Prayaas: Small steps to make a difference

In April 2017, eight highly motivated students of EPGP at IIM Bangalore got together to be the torch bearers of Prayaas, an initiative aimed at reaching out to the disadvantaged sections of the society and making a difference. When the team (Ankur Adhikary, Anuj Gupta, Ajeesh Sahadevan, Joydeep Sarkar, Manisha Thapa, Rupal Lotia, Tridisha Goswami, Vikramaditya) was formed, each one of us decided that we would put in sincere efforts to reach out to neglected section of the society in every term of our academic year and we have strived to live up to this promise

On World Environment Day (5th June 2017), Prayaas planned its first event. From the very beginning, we were sure that we wanted to move away from the usual ritual of tree plantation on this day. While we were racking our brains to come up with ideas, Anuj in his characteristic calm style proposed that we reach out to those who work silently, away from limelight. IIM B’s campus spread across 100 acres, is one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country and has more than 30,000 trees and around 30 species of birds. Around 80 gardeners toil laboriously to maintain the beauty of the campus. Additionally the cleaning staff play an important role in keeping the environment serene and conducive to learning. IIM Bangalore received the Best Ornamental Garden Award at a competition held by Mysore Horticultural Society in August 2017 and this was a testimony to the hard work put in by many to maintain the campus. Wasn’t it time to acknowledge their efforts and appreciate them for their hard work? After getting the necessary permission from the Administrative offices, we invited the gardeners and cleaning staff to the auditorium and honored them in the presence of students and professors. In an attempt to build awareness around the hard work done by these individuals, a small video documenting their everyday efforts was shown to the audience. We also arranged a gift, an overcoat that keeps their clothes clean while working, along with a speech in English and Kannada emphasizing our gratitude towards them. A lavish lunch at MDC was also arranged and it made them feel much appreciated. Each one left with a wide smile on their face. As one of the gardeners rightly said, “This is the first time I sat in the auditorium and today I feel that my daily efforts are being noticed; this will motivate me to work hard and attempt to bloom more beautiful flowers in the campus.” The occasion was also graced by Deepa Mohan, a passionate naturalist who spoke to the students and the staff about the rich natural diversity existing in the campus. This made the students more aware of the flora and fauna around them while it motivated the gardeners to continue their good work.

While Term 2 classes kept everyone busy and projects kept everyone awake,  Prayaas partnered with Asha Jeevan, an old age home (located at Gottigere,Bannerghatta Road), to supply medicines every month to fifteen aged individuals. Apart from helping them procure essential medicines, Prayaas also organized a half day event to spend quality time with the 70+ individuals staying there.  Around 20 EPGP students spent a sunny Sunday afternoon (in July 2017) with them and enthralled them with music, dance and games. It was no surprise when Mrs. Reeta, an 87 year old resident, volunteered to dance with the students and proved that she is much better than any of us. Their smiles spoke a thousand words. Staying away from their own families, they were delighted at the time we spent interacting with them. The need for company at their age is profound, and we were glad that we could create some good memories for them.

World Peace Day (21st September, 2017), marked the third event of Prayaas when we choose to recognize the efforts of the peace keepers of our campus, the security personnel. These 50 individuals protect the campus in spite of the rain or the scorching sun. Long shifts which demands constant alertness makes their job a difficult one, however their efforts to protect this institute of national importance is remarkable. Gifting them an umbrella (to protect them from changing weather conditions) was symbolic of our appreciation for their constant efforts. A scrumptious buffet lunch at MDC also ensured that we got a chance to interact with them individually. There was a smile and a sense of pride as they left the hall and we were happy at being the reason behind their happy faces. To help the students maintain their ‘peace’ the Prayaas team also organized a stress management workshop by Mrs. Sugami Ramesh, Clinical Psychology, Apollo Hospitals. The workshop helped IIMB students deal with their stressful schedules and prepare for the upcoming placement sessions.

It is with immense pleasure and pride that I announce that we have successfully completed three events and we are now preparing for Prayaas Day. The Prayaas team has managed to bring smiles on the faces of many who matter but are often forgotten and we promise to continue to do so.

 

Team Prayaas will continue its efforts and strive to impact as many lives as possible in the next few months. Prayaas is the self-funded social initiative of EPGP students. If you wish to contribute please get in touch with us over email or what’s app. (Prayaas2@IIMB.ERNET.IN/ What’s app: 8095735801/8777717039).

By,

Tridisha Goswami

EPGP 2017-18

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