for the award distribution ceremony, where awards were presented to the Campus Catalysts who had contributed significantly during Daan Utsav 2017 and had worked very diligently to make a difference in their community. These individuals had organized many activities for various causes such as environment, Swachh Bharat, and health.
The following were the awards presented:
Changemaker of the Year award – For outstanding contribution in a project
Bhumi Earth Award – Recognises E – Energy, A – Altruism, R – Reliability, T – Teamwork,
H – Hard Work that inspire other volunteers
The following students were facilitated:
The following students were facilitated:
Mr. Lakshay Gopalka – Change maker of the Year Award, for being a pro-active Campus Catalyst (SRM IST) and for initiating volunteering activities focusing on different causes to deliver a remarkable impact.
Ms. Gowri M – Bhumi Earth Award, for her outstanding contribution to Bhumi, Pune. She organized various activities such as a cleanliness drive, a book donation drive and also involved school children in a road safety awareness campaign.
Ms. Upasana Devi – Bhumi Earth Award, for her praiseworthy contribution to Bhumi, Cuttack. She engaged a large number of volunteers in various causes such as Swachh Bharat, environment and health.
Ms. Vijayambigai T – Bhumi Earth Award, for being passionate about volunteering and for organizing events to support elder citizens. She also organized a beach clean-up.
Ms. Reetu Kishore – Change maker of the Year Award, for organizing activities such as health & hygiene camps, food distribution drive and alcohol prohibition camps, to name a few.
Mr. Kavirajan S – Bhumi Earth Award, for his commendable contribution to the Catalyse program in Bhumi, Coimbatore and for organizing various activities to protect the environment.
The National Conference came to an end, leading to an exciting start to Daan Utsav 2018!