Ever since the first batch of students passed out of IIM Lucknow in 1986, they have been renowned for being not just fine managers, but also socially conscious ones. Bhavishya is a student-run social initiative of IIM Lucknow, aimed at inculcating this social awareness amongst the budding managers. It is the united voice of students against the strains in our society. Through the constant dedication and commitment of the students and unwavering support of faculty members, various initiatives are undertaken and implemented for ensuring benefits to the underprivileged section of society. Some of these initiatives are:
‘Harmony Cup 2011 – The Annual Fund Raising Cricket Tournament’
Harmony Cup, started in 2007, is an annual cricket tournament organized by Bhavishya to raise funds for various social causes. Harmony Cup 2011 was held from 12-15 November in association with State Bank of India, who were the major sponsors of the event. Over the years Bhavishya and IIM Lucknow has been associated with various causes including sponsoring education of the underprivileged, helping orphanages and supporting women empowerment. Funds raised last year were utilized to build a library in Prakash Bal Vidya Mandir, a Government school in Gomtinagar and construct the building for a school run by the NGO, Bachchon ki Duniya in Gannapurwa. The entire fund raised from the event will be utilized to support a free medical and operation camp, organized every year in Barabanki, UP; support the education of under-privileged girl children through the NGO, Prerna; and also set up an Employee Welfare Fund for Contractual Workers of IIM-Lucknow.
This year the event saw strong participation from student committee and non-committee teams. The coveted Winners trophy was won by the Placement Controls Team who defeated Rolling Enterprises in a closely contested final. The traditional IIML Faculty versus Students Council match added glamour to the event and was won by the Council team in the final over. With over 250 students participating in the entire event, the campus was abuzz with loud cheers and excitement during the tournament.
Though it is a cricket tournament, the objectives and outcomes are far-reaching in nature. All funds raised through the event directly go towards the identified causes. The Harmony Cup is a movement to bring together everyone who wants to contribute to a cause, so that together, a powerful impact can be made.
Year Long Activities:
Paarijat – The Sponsor a Child Program: Through Paarijat, IIM Lucknow alumni sponsor the education of girl children in Lucknow. Funds are channeled from alumni to partner NGOs and progress of students is monitored regularly. The program started in July, 2010 involving 23 children. This year the program has been scaled up and currently more than 35 children are being sponsored by contributions of more than 30 sponsors. The program runs in association with the NGO, Prerna, run by the Study Hall Education Foundation (SHEF) in Gomtinagar, Lucknow. Prerna was awarded at the 6th Global Annual Citizen’s Award by UN Association – USA East Bay for Girls Education: Equity, Empowerment and Opportunity to Change the World. With the excellent academic record of the school, the association has the potential to make a meaningful contribution to society.
Evening School for Children: The objective of this initiative is to provide education via an evening school for under privileged children living inside or in the neighboring villages of IIM Lucknow Campus. The initiative was started from August, 2010 with 20 children, with an aim to facilitate knowledge of Basic English, Mathematics, Hindi and General awareness. Currently, over 50 children from 5 neighboring villages are beneficiaries of the initiative. More than 100 student volunteers dedicate time every week for this initiative.
Adult Literacy Campaign: This program which started off few years back is an attempt to make the IIML campus 100% literate. Preliminary Hindi, English and Mathematics are taught to workers on campus. Though it is always a challenge to schedule classes, yet more than 20 workers are registered for the program currently. More than 30 student volunteers dedicate their time weekly for taking these classes. Further, Annual Worker’s Day is celebrated in October where the workers are awarded gifts for showing improvement and interest in learning.
Parisar – The Green Campus Drive: It is a drive aimed to make the IIM Lucknow campus a greener and cleaner place with implementation of more eco-friendly systems. At a time when environmental hazards and pollution is increasing exponentially, Parisar is an attempt to develop more environmentally sustainable model for a better future. A drive involving collection of all semi-used and unused paper in campus and their re-distribution is currently operational.
‘Samaagam’ – The Social Sector Conclave: Samaagam was conceived to provide a platform for interaction between NGOs, funding agencies, Corporate CSR groups, students and all stakeholders of the social sector. The event was held on 16th January, 2011. Presentations were made by five different NGOs operating in different domains where free exchange of ideas took place. Further, eminent social worker and Ramon Magsaysay award winner, Mr. Sandeep Pandey attended the event as Chief Guest. NGOs got an opportunity to put forth their ideas and learn about best practices. The primary objective was to facilitate mutual learning among the various stakeholders and ensure that meaningful interaction takes place for a coordinated approach to fight society’s problems.
Disha – The Career Counseling and Guidance Program: This program is primarily focused on 11th & 12th standard students in UP govt. schools. Currently the tie-up works with Prakash Bal Vidya Mandir School, in Gomti Nagar. Every weekend sessions are conducted to improve Computer Awareness, Personality Development, Communication, Team Building, Competitive Exams preparation. In order to manage the Disha program, IIM (Bhavishya) has tied up with an associate College, Jaipuria Institute of Management. Since its inception, more than 300 students have been beneficiaries of the Disha program. Currently there are 70 students who are associated with this program. Motivational workshops are organized to incentivize the students to excel in different spheres of life. Further, a library has been setup in PBVM (from harmony cup funds) to inculcate a habit of reading among students.
Awareness Visits: Social awareness visits are organized for the IIM Lucknow community to help the students interact with the less privileged section of society. A visit was organized to the orphanage – Rajakiya Balgriha on August 15th. In a fun filled day with the children, the visit helped bring smiles on the faces of the children at the orphanage and sensitized the students about the problems faced by society at a grass-root level. Previously visits have been organized to SPARC India – an institute for the mentally and physically disabled children.
Blood Donation Camps: In association with Akansha Samiti, two blood donation camps were organized in January and February, 2011. Blood collected from over 130 donors was given to the blood bank at CSMMU Hospital and Medical University in Lucknow for usage by children suffering from Cancer. Over the past two years 214 units of blood has been donated through this initiative.
We have also been involved in helping social sector organizations like Sanatkada, a handloom organization, to improve the efficiency of their operations. To help campus workers save their money for future requirements, workers are taught to maintain Recurring Deposit accounts in Post Offices.
The entire IIM Lucknow community strongly believes in the power of collective action to tackle society’s problems. The various initiatives are a means to make a meaningful contribution to society to ensure a better future for all.
(Article and pictures contributed by IIML’s Social Initiative Committee Bhavishya)