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Published : Tuesday, 4 October, 2016 5:42 PM
on Sustainability and Social Responsibility Course is part of the initiative I’M The Change,inspired by Mahatma Gandhi
IMT Ghaziabad, India’s premier management school with a distinct focus on Innovation, Execution and Social Responsibility, launched a Sustainability and Social Responsibility (SSR) initiative titled I’M The Change on Saturday, October 1, 2016, on the eve of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. The initiative was launched in the presence of eminent Gandhian Shri Ramesh Bhaiya of Vinoba Sewa Ashram and dignitaries from Ghaziabad local administration at the institute’s campus in Ghaziabad, Delhi NCR. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s teaching “Be the change you want to see in the world”, the initiative I’M The Changeis the institute’s endeavour towards not just preaching but also practicing SSR. The first steps taken under the initiative are a course on SSR and a Talk Series.
The course, titled “Sustainability and Social Responsibility” is a mandatory three-credit course for the first year students of IMTG’s flagship Two-year PGDM Programme from the 2016-18 batch onwards. The purpose of this course is to enable the students imbibe the ethos of sustainability, social responsibility and distributive justice and realise ‘contribution’ as a value through hands-on execution of live social projects in and around Ghaziabad and Delhi NCR. Students, working in groups, will be exposed to situations that will allow them to see how people live, especially the underprivileged. Each group will then identify a particular social challenge to be addressed and/or zero in on a specific area with a potential for making a meaningful contribution to society by applying their knowledge, skills, aptitudes and innovation. With the identified objective in view, each group will propose an implementation plan with concrete deliverables and will go about implementing it on the ground (through 10/11 field visits).
Learning will be predominantly experiential, with the course containing only a few in-door sessions. The main focus of the pedagogy is on the ‘doing’ component (i.e. Execution of a social project as a member of a team with ample scope for acting innovatively), while the vision underlying the course is on the ‘being’ component, i.e. to help inculcate values, attitudes, and beliefs that form a manager’s worldviews and professional identities. The course will allow students an experiential appreciation of social contexts and challenges at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ - people who are unlike oneself.
Introducing the course, Dr. Kasturi Das, Associate Professor, IMTG and Faculty-in-Charge, SSR mentioned, “In order to offer our students a bouquet of options to choose from, we have developed partnerships with several district-level government agencies (including the District Magistrate’s Office, Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam, government schools through DIOS), and a number of renowned NGOs, such as Agewell Foundation, AROH Foundation, Asha Deep Foundation, Empowering Minds Society for Research and Development, Society for Development Activities(Project KHEL), Social and Development Research and Action Group (SADRAG), Smile Foundation, Sshrishti India Trust, Teach For India, and Udayan Care.”
The launch event witnessed active participation from the Ghaziabad local administration and public representatives. Ghaziabad Mayor Shri Ashu Verma was the Chief Guest at the event while ADM City Smt Priti Jayaswal andSP City Shri Salman Taj also graced the dais. Shri Satish Kaura, Padma Shri awardee and CMD, Samtel Group represented IMTG Governing Council at the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Director, IMT Ghaziabad Dr Atish Chattopadhyay said, “Today, we’re embarking on a new journey. In life we are either a consumer or a contributor. The whole objective of this initiative is how we have the joy of giving, how we become sensitive to distributive justice, and to understand and appreciate how different strata of society live.”
Delivering the keynote address, Chief Guest Mayor, Ghaziabad Shri Ashu Verma said, “I congratulate IMT Ghaziabad for taking up the cause of SSR and making the course a compulsory part of the PGDM curriculum. Today, business graduates have options to serve the society while earning well in the social sector as well as to pursue the social entrepreneurship track. SSR is a positive step in the direction of the young people making an impact to their own society, their own country.” He emphasised on the course correction in the way the corporates spend their CSR funds and said, “It is time the corporates must begin utilising their CSR funds in the on-ground social projects in addition to running awareness campaigns on media.” “Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam has already partnered with IMTG for social projects and the students played an active part during the Swachh Bharat Week on the 2nd anniversary of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Many more projects are lined-up.”, he added.
The event also marked the launch of I’M The Change Talk Series. In this series, IMTG will invite persons with exemplary contribution in the area of sustainability or towards bringing in positive social change. The first talk of the series was delivered by an eminent Gandhian Shri Ramesh Bhaiya, Founder of Vinoba Sewa Ashram, Shahjahanpur and recipient of the 2011 Jamnalal Bajaj Award for the Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Constructive Work.
In his talk, Ramesh Bhaiya covered several aspects on the relevance of SSR while quoting from his experiences with Acharya Vinoba Bhave, great freedom fighter and the protagonist of Bhudan Andolan (The Land Donation Movement) and his own work amongst the underprivileged. Speaking of why social responsibility is a necessity, he said, “SSR was always a part of lifestyle of Bharat but was forgotten/left behind once it became India. Mankind, animals, birds, trees and insects are the five living beings on this planet. Mankind has always made up excuses to not being able to take care of the other four, as well as his own, only to realise that a man lives in extreme selfishness and intends to take care of himself alone. We have to work towards changing this, and serve the entire ecosphere. When you study a bit you should give back to your family, when you study further you should give back to your village, and when you study higher you should give back to the nation.”
The event concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. Kasturi Das.
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