Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is a flagship programme under Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India. UBA is not just a Government Scheme, but a revolutionary mechanism with the aim of transforming rural India. One of UBA's prime focus area is 'Rural Health'. And that's what SRM Institute of Science & Technology also aimed at on 20th February 2019, by organizing "Medical Camp and Swachhata Rally" at one of the UBA adopted villages, Thenmelpakkam. This is also in line with the series of events planned across SRMIST to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The medical camp was conducted following requests from the community during the recent gram sabha meeting held on 26 January 2019 and results of the baseline household survey that revealed that the community suffer from old-age related ailments, diabetes etc.
The morning of 20 February commenced with a rally of enthusiastic students and faculties from NSS, highlighting the importance of cleanliness and “stop using plastics”. This is in keeping with the recent notification from TN Government mandating "ban on one-time use and throw-away plastics” effective 1st January 2019.
The rally was flagged off by Dr.A.Sundaram, Dean (Medical), SRMIST. He stressed on the importance of keeping our surroundings clean. The rally was well-received by the villagers and passers-by. Armed with captivating posters and thought-provoking banners, they voiced their cause, gathering support along the way. The rally ended at the Govt Middle School, which was the venue for the Medical camp.
The Medical Camp was graced by
Dr. A. Sundaram, Dean (Medical), SRMIST
Mr.M.S.M. Vallavan, Deputy Supt. of Police (Vandalur Division)
Mr.S.Christopher,Block Educational Officer ,Kattankulathur
Dr.V.Thirumurugan, Associate Director (CL),M.E, PhD-SRMIST/UBA Nodal Officer
Dr.M.Logaraj, Professor, Community Medicine, SRMIST
Dr.T.Rajasekaran, Professor Mech Engg, NSS coordinator, SRMIST
Mr.T.Elumalai, Ex-President of Thenmelpakkam and
Mr.S.Chitra,Assistant Head Master ,Govt.Middle School
Tmt.Nirosha, President, Management committee of Thenmelpakkam School
Ms. Irene Sambath, UBA Project Associate hosted the event. The function began by observing a two-minute silence tribute for the sad demise of our beloved CRPF jawans who lost their lives in Pulwama terror attack.
Welcome address was delivered by Dr.V.Thirumurugan, Associate Director (CL). He mentioned about the UBA activities conducted so far at Thenmelpakkam and other adopted villages. He thanked the dignitaries for gracing the function amidst their busy schedule.
Dr.A.Sundaram, Dean (Medical), SRMIST delivered the inaugural address. He stressed the importance of inculcating simple personal hygiene practices in our day-to-day lives, and extend the same cleanliness activities to our society. Thereby, the entire community stays healthy.
The audience eagerly awaited to listen to chief guest of the day Mr. M.S.M. Vallavan, Deputy Supt of Police (Vandalur Dicision). He spoke about the martyrs of Pulwama attack and the immense contribution of such personnel who safeguard our motherland from foreign attacks. He also invited one of the school students to stage to speak about this incident. The student was appreciated with a shawl for being up-to-date with current events happening in the country and encouraged teachers to inculcate such reading habits in children.
He expressed his happiness when the students sang Tamil Thai Vazthu with full vigor. He threw open a challenge to SRM students among audience to sing Tamil Thai Vazhthu without mistake. One of the students, a Dentist volunteered to sing. His effort won him Rs.5000 from Mr.Vallan. The student donated Rs.4000 to the Assisted Head Mistress of Govt Middle School. The AHM on behalf of the school thanked the student for his generosity and willingness.
The key message delivered by Mr.Vallavan to the audience was to wear helmets while driving. He specially mentioned about "Kavalan App", which not only girls but anybody could download it and use on their phones for their safety. He mentioned about its usage and functions. He ended his speech with a promise that he will do his best to render his service to service-minded institutions and to all people.
Mr.S.Christopher, Block Education Officer, Kattankulathur in his speech highlighted his own contribution as panchayat leader in village development. He too expressed his condolence for the demise of the jawans and inspired the students with the stories of hardships these jawans face while protecting our country. He welcomed SRM University gesture of engaging with rural community and doing what they can for village upliftment.
Mr. T. Elumalai, Ex-President thanked SRM for their commitment and relentless effort to serving his village. He was proud of his people who stand united as one community for any matter that concerns their village. As a token of gesture and gratitude, he presented all dignitaries on stage with a shawl. The UBA team also presented all chief guests with a shawl.
Mrs.Chitra, Assistant Head Master proposed the vote of thanks. She presented few requests for SRM Managament, one of which was to establish a 'digital classroom', which will be facilitated as per the Village Development Plan of Thenmelpakkam.
The programme ended with distribution of writing pads for students freely donated by NSS team, which had key message about 'Hand Wash' inscribed on it, a gentle reminder to students about keeping their hands clean at all times.
The function concluded with National Anthem. Refreshment was served to all present and medical camp was formally commenced.
The student volunteers facilitated the medical camp and helped the villagers at each of the check up stands: dental, eye, general checkup, blood sugar testing and medicine dispensing. It was a coordinated effort by all general physicians, dentists, nurses and lab technicians.
In a well known quote by Warren Buffet, it is said “someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”. This is true in today’s scenario as greenery is required to balance the environment. The students and teachers of Government Primary and Higher Secondary School at Nattarasanpattu, Kundrathur block, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu put forth a request to SRM Institute of Science & Technology for donation of plants, as there are no shaded trees in their school ground.
Tree plantation at govt primary school, Nattarasanpattu
On 26th February 2019, SRM Institute of Science & Technology organized “Tree Plantation” at Nattarasanpattu Government Primary and Higher Secondary School under the aegis of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, a flagship programme of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India with aim to accelerate development and growth in villages through participatory and appropriate technologies. A team of 50 enthusiastic NSS student volunteers and staff from Maintenance Department with required equipments, planting materials and manpower visited the schools. A whole day was dedicated to this event as it required levelling the school ground with mud, followed by planting 28 saplings of Albizia saman/rain tree and Peltophorum pterocarpum/yellow flame tree, fencing and watering. Through this participatory process, local residents, students and teachers actively engaged in cleanup of the school ground and tree planting. Under the instructions of Head Master, the students volunteered to form groups and each group pledged to look after and nurture one tree.
On the same day, the students also took part in plastic awareness drives in the vicinity of both the schools. This was in keeping with objectives of University Grants Commission’s directive to make swachhata part of education and also Swachh Bharat Mission to achieve clean India by 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019. There were interactive sessions with students on the importance of cleanliness, sanitation and greenery. They shared their swachhata-related practices at school and home. The students said “trees are literally the source of life on this earth. They help preserve environment by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide and are also responsible for keeping the air fresh and clean”