Amrita alumni are making a mark all over India and indeed, all over the world as successful professionals. They are also making a mark as change agents for a better society and better world. Amrita Alumnus Santosh Nanduru, (BTech Degree in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science,2013, Coimbatore campus), is one of those making an impact. He is Regional Head of Just for Kicks, which he helped elevate from a pilot project to a successful organization making a big change in children’s lives.
With the motto “Everyone Plays”, Just for Kicks intervenes in low-income public and private schools to support children to succeed socially and professionally, while leading healthier lives through its motor skills and football program. It also serves as a Launchpad for grassroots talent given its school based intervention model. Since its inception in 2011, Just for Kicks has impacted 1500 children in both private and public schools. In 2016-17,Just For Kicks will be working with 3000 children in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad – providing them with resources, intense training, and opportunity to participate in the youth league/tournament through its football program.
Santosh Nanduru credits his success to his time at Amrita, for both providing him with a robust academic education and shaping his value system. He explained that during his time at the college there were many activities which he was a part of which were on the lines of “Lokaha Samstaha Sukino Bavanthu” (May peace and prosperity come to all the beings in the world.) He said that at the beginning of his college years he didn’t pay much attention to the meaning of this shloka, which he often encountered. But later he understood that it had produced a profound impact on him.
One activity at Amrita which impacted Santosh was Swach Bharat Abhyan, where he took a day off from academics and spent time cleaning the community and spreading the importance of cleanliness. “Activities like these were continuously backed by our Moral Science teacher whose classes were intriguing. His story telling techniques and the projects were constantly engaging us in the process of learning about humanity in its true essence. We were constantly exposed to information and developments in our environment through the course “Environmental Sciences” which was taught by Dr. Nikhil K. Kothurkar. It was then I realised the importance of our ecosystem. Those were the days where my foundations on understanding the universe just started,” Santosh shared.
Santosh further said that extra-curricular and co-curricular activities were proactively driven by the Dept. of Students’ Welfare and ensured constant guidance and help to students.“Amrita constantly succeeds in creating an atmosphere where one’s character is moulded into a responsible citizen… Every time I walked in the corridor of my college campus, I read my college mission statement – “To provide value based education and mould the character of the younger generation through a synthesis of science and spirituality, so that their earnest endeavour to achieve progress and prosperity in life is matched by an ardent desire to extend selfless service to society, one complementing the other.” It was a sentence which I could hardly comprehend then, but I later realised I had already started walking on the path of realising this mission,” Santosh added.