NIHIL ULTRA: Nothing Beyond

Department of Social Work and NSS

 

"The first duty of the students should be, not to treat their period of study as one of the opportunities for indulgence in intellectual luxury, but for preparing themselves for final dedication in the service of those who provided the sinews of the nation with the national goods and services so essential to society."
- Mahatma Gandhi

The Department strives to mould the young minds of students and instill in them a sense of responsibility towards the society at large. It also contributes towards the Jesuit mission of 'creating men and women for others'. Since its inception in 1969 by Late Fr. Gerard Beckers, SJ, fondly known as Babu, the social outreach activities and programmes were given top priority at St. Xavier's. Both our students as well as the deprived sections of the society have benefitted through these endeavours. A group of dedicated students form the NSS Board that works yearlong to bring about social impact in the lives of others.

At St. Xavier's College, it is mandatory for all undergraduate students to complete 30 hours of social service (One Non-Academic Credit) either from within the College or from outside. Those who wish to complete from outside need to take prior permission from their respective Vice Principals. The College provides a number of opportunities for social work throughout the year. Students are encouraged to use every opportunity within their first four semesters. The NSS at St. Xavier's works in both URBAN and RURAL areas

 


Following are the activities held during the period July 2018 to June 2019:

 

I. ANNUAL PROGRAMMES


A. Blood Donation Camp

 


This year Blood Donation Camp was organized on 7th August, 2018 with the final donor count of 673. Nine blood banks (Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute, RG Kar, SSKM, IBTM, Canning, Mercy hospital, National Medical, NRS and MR Bangur) catered to the continuous flow of blood donors.


 

B. Independence Day

 


Independence Day was celebrated on 15th August and on 19th August in Debipur and Nurshikdarchowk respectively. 30 volunteers along with 33 children commemorated the day in Debipur through poetry recitation, drawing competition, games and cultural programme. On 19th August, the NSS team along with 38 volunteers (19 from main campus and 19 from Raghabpur campus) was in Nurshikdarchowk, sharing the Independence Day cheer. 56 children from Nurshikdar Chowk joined the celebration and spent a day filled with frolic and fun. After the cultural programme, a community kitchen was organized where everyone savoured the hot khichdi, aloodum, papads and chutney.


 

C. Exposure visit to Saroj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute

 


With the objective of exposing the College students to the realities of life, especially of terminally ill children, around 20 students (5 male and 15 female) from Raghabpur campus and 2 MSW interns (2 Female) from St. Xavier's University organised a programme at the Child Care Centre of SGCCRI on 30th August 2018 from 4 to 5 pm. Around 50 children (22 male and 28 female) who were currently undergoing treatment were a part of the audience along with their parents.


 

D. Daan Utsav

 


Every year the NSS volunteers celebrate DaanUtsav - the 'joy of giving week'. This year the volunteers managed to bring happiness and sunshine into the lives of children and elderly alike. They celebrated the event in four different places - on 4th October, 25 volunteers celebrated the day at Loreto Rainbow Home. 15 volunteers spread happiness at Oral School for the Deaf Children on 5th October. 30 volunteers organised the utsav at Tollygunj Homes on 6th October, and on 7th October, 34 volunteers were there in Shalpukur village.


 

E. Rural Camp

 


This year, the theme of NSS Rural Camp was 'Xavier's Ka Sapna, Swachch Rahe Bharat Apna'. The camp stretched from 21st October to 27th October, 2018 in Shibda village, East Burdwan. 34 NSS volunteers cleaned the approach road to Shibda village, and also cleaned a school premises at village Nuta. The students conducted a survey on sanitation as well as on child marriage in two villages. They conducted an awareness campaign through street plays in the villages as well.


 

F. International Exchange Programme

 


A group of 12 students from Fordham University collaborated with the NSS for a week long exchange programme starting from 4th January 2019. They attended two important lectures on 'Caste system and the case of West Bengal' and 'Child Rights and the Role of SXC in imparting education to rural students'. These two lectures prepared them for what they were going to experience during the service learning programme. The students spent a day at Nurshidarchowk, an adopted village of College, spent time with the children, went around the village and enjoyed a simple but delicious lunch served on banana leaves. On the way back they got to see the Raghabpur campus. They worked at PremDaan, DayaDaan and Kalighat, homes run by the Missionaries of Charity. They spent half a day at the Leprosy colony at Titagarh as well. On their way back they had a short visit to St. Xavier's University and spent the evening at St. Joseph's Home for the Aged. They were taken for an NGO visit to Asansol-BurdwanSeva Kendra (ABSK) where they visited two of their centres - The Adoption centre and the Home for the HIV positive children.


 

G. Shishu Mela

 


On 17th of February 2019, the department hosted Shishu Mela 2019. Around 1000 children from seven villages of South 24 Parganas and 10 NGOs participated in the event. Almost 300 students from all departments volunteered in the event. 17 departments had put up various game stalls which the children thoroughly enjoyed. The Chief Guest for the day was Fr. Aloysius Carvalho, SJ, a 90 years old Jesuit priest. He applauded the NSS volunteers for their dedicated services. The annual magazine of NSS 'Kadam' was released on that day. Father Principal and all the Vice Principals joined the Chief Guest and declared the Mela open by releasing colourful balloons.


 

H. International Women's Day

 


International Women's Day was celebrated on 17th March 2019 in collaboration with XADAM and World Vision India. The United Nations recommended theme this year was 'Balance for Better'. The event included panel discussions on 'Balanced diet: physical wellness - the need for balanced diet for better living' and 'Prioritising mental health - the need to balance mental, emotional and physical for better living' through which the students were made aware about the importance of prioritising physical and mental well-being. Ms. Aditi Roy, Nutrition Specialist from World Vision India spoke on physical wellness and the need for balanced diet. Ms. Parmeet Soni, college counsellor and clinical psychologist, spoke on the importance of prioritising mental health and how to deal with mental health issues. The theatrical performance put by XADAM challenged the gender biased stereotypes faced by women. The play ended on a positive note stressing on women breaking the patriarchal shackles which are put around them. There were around 200 volunteers from all 18 departments who attended. Joining Fr. Principal, the Vice Principals - Dr. S. Xavier, SJ, Fr. Peter Arockiam, SJ and Dr. Charlotte Simpson Vegas - too wished good luck to all the students present.


 

H. Prayas Camp

 


Prayas Camp was held from 20th to 22nd 2019 in the College wherein 63 young girls from the Convent of Our Lady of Providence High School were invited to participate in the camp. The camp began with an inauguration led by Rev. Dr. Dominic Savio, SJ, Principal, St. Xavier's College, along with our Vice Principals who graced the occasion. Beginning with prayer and welcome address, Fr. Principal addressed the campers saying, "Prayas has been the inspiration for many students. It has changed their lives. College students have been able to understand village life and unless we understand the village life, we do not understand India. Prayas Camp has helped foster a relationship between village children and the students of St. Xavier's College and this relationship continues". He commended the hard work of the NSS Board members and volunteers.

This was followed by sharing of expectations from one of the campers Shradha Mishra of class X who on behalf of her friends said "On behalf of our school, I would like to express my gratitude to the Prayas Camp. Thank you for trusting us and giving us this golden opportunity to be a part of this camp.. We expect to get a chance to participate in various educational and cultural activities, as well as interact with different people, which will make our lives more interesting...."

35 NSS volunteers prepared and took sessions on various topics such as Peer Pressure, Child Rights and Fundamental Rights, Bullying, Health and Hygiene, lastly Gender Equality. The campers also got an unique opportunity to visit Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, Birla Planetarium wherein they got insightful knowledge on cosmic collision, high voltage electricity, coal mine to name a few. The girls also enjoyed the screening of Moana, through which they were inspired to take up leadership role and contribute meaningfully to the society.

Both the NSS volunteers and the campers had an enriching experience and learning in the Camp.

 


 

II. REGULAR EVENTS


A. Village Education Programme:

 


Every Sunday, student volunteers conduct supplementary education programme in the village centres of Debipur, Nurshikdarchowk, Shalpukur, Bolorampur andvPaikhala. Around 1500 volunteers across the departments went to these villages and taught the children from classes II to X. The volunteers also created awareness on various social issues. The awareness sessions were made interactive and participatory.


 

B. Green Clean Neighbourhood Campaign:

 


During the months of July, August and September in 2018, January and March in 2019 hourly session were held between 10 to 11 a.m. and 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. where 367 volunteers cleaned the pavement outside the college front and back gates as well as within the campus, spreading awareness about cleanliness. They also visited roadside eateries and shops, kiosks to speak to the owners about cleanliness and proper waste disposal


 

III. SPECIAL PROGRAMMES


A. Commemorating Golden Jubilee Year of NSS

 


There were about 30 volunteers who participated in massive green clean campaign on NSS Day - 24th September 2018. The volunteers cleaned the pavement in front of the College along with the green verge. The area behind the college too was cleaned thoroughly, and a survey on swachhata and use of plastic bags were conducted in the nearby shops. 10 students performed a street play on swachhata at 9:45am in front of NSS office and at 12:45 pm near the canteen. The street play drew the attention of the students on the importance of cleanliness and responsible living for a sustainable future.


 


B. Reaching out to Kerala Flood Victims

 

The NSS along with the SXCCAA and Students' Council helped in raising funds and relief material in the campus. The relief materials were sent to Goonj, an NGO specialised in disaster management.


 

C. XMS collaborates with NSS

 


On 10th December 2018, 32 students from Xavier's Management Society (XMS) went to Tollygunj Homes through NSS and organised a winter carnival. The volunteers not just decorated the Home but also organised various engaging games for the elderly as well as provided a snack packet to all the inmates.


 

D. Spreading Christmas cheer at Mulvany House

 


Mulvany House, an old age home has a steady flow of volunteers from St Xavier's College who visit them regularly. On 21st December 2018, 10 dedicated active NSS volunteers decided to spread cheer among the inmates of Mulvany House without any 'social credit' in return. The volunteers organised lunch and a short programme for all the 30 residents. As the volunteers called it a day and bid goodbye to the inmates, they handed over handmade cookies, chocolates and some savories to the elderly.


 

IV. EXPOSURE VISITS TO VARIOUS NGOs


A. All Bengal Women’s Union

 


On 14th March, 24 students went to All Bengal Women’s Union for an exposure visit. The students got an orientation about the organisation that caters to women and children in difficult circumstances. They got a chance to see how the women were employed in various vocations. After which the students went to various classrooms and interacted with the children. A group session with the senior students gave an opportunity to both groups to know one another, to understand and to motive each other.


 

B. Seva Kendra Calcutta

 

On 20th March, 7 students of Bengali Honours, went to Seva Kendra Calcutta for an exposure visit. They got an opportunity to work in the office as well as interact with women and youth in the slums adopted by Seva Kendra. Their efforts were well appreciated by the staff members.


 

C. Antara (psychiatric hospital & Rehab centre)

 


On 23rd March, 30 students were taken to Antara, the largest NGO managed psychiatric establishment in India. Students spent the entire day interacting with mentally ill patients, visiting different wards and learning about mental illness from medical supervisors. They were exposed to patients undergoing treatment for drug abuse. The personal sharing of these patients was an eye opener for our young students


 

 

D. Prem Nivas

 


Mulvany House, an old age home has a steady flow of volunteers from St Xavier's College who visit them regularly. On 21st December 2018, 10 dedicated active NSS volunteers decided to spread cheer among the inmates of Mulvany House without any 'social credit' in return. The volunteers organised lunch and a short programme for all the 30 residents. As the volunteers called it a day and bid goodbye to the inmates, they handed over handmade cookies, chocolates and some savories to the elderly.

 

Apart from exposure visits, during the year, almost 1000 students went to more than 30 different NGOs for regular outreach work which also helped them to complete their social credits.


 

V. AT THE RAGHABPUR CAMPUS


 


The year started with orientations of all the first year students on social credits. This apart, Life Skill classes were conducted once a week for the students. This was followed by personal counselling sessions. The response from the students was very positive. They found these classes to be quite useful as it addressed their personal and emotional challenges and made them more confident to deal with them

 

Various outreach activities were conducted all through the year. Village education programme were organised at Nurshidachowk, Shalpukur and Debipur. A total of 133 volunteers were involved in this programme. About 19 volunteers celebrated Independence Day at Nurshikdarchowk on 19th August 2018 which was attended by about 56 children. Drawing competitions, games and cultural programme were organised by the volunteers. Adda Sessions were conducted on ill effects of child marriage and interim budget wherein 38 students participated and expressed their views and opinions on the subject. The sessions were successful in enabling the students to be aware about these contemporary issues.


 

VI. OPINION POLLS CONDUCTED ON SOCIALLY RELEVANT TOPICS


A. Pulse of Young Voters for the 2019 General Elections

 

With an objective to understand the perspective of the youth of both urban and rural areas about the election process in India, NSS conducted a survey covering 300 students from the main campus as well as 80 students from Raghabpur campus. It was found that rural youth is well aware about the political system and understands their role in nation building. Most of the urban youth responded that they would cast their vote and hope the government will establish a fair and just society.


 


B. Swachh Bharat Mission

 

With an objective to understand the perspective of the youth of both urban and rural areas about the election process in India, NSS conducted a survey covering 300 students from the main campus as well as 80 students from Raghabpur campus. It was found that rural youth is well aware about the political system and understands their role in nation building. Most of the urban youth responded that they would cast their vote and hope the government will establish a fair and just society.


 

VII. UNNAT BHARAT ABHIYAN: MRD FLAGSHIP PROJECT


A. St. Xavier's College selected as Participating Institute under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

 

The College was selected as a Participating Institution (PI) under UBA in October 2018and will be working in the following villages in South 24 Parganas, (i) Bakeswar, (ii) Debipur, (iii) Magurkhali, (iv) Raghabpur and (v) Shalpukur. UBA is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The mission of UBA is to enable participating higher educational institutions to work with people of rural India in identifying development challenges and evolving appropriate solutions which will contribute towards sustainable growth of the partner communities. The College, through knowledge transfer as well as community mobilization will bring sustainable rural development in these five villages. A UBA Cell consisting of faculty and students have been formed in the College. All students are encouraged to participate in this endeavour.

Following actions were undertaken:

  • UBA Cell was formed in the College and the first meeting was held on 13th December 2018. A UBA Field Coordinator based at Raghabpur campus was appointed in December who visited the villages selected under UBA and prepared the ground work. A meeting with the District Magistrate and the UBA Coordinator was held in December. Subsequently, letters were sent from the College to the Higher Education Department, informing them about UBA-SXC partnership. Ms. Cheryl Francis (NSS Director & UBA Coordinator) along with Ms. Sucheta Mukherjee (NSS Coordinator) attended a one day 'Regional workshop for orientation of participating institutes to initiate work in adopted village clusters' at IIT Patna on 21st December 2018.

  • A meeting with the local MLA, VP of Raghabpur campus, UBA Coordinator, Panchayat Pradhan and other local stakeholders was held in January 2019. Another meeting along with all the Panchayat representatives of the selected villages was conducted for smooth implementation of the programme. A pilot survey was conducted in Shalpukur village.

  • Till June 2019, 94 students surveyed 984 households in Debipur, Bakeswar and Shalpukur villages under UBA.


 

VIII. PROVIDING INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNTY


A. Mentoring Social Workers

 

2018-19 saw two MSW students from St. Xavier's University being placed in the department for their concurrent field work, twice a week for two semesters as part of their curriculum requirement. They were mentored and got the opportunity to learn hands on whatever they learnt in their classrooms. They added value to the department and the college students found them very helpful.


 

IX. AS A RESOURCE TEAM


A. Resource person at NSS Unit, Presidency University

 


On 14th January, 2019, Ms. Cheryl Francis was invited to address the NSS Volunteers at Presidency University on: 'Contemporary Youth: Reflections and Discourses'. Her presentations were centered on the history of social outreach programmes at St. Xavier's College and the activities and programmes that were conducted in the campus.


 

B. Resource Persons for Foundation Course in Department of Education

 


Ms. Cheryl Francis and Ms. Sucheta Mukherjee were invited as Resource Persons for Foundation Course for the students of second semester, Department of Education. Ms. Francis took a session on 'Social Outreach Programmes – Its Impact on the Beneficiaries' on 4th March and Ms Mukherjee took a session on 'The Importance of Child Rights' on 5th March. Through these sessions the students were oriented about their social responsibilities.


 

C. Guest speaker on the occasion of International Women's Day at World Vision

 


On 8th March 2019, Ms. Cheryl Francis was invited by World Vision India to address their Self Help Group women on the occasion of International Women's Day. Ms. Francis motivated the women to be assertive and to stand by one another in times of challenges faced. She stressed on the concept of 'Women for Women'. She also shared about the social outreach work the Department was engaged in through college students.


 

D.Resource Person at Seva Kendra Calcutta

 

Ms Cheryl Francis will be conducting a four day workshop on 'Social Analysis and Capacity Building' for the community development staff of Seva Kendra Calcutta in the months of April and May 2019.


 

X. UPCOMING EVENT


A. Blood Donation Camp

 

On 6th August 2019, the Blood Donation Camp will be held in the College.


 

XI. NSS BOARD FOR 2019-20


President - Esther MahimaSinha (Economics); Secretary - Aanhek Kumar Ray (B.COM - M)

Working Committee Members (main campus)
Ayan Brown - (B.COM - Morning)
AnusreeGattani - (B.COM - Evening)
Sharanya Mukhopadhyay - Economics

Working Committee Members (Raghabpur campus)
DibyenduMondal- (BA General)
SumanaBor - (BA General)
SohiniBhattacharjee - (B.COM)
Rahul Mondal - (B.COM)

Advisors
KirtiGoenka - (BMS)
Ritika Gupta - (BMS)
ShubhamVaidya - (B.COM - Morning)
DeveshDidwania - (B.COM - Morning)
ChandrimaBiswas - (B.COM, Raghabpur)
AnkitaGhoshal - (B.COM, Raghabpur)


 

XII. CONTACT US


Department of Social Work & NSS (Office) 033 - 22551210; Email: socialworknss@sxccal.ed