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The students of IIT-G have been involved in various efforts like zero illiteracy zone campaign, distribution of used clothes, blood donation camps, visit to orphanages in Guwahati city, popularisation of Gandhian philosophy, e-governance etc.

AN EDUCATION institute is a place for nurturing the future of a society. Being one of the prominent institutes of the nation, Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) has been working towards this goal in several ways to contribute towards the social development of the nation in general and of the region in particular.
“The zero illiteracy campaign was started in July 2008, in which the security guards of the institute and small children from nearby village were taught. The guards were taught spoken and written English. The school children were taught almost all the subjects in their curricula,” said Ashish Kakran, general secretary students welfare, IIT Guwahati.

There were around 150 kids from nearby villages of Katinga Pahad, Muriyapatti, Chinarpatti, Lathiya Bagicha, Amingaon AIDC etc who benefitted from the programme. Starting from this year, the mess workers of IIT G Hostel are being taught English and general awareness. From August 2007, the students collected old clothes from the campus and distributed them to the needy in Guwahati city.

Kakran said, “The first blood donation camp was organised in IIT-G campus on April 2007. This was a grand success where around 200 units of blood were collected. Since then it has become a regular event at IITG. It’s planned to make it a bi-semester regular event. The next blood donation camp was organised on March 29, 2009, in collaboration with Guwahati Medical College (GMC). It was a 1-day camp where 102 units of blood were donated.”

“The students of IIT-G make frequent visits to some of the local orphanages. This interaction has proved to be beneficial to both parties. The inmates of the orphanages always enjoy the presence of our students and we in turn learn a lot about human emotions and values from these kids,” he said.

The National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers have started a web page to make the ideas of Mahatma popular among the current generation of youths. They also plan to have regular discussions and brain-storming sessions on different implications of Gandhian philosophy and Gandhian economy.

According to him, there are many policies, both at the Central and state level, which encourage the use of internet for better governance. The inclusion of right to information in the list of fundamental rights, is one such step. IIT-G is trying to build database and information-base, which can be accessed for new initiatives.

The student leader said, “Mentoring of local school students by university scholars is a common trend in foreign universities. Following the same idea, from January 2009, Class IX and XI students of Kendiya Vidyalaya of IIT-Guwahati are being mentored by IIT-G students. This gives the KV students a scope to learn more about both curricular and extra-curricular activites.”

The students involved in these programmes are the NSS volunteers and the group coordinators, Harpreet Singh (spoken English for security personnel), Mayur Agarwal (classes for village students), Rishab Parasar (classes for mess workers), Tarun Chubisa (e-governance and IT), Atul Sancheti (popularisation of Gandhian ideals) and Ashish Thakur (KV students’ mentoring).