He inaugurated the ‘Regional workshop for the orientation of participating institutes to initiate work in the adopted village clusters’ under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0 scheme at SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Kattankulathur. The event was organized by SRMIST with Technical Support of Regional Coordinating Institute of UBA 2.0 and IIT Madras.
He emphasized that institutions should aid in the needs and requirements of the adopted villages, be it social, economic, among other aspects. The holistic development of villages is the idea behind UBA. The actual requirement should be identified and then focused so that the adopted village becomes a model for others.
“I want to stress on four aspects; sanitation, use of technology in education, women empowerment, and rural infrastructure.”
Explaining these aspects he said, “Sanitation includes safe drinking water, liquid and solid waste management, environment cleanliness and personal hygiene. These are the main problems that we face in urban pockets. However, since we are next to Chennai Corporation and we are more urban when compared to other districts. But the biggest issue we face is liquid and solid waste management. Corporations have enough resources and manpower to dispose of their waste, but that is not the case in rural areas. Rural pockets have limitation and we are not able to manage. If institutions like SRMIST can come up with some solutions, we can work hand-in-hand. Tamil Nadu is a leader in education and we have a good development in terms of gadgets, infrastructure, student-teacher ratio. However, there is a divide between rural and urban students. Many rural students find it difficult to compete with urban students when it comes to competitive examination. This is also an area where we need support from educational institutions.
The third aspect he emphasizes is women empowerment. “To stop urban migration, they need to be properly employed in the village itself. If the women are given proper livelihood, then there is no need for them to migrate. Imparting proper skills and coming up with employment opportunities will prevent them from mass migration to cities. You can come-up with ideas and we will also be able to help you financially.”
He also focused on the importance of doing a baseline survey in the rural infrastructure. “The lack of proper roads can be addressed by the District Administration. So when a proper survey is done you will come to know the shortfalls and these can be addressed accordingly. Issues like water supply can be addressed immediately. SRMIST can also help set up solar streetlights or green lights to these villages.”
He went to add that, SRMIST should involve other departments like sociology, management, art and science so that there is a proper convergence to address these issues.
In his presidential address Vice-Chancellor of SRMIST Dr. Sandeep Sancheti said, “SRMIST is one of the very well-known higher education institution in the country and we are active and keen on participating in events like this. SRMIST stood first in the country in the Swachhata ranking. We also received a distinction for being a clean and smart campus. This means we are using various gadgets to optimize the available resources. We are also the first in the country to get permission from MHRD and now cleared by AICTE to start an MBA program in Waste Management and Social Entrepreneurship. This is a good initiative that will connect with all that you are doing.”
He emphasised that Unnat Bharat will be successful only when it happens in the root level.
He added, “For a country, the village is the cell, now if the village can do well then the country, in turn, will be healthy. We have a large population living in the village and if the rural places become thriving, then cities will flourish even more. If we can make our villages thriving and stop the migration that is happening in huge numbers.”
Highlighting on SRMIST’s role in Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, he said,” SRMIST has taken under its care eight villages. We have the youth, power, mind, and innovation to make the change in these places and we want you all to throw us with challenges so that we can address them. We intend to do more and we also have the capacity to do it. That is why our Government has entrusted such work to educational institutions like us. SRMIST would like to work in all the sectors, be it energy, water, plantation, agriculture, and etc. We are trying to innovate in the space we have. We also have the capacity and the will to do such things.”
Associate Director (Campus Life), Dr.V.Thirumurugan welcomed the gathering. SRMIST’s UBA activities were presented by Dr. T. Deepa on the occasion.
Vice-Chancellor of SRMIST Dr. Sandeep Sancheti felicitating Collector of Chengalpattu District, A John Louis at the inauguration of ‘Regional workshop for the orientation of participating institutes to initiate work in the adopted village clusters’ under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0 held at SRMIST, Kattankulathur. Also seen are Associate Director (Campus Life), Dr.V.Thirumurugan, IHM Director Dr Antony Ashok Kumar,Prof.DevendraJalihal, SEG,UBA, IIT Madras and Prof.Chandrakant Sarkar,Consultant, UBA, IIT, Delhi.
Collector of Chengalpattu District, A John Louis looking at the displays set for Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0 workshop at SRMIST, Kattankulathur.