October 24, 2010
Once again, students from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham at Coimbatore campus, got together to serve the needy as part of the National Service Scheme (NSS).
The NSS motto, Not Me, But You, was put into practice as 66 students participated in a seven-day community service camp in Chennampatti, a tribal area in Tamil Nadu.
The first day’s activities commenced with an inauguration by Prof. R. Chinnaswami, Student Affairs.
Over the next few days, students planted trees and cleaned the grounds; they surveyed the economic status in the region and organized several awareness programs.
An AIDS awareness program by the Government of Tamil Nadu was followed by computer training conducted by Amrita faculty and students; these were enthusiastically received by the tribal population.
Economic status surveys were facilitated by Dr. K. Rameshkumar, Professor and Vice Chairman, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
“Altogether, the camp was amazing; it was a unique experience for us and the tribals,” expressed Dharunya, third-year student from the Chemical Department. “They gave us a warm welcome and seemed very excited to participate in the camp.”
Dr. Joshi C. Haran, Chairman, Department of Mechanical Engineering spoke on the topic Live With Nature.
Mr. R. Saravanan, Assistant Professor and NSS Program Officer, Department of Mechanical Engineering who guided the students at the camp, shared his thoughts.
“If somebody asked us why so much time and energy is invested in these camps, I would tell them that the programs help students develop awareness and respect for nature.”
“After participating in many camps, I see that the students are both learning from nature and gaining strength to face the sometimes harsh realities of life.”
The evening before the camp ended saw cultural programs wherein students spent the evening joyfully enacting dramas and mimicry for the tribal spectators.
Another treat was in store for the final-year students; they went on a trekking expedition to the Nilgiri hills of Anaikatti. “The long trek gave us the opportunity to increase our mental strength, as we encountered many difficulties along the way,” commented a student.
Amrita had first participated in an NSS program at the Gandhi Ashram. They had helped make a cowshed and had attended a talk by the ashram founder, M. Ranganathan, on avoiding junk food and being good to nature.