Abhyuday, the Social Activities Body of IIT-Bombay, which carries out social activities throughout the year has organized its annual 2-days social festival on 21-22 January 2017. This year, the theme of the festival is ‘I am not disabled, I am differently abled’.
The social festival kicked off with a motivating lecture by former Indian Army Captain Vinod
Shankar Nair whose life exemplifies the topic he spoke upon-’Success Matrix’. The major attraction of the day was the talk by Dr. Subodh Kumar Singh, noted plastic surgeon and the man behind Oscar winning documentary “Smile Pinki”as he talked about the work being .done by his team which has performed more than 17,000 free cleft surgeries. “The smiles and love I receive from all my patients is my fuel and everyday I look forward to reaching out to as many people in need as I can. ” said Dr. Subodh Kumar Singh when asked about his unfettered determination.
The next hero in line of the “Unsung Heros” was Mr. Praveen Tyagi, also known as “Young Age Dronacharya”,who provides free IIT-JEE coaching to 50 girls every year who are picked from rural areas of Maharashtra. He enthralled the audience with the inspiring story of his life from a rural setting in Ghaziabad, where, to quote him,”Education was not even recognized as a way of making it big!” to becoming a leading name in the field of education. Inspired by his father’s unflinching will to educate him, Mr. Tyagi who made it to IIT Delhi, has made it the goal of his life to make quality education available in the remotest areas of India at minimum or even free of cost.
In a setting, where entrepreneurship as an employment choice is gaining popularity for many students, a panel discussion on ‘The future of social entrepreneurship’, rang the right bells as speakers like Sandeep Rai (Senior Director, Teach for India), Elsa Marie D’Silva(Founder & CEO,
Safecity), Mandar Shinde (Director, Door Step School NGO) and Manjula Jagatramka (Founder
Director of VAITARNA) talked about the practicalities, the courage, the risks and the passion that go behind venturing into social entrepreneurship.
The day concluded with a blindfolded movie screening which was made in principle for visually impaired people and gave a novel insight to all into the life of those for whom the world is devoid of colors.
Day two of the annual fest of the student run social activities body of IIT Bombay, Abhyuday,
was graced by eminent personalities of the likes of Sindhutai Sapkal, affectionately known as ‘mother of orphans’ and former DGP of Maharashtra Mr. Praveen Dixit.
The lecture and interactive session by Mr. Dixit appealed to many civil services aspiring students and many intriguing questions were raised in the Q and A session.He concluded the session having given some pro tips to aspiring IPS candidates and emphasizing that a journey in uniform is full of sacrifices and tough decisions.
Another highlight of day two of the fest were the final rounds of the nationwide Annual Social
Entrepreneurship competition conducted by Abhyuday - ‘Action Plan’ which was launched nationwide in the month of September. It aims at bringing out solutions to the society’s problems by the people of the society themselves with the mantra of Identify-Innovate-Implement. This panel consisted leading names such as Manju Vyas (CEO, Apne Aap Women's Collective), Ms. Elsa Marie D'Silva (Founder & CEO ,SafeCity), Mr. Praveen Singh (Assistant General Manager C.R.Y.), Mr.Mandar Shinde (Associate Director, Door Step School NGO), Mr.Jayanth N (Co-Founder & Director, Sampurn(e)arth Environment Solutions Pvt. Ltd.) as well as representatives from SINE, IIT Bombay, Idein Ventures and Scale Minds. With a healthy interaction between the judges and the participants, it was a win-win situation for both the sides as the participants took home expert opinions on their work and the panelists discovered new talents.
Exhibitions at Abhyuday IIT Bombay is the combo of social start-ups like Barrier Break and Jaipur foot, and NGOs working for the betterment and reconstitution of physically challenged.
Sindhutai Sapkal, who was present as the chief guest of the cultural evening held this day,captivated the audience by her inspiring life episodes- from being abandoned by her family to building herself so strong that she now supports thousands of needy people.To paraphrase,Sindhutai said that ‘Hunger is the issue which drove me to reach out to people.Every other problem is secondary as this is a need which we face everyday. Yet there are many who do not get two meals a day in our country and it is our responsibility as privileged citizens of the society to reach out to them.’
She left the audience touched and inspired by her compassion, patriotic fervour and the will to do good to the society. This was followed by a splendid performance by renowned Kathak Guru Aparna
Mishra and her students. Next up were several differently abled children who shattered all doubts about their abilities by giving one after another unforgettable performances.
On this apt note, Abhyuday IIT Bombay’s two days of social extravaganza came to an end with the promise of growing youth participation in creating a positive change in the society.