The NSS Units of Kongunadu Arts and Science College are some of the most vibrant students’ organizations in Coimbatore, undertaking much-needed initiatives that benefit every stakeholder of our society.
Through our interaction with the college’s NSS Program Officer Prof. R. Velmurugan, it was evident that gone are the days where NSS activities were only about cleaning temple premises and school playgrounds. The list of activities that the NSS volunteers have done, show us what NSS really stands for.
Awareness about Covid & Vaccination:
“More than 2000 students of our college are part of NSS. This gives us significant strength to help the community when it needs the power of youth.”
“When the vaccination drive kicked-off in our country, many had fears and doubts about getting the vaccine shots. Though our volunteers were at their hometowns and villages during the threatening days of the pandemic, they went door to door, and conveyed about the importance of vaccination,” Prof.R.Velmurugan shared.
“They received the vaccine shots and convinced their family members to get vaccinated,” he added. The professor shared that NSS Program Officers were in constant touch with their volunteers via Google meet and other virtual platform, and provided instructions. The management also arranged a two-day vaccination drive at the college campus. 400 members including teaching, non-teaching, Students and public were vaccinated through this camp.
Based on the instruction, the students went in person to many houses in their locale, and demonstrated the significance of adhering to covid-appropriate behavior. “One of our volunteers dressed as Coronavirus, and performed a street-play to create awareness about the harmful nature of the virus on humans,” he said.
“I must mention here that our college’s Secretary & Director, C.A.Vasuki had sponsored PPE kits for the police personnel at the Thudiyalur Police Station and another police station too,” he added.
Blood donation during lockdown:
“The availability of blood donors during the lockdown period was less. Fortunately our NSS units were well-organized and our network was only growing strong. The local transport and inter-district transport options were cut during the lockdown period but when the need for blood increased, the students rose to the occasion and donated 15 units of blood to the needy patients, through Seva Bharati. Our volunteers came even all the way from Palani and Dindugal through two-wheelers and donated.” Prof.R.Velmurugan shared.
“We are planning to streamline our blood-donors network as of now. Only interested and willing members have been added to our Blood Donors Whatsapp group. It will be a growing network, and the response to a query for blood will be provided within 5 mins. We are taking such a measure to ensure that the patients are helped in a much faster way.”
Volunteering to help covid patients:
“While the second wave of the pandemic was at its peak, the college had converted a portion of the Ladies Hostel into Covid care center and joined hands with Seva Bharathi, to set up 200+ beds to support patients affected by covid-19. The college also set up Oxygen-beds for patients. Seva Bharathi arranged doctors and nurses while NSS Volunteers assisted the patients, served food and water, by wearing proper PPE kits. The entire bed strength of this center was full, and a group of our volunteers were here taking care of the patients,” he said.
Mega Swachh Bharat Program:
Very recently, the NSS Units of this college had organized a five-day mega Swachh Bharat Camp with a fund of Rs. 50,000 sanctioned by Bharathiar University. In fact, KASC is one of the five colleges in Coimbatore to have received this fund to organize the camp.
100 NSS volunteers cleaned the college’s playground on the first day. The volunteers were then split into various groups who took up charge to clean various places inside V.C.V. Government Higher Secondary School near the college at Vellakinar area. The garbage scattered at the playground and at various spots of the school campus were collected and disposed properly.
Other important aspects like Students’ awareness regarding importance of cleanliness and health and attitude towards the cleaning process were discussed. The importance of personal hygiene was emphasized among school students. Prof.P. Chitra, NSS Program Officer and UBA Coordinator, delivered special address during the camp for girl children safety and the importance of nutritional food.
Besides this, the Management of KASC sponsored 4 computers to the school at the cost of Rs.1.5 lakh approximately for the students’ benefit. Vanam Foundation too donated 50 saplings to the school through NSS.
100% Voting awareness:
In an attempt to ensure 100% polling in the 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly Election, an awareness campaign was organized by the NSS Volunteers.
“Our students created this awareness at Vellakinar, Urumandampalayam and in five villages adopted by the college that include Vazhukkuparai, Rayagoundanur,Dhanalakshmipuram, Arisipalayam, and Nachipalayam. “Not just here, they did it in their locale, also.”
Other programs from NSS:
“We organized self-defence program for girls in offline mode. More than 1000 students from various colleges took part in it. We joined hands with Isha Yoga to teach yoga and breathing exercises to our students. The need to follow healthy and nutritious diet were also explained to them,” the professor said.
“I would say the outcomes are phenomenal. The students find the programs to be very different, useful and energizing. The parents have said that they are seeing a good change in their children’s overall personality. I and my fellow NSS Program Officers see an overall increase in the NSS students’ leadership qualities,” he added.
Besides this, the professor shared that the students are briefed about NSS certificate and its value in getting jobs in government sector and defence sector. He said that the students are getting ready for the Republic Day Camp that will be held in New Delhi.
Unnat Bharat Abhiyan’s role:
P.Chitra, the NSS Program Officer and Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) Coordinator of the college highlighted in her interview that two significant projects have been carried out successfully in the adopted villages (Arisipalayam, Nachipalayam, Vazhkkupparai, Dhanalakshmipuram and Rayagoundanur) of the college through UBA.
“We conducted a household survey and a village survey in the five adopted villages in 2018. Required details were collected from the villagers with the aid of the NSS volunteers for this survey. For this survey we received seed money of Rs.50,000 from UBA, Delhi. Our Principal M.Lekeshmanaswamy, former NSS Program Officer supports all the activities done by the NSS units of our college” said Prof.Chitra.
“Most of the people at Rayagoundanur said they need a library. So our college’s Secretary and Director, C.A.Vasuki sponsored Rs.10 lakh to construct a Library and Information E-Seva Centre there. The students of NSS and UBA played a significant role in the construction of this center. It was inaugurated by Vanathi Srinivasan, the Founder of Kovai Makkal Sevai Maiyam. Our Secretary appointed a full-time staff to oversee the center and its activities”
“As the people of the five villages are mostly daily-wage workers, we found that they need sustainable livelihood. Majority of the rural women suffer not only from economic poverty but also from information poverty. UBA provided funds for the development and customization of the technology in the adopted villages. Hence, we submitted seven project proposals to New Delhi, where we stated that all the proposals are based on how to promote rural women into entrepreneurs. One of our projects “Mushroom Cultivation Training to the Rural Community” was accepted and a fund of Rs. 50,000 was sanctioned. We organized a 2-month training camp in the five villages benefiting more than 65 villagers successfully.”
“To cultivate mushrooms, a very small investment of Rs. 2000 is required. The seeds for mushroom cultivation could be obtained from TNAU, Coimbatore which is the Headquarters of UBA for this region. With the result of the training camp, 5 women started cultivating mushrooms and became a successful entrepreneur,” she said.
“Bio-chemistry Department of our college is offering a diploma course in Mushroom cultivation, and the professors of the department act as a resource person for providing guidance to the villagers”
UBA is another wing which is very active at Kongunadu Arts and Science College, and it is focuses much on development of the women in the rural region, and Prof.Chitra conveyed that the college’s Secretary provides tremendous support to the initiatives of UBA.