By Arkid Bera:
The National Service Scheme (NSS) of Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani is a group of BITSians who voluntarily contribute to the society through social service. One of the most active NSS organizations around the country, I believe what makes this NSS unique is its various departments, such as a school, Project Umang, Health and Public Awareness (HPA), Counselling, Computer Literacy Programme (CLP), etc., that ensure the welfare of people belonging to the economically backward classes, residing in and around Pilani. Pilani, being a small city, is home to a large rural population, and BITS students are inculcated with the feeling of giving away to the community from the beginning itself through the NSS.
The NSS has its own school within the campus. Students from nearby areas can seek free help in the form of regular tuitions, which in turn helps them score fine grades in their respective schools. NSS school is run and managed entirely by the students of BITS, giving them a hands on experience in social entrepreneurship, social service and community management.
Under Project Umang, scholarships are provided to students on a merit-cum-need basis. The students are tested for merit, and Umang volunteers pay a visit to their homes to judge their financial condition for transparency, and scholarships are provided accordingly. Apart from government funds, funds are raised by ‘Umang Collection’, whereby the students of BITS are asked to donate small amounts towards this cause. The professors too provide ample financial help. As a student of BITS, what particularly attracted me to the NSS was its active association with so many activities, and the dedication of the NSS team to tackle every assignment with utmost sincerity.
Apart from the school and Project Umang, Health and Public Awareness (HPA) is an important department of NSS as it tackles problems related to health and well-being. Blood donation camps, medicine collection drives, etc. are carried by HPA for the local residents of Pilani. This department does much work off campus, which includes public awareness events such as tree-plantation.
We also provide Computer Training to people in remote villages under the Computer Literacy Programme (CLP). Academic and personal guidance is also provided to the deprived students by the Department of Counselling, through specific mentorship programmes.
Besides the regular work of these departments, certain events are organized by NSS BITS Pilani, namely JUNOON and the Youth Conference.
JUNOON is a sports event organized for specially-abled people associated with different NGOs of Delhi, Jaipur, and other cities nearby. In this event, these they showcase their skills in different games, such as cricket, basketball, athletics, bocce, etc.
Apart from these activities, we also have a Youth conference every year, where different social issues are discussed by the NSS volunteers of BITS Pilani and other colleges. NSS groups of different colleges face several issues while working together throughout the year and solutions are found out through this conference, giving students an opportunity to democratically resolve any issues. Youth Conference also hosts few stalwarts in the field of social work, who can enlighten the volunteers with their experience and thus, encourage them to do better.
NSS BITS Pilani has already nurtured the lives of many and with a strength of over 120 volunteers, it is looking forward to carry out the moral work more effectively in the future. Working for NSS has provided a perfect exposure and platform to students like me to enhance our speaking and management skills, and also improve our ethical standards. NSS BITS Pilani is that team of enthusiasts which doesn’t count the hours of work, rather counts the number of smiles it produces each day of the year.
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