American industrialist Henry Ford said, “Coming together is beginning, being together is progress and working together is success.”
The NSS unit of Kishinchand Chellaram (KC) College religiously follows this dictum. The motto of the NSS unit is, ‘Not me, but you’.
After the first term examinations, most of the college is engaged in fun-filled activities. However, some of our tenacious classmates from the KC NSS unit stepped out with their inimitable “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan project”, which weaved sturdy bonds with the disadvantaged sector of the society.
They adopted a village called Karvale near Saphale in 2005. After having established their trust among the villagers through various activities based on the socio-economic development of the village like toilet construction, kitchen farming project, fruit tree plantation, women empowerment projects, and cataract surgeries, and providing better sanitation facilities for the villagers.
This project successfully began in 2005, and by December 2015, we managed to construct 49 toilets. The awareness to use toilets kept on building day by day, as a result, a village with 3% sanitary facilities in 2005, reached 78% by the end of December 2015.
To support the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan announced by PM Narendra Modi, Principal Manju Nichani along with NSS Programme officer Dr. Satish Kolte, decided to set the goal of providing sanitation facilities to all families of the adopted village Karwale by December 2016. Having confidence in the volunteers Principal Dr. Nichani appealed to Shri. Niranjan Hiranandani, former president of the HSNC board to support us financially. The KCNSS team, along with ex-volunteers moved on to complete the construction of 67 toilets in 2016.
While inaugurating the toilets on January 15, Mr. Niranjan Hiranandani. said, “I am very happy to see passionate youth who are ready to support change in India projects like Sswachh Bharat Abhiyan by spending their time and energy along with their studies.” Principal Dr. Manjula Nichani added, “In 2004, it was my dream to adopt a village, my dedicated volunteers made this dream a reality, today I can say I am a proud principal who has successfully conducted Dattak Gav Yojana.”
Elaborating the idea behind this initiative, KCNSS Programme Officer Dr. Satish Kolte said, “Nothing would have been possible with the support of the Principal, college management, residents of the village and my dear NSS volunteers.”
When asked if it was difficult to cope up with the urban-rural divide, Sanjana Iyer, an NSS volunteer said, “It was an interesting experience. Although language was a slight barrier, that didn’t stop us from communicating and connecting on a personal level. The residents were really helpful and considerate.”
Sharing his experiences, Gautam Kothari, another NSS volunteer said, “I am thankful to KCNSS as it gave me an opportunity to do things which none of us was able to do if we were not a part of Hiranandani project, whether it be transporting blocks, constructing toilets or painting toilets everything gave me enjoyment. Here we made memories which will last for lifetime.”