The Gopali Youth Welfare Society, IIT Kharagpur has taken up a new initiative – ‘Pedals for Progress’. This initiative involves the graduating fourth and fifth year batches donating their cycles to the underprivileged kids, who are studying in class six at Hijli High School as well as the former child labourers who have been rescued and enrolled into the school by the society.
Established in 2002 , this registered non-governmental voluntary organization is managed by some faculty members and students of IIT Kharagpur . They aim at improving the living standard of people of Gopali, a village 5km from IIT Campus, through free education programmes, social awareness campaigns and vocational training. We heard from Sanyam Agarwal, 4th year undergraduate from Department of Computer Sciences,
“Everyone,including me should take inspiration from GWYS and do something that really matters. For instance, on a personal front I am thinking of talking to the Computer Informatics Centre to see if they can spare some old computers so that we can install them in nearby village schools, which are visited by NSS unit . The computers would be loaded with educational video lectures and audited weekly by students of NSS unit for any issues.” The Gopali Youth Welfare Society is just one among 30+ societies IIT Kharagpur boasts of. Ranging from cultural ones like dance, dramatics, fine arts to economics and technical research oriented groups, the societies cover wide range of interests. Kshitij and Spring Fest, the annual techno-management and cultural fest of the IIT Kharagpur are handled entirely by student based management groups.
Kshitij happens to be the largest techno-management fest of Asia. While working in a society or management group, a student starts his/her journey as a Member working his way up through different positions. Governors or Advisors are final or pre-final year students who head a society, supervise its work and budget as well as select, train and groom members. In the process, members develop new skills , improve upon old ones, build relationships and get a chance to be actively involved in any ongoing activities on campus. True to its name ‘Mini-India’, they have multilingual dramatics societies (English, Hindi, Telugu and Bengali !) Eastern Music, Western Music, Technology Filmmaking and Photography Society, the students here are never too far from their creative side. They provide a platform to students to develop their skills in the cultural field and pursue their hobbies.
Technology Robotix Society, which aims at promoting robotics throughout India and research oriented groups like Autonomous Ground Vehicles, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, Robosoccer Students’ Group, Quadrotor Project (builds drones) and Swarm Robotics bring out and nurture technical prodigies. Business Club, Space Technology Society, Team Kart are some other Technology related Societies. There are also many unconventional societies native to IIT Kharagpur like ProDex (for product designing), The Kharagpur Game Theory Society (for riddle lovers) , Code Club (for riddle enthusiasts) etc. The institute also has its own Entrepreneurship Cell that nurtures start-ups and those wanting to be entrepreneurs .
Needless to say, the society culture in KGP is very well developed.Since students tend to spend a lot of time with their society-mates, the friendships that result are amazing. Also, societies provide a great platform to interact with seniors, strengthening the inter-batch bonds, and it also helps in getting the much need ‘fundae’ (a jargon for guidance famous in campus). Being in a society, one interacts with a lot of people, hence resulting in improved communication skills as well as personality development. For a KGPian, society life and its tempo are one of the most memorable part of college tenure.