CSA offline events have kickstarted in full swing this semester. On the 31st of March, we witnessed the Parivarthana March, where Prayatna volunteers along with the Parivarthana women marched across campus with the motto of spreading awareness on sustainable living. Posters and slogans resonated the passionate chants of the volunteers. Celebrating the women of our Parivarthana unit, volunteers also organized a Women’s Day programme at the mini auditorium, which turned out to be an eventful afternoon, embracing togetherness and empowerment. The 41 volunteers, along with the 13 Parivarthana women and 7 staff members enjoyed a cultural programme and some games. Among the dignitaries present were Dr. Victor Paul, Director of CSA, Student coordinators, Dr. Sharon Valarmathi and Dr. Reshma Jacob.
Event- Sustainable Development Goals in Higher Education Institutions
Date- 23 February 2021
Time- 7:10 pm to 8:15 pm
Organized by- Centre for Social Action (CSA)
No. of attendees- 95
Objective- To understand the objectives of UNAI and the importance of SDGs
The Centre for Social Action (CSA) on 23rd February, Tuesday, organized a riveting webinar on Sustainable Development Goals in Higher Education Institutions at 7 PM on Webex Platform. This event had been preceded by the inauguration ceremony conducted to mark the collaboration of Christ (Deemed to be University) and the Centre for social action with the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI). This collaboration had been declared on 8th February 2021, in the presence of Mr. Saji Thomas, a former UN Civil Servant, UNHQ, New York.
The event commemorated the first step into the dedicated collaboration between CHRIST (Deemed to be University) and the United Nations Academic Impact program. It strengthens the University’s relationship with the United Nations body and its commitment towards fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
Mr. Ramu Damodaran, Chief of the UNAI, was the keynote speaker of the event which was presided by Dr. Fr. Jose CC, Pro-Vice-Chancellor CHRIST (Deemed to be University). Mr. Saji Thomas, former UN civil servant, Dr. Anil Pinto, Registrar, Christ University, and Dr. Victor Paul, Director, CSA, also graced the occasion along with the Deans, Directors and other faculty members from 5 campuses of CHRIST (Deemed to be University).
Mr. Damodaran, who is currently the Chief of the UNAI and the Deputy Director of Outreach Division of the Department of Global Communications of the United Nations, reminded the participants about their responsibility towards society as he inspired them to use their privileges, skills, talents and intellect for the betterment of the world. He also urged the audience to conceptualize their respective fields as an instrument of change that is grounded on righteousness and social justice.
A highly engaging interactive session followed the keynote address, wherein Mr. Damodaran addressed the queries, raised by the faculty and students, with utmost thought and concern. The event was well-received by the students and ended on a successful note. It gave Christites and the student volunteers of the Centre for Social Action an opportunity to learn more about UNAI, and also gave their spirit of volunteerism greater structure with new insights.
Event- United Nations Academic Impact Program 2021
Date- 8th of February, 2021
Time- 7.00 PM to 8:45 PM
Organized by- Centre for Social Action (CSA) and Christ (Deemed to be University)
Platform- Cisco Webex
No. of attendees- 314
Objective- To provide details and insights into the opportunities available to Christites through various internships, scholarships and training programs. To highlight the University’s activities aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals that come under the purview of United Nations Academic Impact program 2021.
Main Points- This event marks the journey with the United Nations Academic Impact program. It strengthens the University’s relationship with the United Nations body and its commitment towards fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. The event started with the emcees Pragati Sambrani and Soniya Manek welcoming the gathering. Before the proceedings began a silent prayer was offered by all. Dr. Victor Paul, the Director of CSA then gave the welcome speech that delved deeply into the functioning of the UN, the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Intellectual Social Responsibility. He highlighted the crucial role of universities, education, skill development, climate action, Sustainable Development Goals and recycling. Adding to this, he stressed on the importance of the mentioned topics on campus. Cementing the collaboration with the UN was also mentioned.
Dr. Fr. Abraham VM, the Vice-Chancellor of Christ (Deemed to be University) gave the inaugural address and declared the collaboration open. This implied that Christ (Deemed to be University) was now a part of the UNAI. Following the announcement, a certificate from UNAI was displayed, which included all the necessary credentials. This certificate was a mark of the official collaboration and bestowed honor upon the University. Dr. Suniti Phadke, the Dean of International Relations explained the details of the collaboration and mentioned how fruitful and enriching this program is for the students. Dr. Joseph Wilson Lobo, the Chief Consultant of International Initiatives, in his word of felicitation, mentioned that Christ (Deemed to be University) is the first among many institutions to sign an accord with the UN for sustainable development and this was certainly a step in the right direction. Dr Guydeuk Yeon, the Director of the Innovation Centre, Prof. Biju Toms, the Director of Professional Studies, Fr Lijo Thomas the Director of International Affairs, Athul MV, Fr. Viju P Devassy from Delhi Campus and Fr. Arun Anthony from Pune campus congratulated the management and the students for achieving this milestone.
Later, our chief guest of the day, Mr. Saji Thomas, a former UN Civil Servant, UNHQ, and New York delivered the keynote address. The insightful session educated the students on the importance of being impactful and motivated them to create ripples in the world with their positive thoughts and actions. Dr. Valarmathi, the Coordinator of CSA proposed the vote of thanks, after which, the floor was declared open for a brief Q/A session. Mr. Saji Thomas presented and explained the structure of the UN, internships offered, and their benefits for the student community. As he interacted with the students, he shared his experiences and reiterated the importance of peace and friendship.
The session came to end as the university anthem was played. Christites were able to take away a lot from the event and were offered many insights into becoming a global citizen.
● The event was planned systematically and all the panelists added value to the event.
● There was a minor technical issue at the start of the event, but was handled smoothly by the team.
● The turnout was brilliant and this certainly was a very enriching session.
● The questions asked at the end of the session were certainly a fitting end to what had been a productive session.
Conclusion- The organizing committee executed the event remarkably. The event as a whole was a success and most importantly, the attendees had a lot to take away.
12th November- 13th November
“Education as a propelling force towards sustainable development goals”
Education is the fundamental core for all other SDGs- quoted Job Zachariah at the inaugural ceremony of the two day SDG conference organised by CSA, BCC. This observation made by the keynote speaker resonated the eminence of the theme of the conference. Education as a theme is extensive and integrative which makes it a great topic of conversation, deliberation and implementation. The inauguration marked an impressive facade for a two day engagement of academic investigations and research with chief guests Job Zachariah (Chief UNICEF officer Chattisgarh) and Dr. (Fr) Jose CC, Pro-VC honouring the ceremony with their receptions and insights on education as a great propelling force. A poster presentation by the volunteers signified CSA’s role towards the fulfillment of SDGs. The two days were cloaked with research paper presentations on various branches and domains like linguistic relativity, withdrawing stigmas and taboos, the lockdown impact, school curriculum and role of education in social enhancements. The enthusiastic response for the conference impressed the organisers to designate a 4 track session with a total of 42 papers shortlisted from over 68 invites. The paper presentations were graced by judges which included faculty from CSA as well for the evaluation. Impressive quality of papers, appropriate methodologies, use of cross disciplinary measures and tools, specific and deeply researched topics were some of the remarks made by the judges. The panel discussion followed the paper presentation which were chaired by Dr. Hemalatha, Dr. Bobby Joseph and Dr. Vasudev Sharma and moderated by Dr. Moses Satralkar entertained the audience with an engaging conversation on how educational institutions can play a role. The audiences were really struck with the opportunities that were latent to them and were very eager to know how one as an individual could channelise towards the bigger goal of SDGs.
A wholesome participation with about 200 plus attendees across both the days was the frosting on the whole conference. The 2 day event was brought to a close after all the participants had a comprehensive understanding of the importance of education and were able to set in perspective their thoughts and ideas to bring a change in the future of the world.
Date: 18th November 2020
Time: 10.00 am- 11.00 am
Venue: Council Room, CHRIST (Deemed to be University)
Mode: Zoom meeting
The Valedictory Program me of Bosch Bridge trainees of 10th Batch and inauguration of 11th batch was held on 18 Nov, 2020 in the Council Room, Central Campus, CHRIST (Deemed to be University). Dr. Victor Paul, Head, Dept. of Social Work & Sociology, Director- CSA, presided over the programme. Dr. O P Goel, Senior General Manager, Head-Bosch India Foundation, CSR & Skill Development, and his team attended the programme on virtual mode. The staff and faculty at CSA, student volunteers, trainees of 10th batch and 11th batch graced the occasion.
The programme began with a prayer song by Ms. Anu, 10th batch trainee. Mr. kashif, 10th batch trainee gave the welcome address. Followed by that 4 trainees of 10th batch Bridge training shared their experience on how the training inputs they received from CHRIST university and the placement offer facilitated by Bosch helped them to get a good job through which they are able to make a decent living, supporting their families.
Dr. O.P. Goel gave the Valedictory Address in which he insisted on the importance of skill development and job placement. He insisted the students to utilize the support of university management in all aspects and wished the outgoing students of 10th batch and 11th batch a very successful future.
The trainees of 10th batch performed a short skit on the contribution of the Bridge programme in facilitating them in realization of their dream. Followed by the skit, Dr. Victor Paul gave the inaugural address. He thanked Dr. Goel and his team for the continued support in successful implementation for the programme. Dr. Victor Paul placed on record the support and encouragement by Rev. Dr. Abraham VM, Vice Chancellor, Rev. Dr. Fr. Jose CC, Pro Vice Chancellor and the management of Christ University. He appreciated the outgoing trainees for their persistent effort in completion of the course and the taking up job offer there by setting out a model of responsible citizens. He welcomed the 11th batch trainees and encouraged them to make use of the opportunity given to them and aspire to achieve their goal in becoming valuable assets of the nation.
Dr. Victor Paul gave away the certificates to the 10th batch trainees and kit bags to the 11th batch trainees. their Certificates were given to the 10th batch of outgoing students and kit distribution for the 11th batch students. Studnets who got employment after the training shared their experience. The programme was concluded with vote of thanks by Mr. Kishore, trainee of the 10th batch.
Envisioning Sustainable Development Goals: Commemoration of the 75th UN Anniversary
On 24th of October 2020, Centre for Social Action (CSA) organized an event via Cisco Webex platform to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the UN.
The event commenced with Dr Victor Paul’s address to the attendees about the contributions made by CSA to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Along the same theme, posters created by the volunteers were unveiled by Father Dr Jose CC – which further highlighted CSA’s contribution to the UN’s vision. Subsequently, Dr John Samuel, Chair of Asia Democracy Network, Seoul, shared his keynote address on Envisioning Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr. John Samuel provided the attendees with a critical overview of the UN, along with the challenges the organization needs to tackle in the future. Further, he discussed the significance of the SDGs not only worldwide but also in India; especially in the times of the global pandemic. He concluded by expressing his ideas about the future of the world and how progress will take place.
In a subsequent session on Google Meet, the student leader body of CSA from Bangalore Central, Bannerghatta and Kengeri Campus then presented their ideas of 10 SDGs. This initiative by the leaders was aimed at sensitizing themselves along with the volunteer body about CSA’s contribution to each SDG. In these presentations, initiatives undertaken in previous years were evaluated in order to provide a direction towards future improvements. This also helped the leaders to ideate upon potential ideas on how they can contribute as individuals and as a whole to make an impact.
Concluding on an insightful note, the event was deemed as successful with its provision of a multi-dimensional approach towards achieving the bigger picture of social action.
Jahnvi Gandhi- 2030143
The Media and Communication wing of the Centre for Social Action (CSA) continued their drive to create awareness and sensitization among people towards various issues through yet another successful Webinar conducted on Tuesday, 30th September 2020 on the topic of Social Media Activism. The hour-long session was in collaboration with Reachout India and was graced by the presence of their various representatives. The CSA volunteers talked with the attendees about casual topics for some necessary ice-breaking before the event officially began. The event began at 5:35 with excitement and great enthusiasm by both the attendees and the hosts. The event was kicked off by Kishnika Dhawan, a CSA volunteer, by a quote from Master Shifu of Kung Fu Panda. Reachout India, a Pune based organisation that was set up in 2015, is a not-for-profit youth-run organisation that aims at bringing social transformation through a strategic initiative with a focus on capacity building. Four of their team members, including co-founders Manasa Rao and Shishira Johny and members Rhea Purohit and Sanghamitra, graced the event with their presence.
Sanghamitra started by talking about how it’s so easy to fit your perspective into a 1×1 box to influence others and how social media is a boon for many underrepresented groups. Giving us various examples, ranging from personal anecdotes to the Manisha Valmiki rape case, Sanghamitra brought to light how many of us are using borrowed perspectives and not talking about the real issues. She talked about how every piece of work from art to music is resistance and how we are led to believe that we need to have a platform to do meaningful work when that’s not true: we can do anything we want to on any platform we like if we want to shed light on important issues. Shishira took over then and talked in brief about how social media helps identify stakeholders, mobilize resources and how you can conduct and implement campaigns through social media.
Manasa spoke of the Adhoc drive they conducted under their women’s health and employment project. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic many women didn’t have access to basic menstrual hygiene products. Deeply affected and concerned by this, Reachout started with a very basic social media post which was a fundraiser, to help the women in need. They quickly identified stakeholders and mobilized resources and reached out to over 20,000 women by identifying target groups-partners corporates, NGOs, etc- through social media for this COVID-19 response and recovery project.
Next, we had Sanghamitra tell us about the ‘Reach out and beyond’ platform where they publish well researched information and articles in collaboration with like-minded organisations and individuals. She stressed on the need to collaborate to build consciousness and later to build a community and gain more perspective on the issue, amplification and reaching out.
Shishira then spoke about project Rise, focussing on children’s education that was started five years ago, wherein they found volunteers in Pune through social media. They developed curriculums and taught English and personality development after the school hours to government school students.
Rhea Purohit summed up the session by talking about the devadasi project based in Raichur wherein they went on the field to understand their way of living, their problems and to assess the help provided by the government. Benefits of this research affected around 40,000 women positively, all the while building awareness and sensitising people. She then advised everyone that while developing a social media activism base, we must remember that there is no fixed formula or one size fits all logic. We have to just ask ourselves these three questions- who is the target audience? What kind of engagement are you looking for? How do you want to have the target audience engage with you?
The webinar main session ended by 6:17 pm followed by a question and answer session, which turned out to be very interactive and productive. Attendees asked a lot of hitting questions on a plethora of topics which the Reachout team answered beautifully making it a very insightful and fun session.
The main takeaway for everyone was to make sure they use their voices to enable other voices to be heard, remember that their platform could be anything and that the power of the collective should never be underestimated. We need to try and modify social media to our advantage and be an active and informed activist.
The session came to an end with Nikhil Nema giving out the vote of thanks followed by a feedback session. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and very encouraging for both the hosts and the attendees with everyone appreciating Reachout India for their participation. All in all, it was a very successful and informative session and one more win for the CSA Media and Communication wing for their great organisation and hard work.
By- S A Sneha- 2031358
CSA saw another initiative taken for its volunteers by Project Mātram, which conducted a webinar on Gender Sensitization that was held successfully on the evening of 25 September 2020. The event was graced by Anjana Goswami and Puja Mandal, of the EQUAL COMMUNITY FOUNDATION. The webinar sheds light on various aspects of prevailing gender discrimination and the lack of gender awareness in our society.
The ECF is an organization that works with young boys, teenagers, and young adults alike to bring a change in society from the root level. They have taken the first step to change by cleaning the mindsets at the heartland of the urban cities. Their primary aim to work with boys is to sensitize young men of their opposite gender.
The event had volunteers come forward with their own anecdotes of having restrictions and facing subtle discrimination in their confined homes, as the host put up a picture and the comment section reflected the existing stereotypes in our society. It showed a spectrum of challenges faced by young girls and boys from choosing what color they should like and the way they control their emotions in their present life. At the end of the webinar, the aim of the event was achieved as all attendees understood the necessity to challenge the existing norms.
Anjana also briefed the audience about the achievements of ECF so far, and the amount of progress they wish to see in the future. The last segment had the significant questions we need to ask ourselves and the society, as a small contribution towards the bigger change we wish to make. The question-answer session also made it clear that gender need not be seen as only two sides of a coin. But, as a spectrum of colors and humans are open to choose a range in that spectrum. With a set of steps, such as generalising menstruation talks at home, including the men in our family in the ‘women’s issues’, encouraging men to be free emotionally, calling out subtle sexism the moment we see it, refraining from using any pronouns for people we know little about and many such ways we need to adapt in our daily lives; to initiate the change, towards a better society, the event came to a successful conclusion.
Centre for Social Action (CSA), organized online graduation for the beneficiaries of English Access Microscholarship program on 06th November 2020. Twenty-five students of Bharath Matha PU college, Koppa became graduates of English Access Microscholarship Program and were provided with their graduation certificates. Delegates from the US Embassy, officials of Access program and representatives from the implementing agency were present for the program along with the Access students and teachers. Dr. Fr. Jose CC, the Pro Vice Chancellor of CHRIST (Deemed to be University) addressed the gathering and delivered the presidential address. Mr. Moulik Berkana, Cultural Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate General in Chennai addressed the students and delivered the key note address. He congratulated and motivated the students of Access program and thanked the entire team for the efficient implementation. Ms. Ruth Goode, Regional English Language Officer for India, Bhutan and Afghanistan also addressed the gathering through a video message. Access representatives from RELO and Chennai, Ms. Rachna Sharma, English Access Program Specialist – India at RELO New Delhi and Ms. Brindha Balachandran, Education and English Language Coordinator, U.S. Consulate General, Chennai were present for the event. Dr. Victor Paul, Director of CSA, Mr. Jino Joy, Access Program Manager, Fr. Jose PJ, Principal, Bharath Matha PU College Koppa, Fr. Sebastian P J, Principal, Christ School Thandavapura, the Access instructors Mr. Susheel Tom Jose and Ms. Ranjith Shenoy were present for the event.
The whole event was managed by the Access students as they delivered the welcome address, vote of thanks and organized cultural programs. Moreover, Students and teachers shared their experiences and presented videos on their Access journey. All the participants appreciated the good conduct of the event.
Pragathi Child Focused Community Development project started its interventions in the year 2012 in 22 villages (13 in Srinivaspura and 9 in Mulbagal Taluk) with in the radius of 8 to 35 kms. The project covered 1817 families from socially and economically backward communities including 1708 children. As part of this project, Children activity centre and women’s development project started by forming Self Help Groups (SHGs) and taught the members on regular saving in the group. It also further helped them to avail loans to meet out their family and business needs. At present 42 SHGs are functioning. There are 3 Cluster Level Associations (CLAs) functioning in the project area which takes care of the SHGs in the particular cluster. Total number of 683 members/families availed financial support and started family based micro-enterprises. This was helpful to the family to earn an extra income. Now CBOs members have been monitoring the initiatives taken by the project in School and Early Child Care centres. 1705 children, 1100 women and 800 adolescents/youth from 1500 families are currently benefiting from the project intervention. The project formed a federation by involving the women from the SHG and registered it under Karnataka Societies Act, now the project is handed over to the registered federation managed by the community to sustain the activities promoted by the project. The federation coordinated with Muthakkapalli panchayath and mobilized a land to construct a building to carryout its activities. They also approached the panchayath again and got a scheme approved under MGNREGA from Srinivaspur taluk administration, the scheme is called “Sanjeevini Shed”. The Bhoomi Pooja to start the construction work held on 5th October 2020 at Muthakkapalli village.
Pragathi Mahila Samsthe and Grama Panchayath took the first step to build “Sanjeevini Shed” under the Scheme of Zilla Panchayath, Muthukapalli village by laying its foundation stone on 5th October, 2020. Significantly, the Zilla Panchayath office has generously pledged to cover the entire construction costs of this Sanjeevini Shed and has provided a grant of INR 13.50 Lakhs towards this objective. This Sanjeevini Shed will be used for Income Generation Activities(IGA), training programs, regular SHG/CLAs meetings and other activities for SHGs members.
The foundation stone was laid by Dr.Victor Paul, Director, Centre for Social Action (CSA) along with Sri Anand, Executive officer, Taluk Panchayath, Srinivasapur and gave their greetings to the federation to come up good in future and urged them to elevate it as one of the model centre in Kolar Dist.
Sri, Shaji, Project Officer, CSA., Sri, Murali, PDO, Grama Panchayath, Muthukapalli, Sri, Rajesh, Technical Coordinator, MGNREGA, Srininvaspur, Sri, Laxmipathy, Junior Engineer, MGNREGA, Srinivaspur, Sri, T.O. Anjaneyappa Project Coordinator, Pragathi Action Center, Smt.Aruna President, Pragathi Mahila Samsthe, Muthukapalli and local leaders, CBOs members were participated in the program.
The Bhoomi puja or the foundation stone laying ceremony was organised at the Sanjeevini Shed by Pragathi Mahila Samsthe to mark an auspicious start to the undertaking. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Victor Paul, Director, CSA, said “We thank the Grama Panchayath of Muthukapalli for giving us the opportunity to bring in this biggest social investment to Project villages. This will bring a meaningful change in the lives of CBOs members. We are honored to partner with the Grama Panchayath to build this Sanjeevini Shed.