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http://www.dnaindia.com/academy/report_management-pupils-to-help-sitaras-shine_1277433

Management pupils to help ‘sitaras’ shine

Abhyudaya

Mihika Basu / DNAMonday, July 27, 2009 3:57 IST Email
 
Mumbai: Around 180 management students of SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) will mentor 90 children from economically weaker sections as part of their course from July 2009.

Called Abhyudaya, the project carries 1.5 credits and the students have to spend
60 hours yearly mentoring the children, called ‘sitaras’.

“Children from the deprived sections are adopted from BMC and aided schools. SPJIMR plays the role of a catalyst to give financial and other kind of support so that they can realise their full potential. The main objective is to bring out their strengths till the children complete formal education,” said institute dean ML Shrikant.

Professor Rukaiya Joshi, project leader, said, Abhyudaya, started last year, included effective study habit workshops and disbursement of school and tuition fees.

However, the mentoring programme was initiated in 2009 by students of Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM-1 year) as a non-classroom experiential learning.

“Even as one talks about shining India, there is another section which doesn’t have the basic necessities. It’s here that we need to contribute and take ownership for what we do. This is what we are attempting through Abhyudaya,” said Sachin Deshmukh, student project coordinator, PGPM batch.

Now, the 2009-11 batch of Post Graduate Diploma in Management will mentor 90 children by monitoring the academic growth and teach and guide them in subjects.
Mentors need to prepare mentees for scholarship, competitive/talent exams, encourage extra curricular activities and interact with their family.

Joshi said that even though most B-schools follow KSA (knowledge, skills and attitude) principle, attitude is mostly ignored. “It is also very important to create the right attitude by sensitising students towards social responsiveness. This is what Abhyudaya aims at. It will be growth for both the mentor and the mentee,” she said.

Besides mentoring, each ‘sitara’ will receive Rs15,000 yearly till they complete graduation.

“Each year, we’ll adopt 45 children. The idea is to primarily look at BMC school students of Std 7 and work upon their performance so that they can be absorbed in slightly better schools in Std 8. Most municipal schools are only till class 7. The project will subsequently continue till they graduate,” explained Joshi.

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PGPM 508 organized a “Fun-Filled” evening for the 44 Sitaras who were chosen as part of the school project, being pioneered by our batch. The enthusiasm and excitement shown by the Sitaras brought a smile to all our faces. We would like to share some unforgettable moments of that joyous evening with you all.

 

 

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DOCC (Development of Corporate Citizenship) is a unique way in which participants are able to give back to the society through SPJIMR. Our orientation for this contact has started and as part of this we would be taking up a school project where-in the participants would act as mentors to a select few students taken from the neighboring BMC (Brihnamumbai Municipal Corporation) schools.

 

I hope many of you would have had heard of the “Teach India” campaign at some point of the other and various other NGO organizations catering to similar needs. SPJIMR through its unique pedagogy is able to leverage the diverse background of PGPM participants to facilitate this project. We would be the pioneers of the mentorship approach through this contact. Each participant would be assigned a kid to mentor, who has been chosen from economically weaker background and shows potential to make big in the society if given a chance. As part of the start-up class room sessions we participated in couple of individual & group exercises to get a flavor of the various qualities and emotional aspect of us as individuals.

 

One of the exercises was aimed at picking a leaf and feeling how it is in shape and what it conveys to us when we close our eyes for two minutes. It was good to reflect back on ourselves because every individual came up with his / her own set of feelings from the observations he or she gathered. At one time it did seem a verbal rebuttal but when our mentors explained the feelings to us at random, they made more sense!!! Other exercise which we took up was to make a sculpture using few art materials / objects like chart paper, strings, cello-tape, a pair of scissor & straws. Teams were divided in seven and we were given around 15 to 20 minutes to complete our sculpture. There was a very good response from the participants of our batch and all teams were able to actualize their ideas!!!

 

There were diverse ideas which were articulated starting from building an airstrip signifying PGPM and a plane signifying the school project: – purpose to give successful start to the project. One of the teams also constructed a suspension bridge which illustrated the relationship of providing support to the project through PGPM participants, while others manifested there thought about inculcating values by overcoming challenges en-route to success of the project. My group portrayed a “sitara” (as the kids would be called who are part of this school project) welcoming his mentor (us) with open hands.

A "sitara" welcoming his / her "mentor"

A "sitara" welcoming his / her "mentor"

 

 

A Suspension Bridge Thought - Signifies strength to the "School Project"

A Suspension Bridge Thought - Signifies strength to the "School Project"

 

The school project would give us an opportunity to be more socially responsive and sensitize us as individuals to poverty, moral dilemmas and unstructured environment. All in all I would consider the in-class exercises very fruitful and educational in nature. I was able to take back with me lot of feelings and emotions which symbolize diversity in thought but unity in action.

 

Wish Luck to the “School Project” which would last for six months before we change hands with other participants of the institute to hand over the responsibility.

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