SNEHASANGAMAM is virtually the soul filled extension of NIMIT’s commitment to the less fortunate of the society, an annual programme hosted by the college every year in February for differently abled people. The programme as it name denotes is a gathering of love, finding its inspiration from its motto and mission, ‘To reach the unreachable,’ to form empathetic and socially committed human beings. Giving, rather than getting fetched immortality; it is the best way to show appreciation, to say thanks and to show someone you care. Sometimes it is hard to express true feelings in words, but offering a token of appreciation will not only represent your feelings but will allow the recipient to know how much you appreciate them. Hence the tagline for this programme is ‘When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed’.
The second year undergraduate students of all departments coordinate this event with the wholehearted support of the students, teaching and non-teaching faculty members and management of the college. The invitees include orphans, disabled, senior citizens and differently abled. The student and faculty coordinators sit together with the caretakers in the initial meeting to extend a warm welcome and to assess the specific needs of the guests. The programme is usually conducted in the college premises. Every year, around fifteen institutions far and near from the college, comprising about 350 inmates along with their caretakers and persons in charge participate in the programme. On the day of the programme, transportation facilities for pick-up and drop are arranged and the students make sure that they reach safe and sound.
The event is one of the most sought after programmes in the calendar of activities for both the students and the inmates of the institutions. Snehasangamam commences when the participants reach the college and are received with joy; most of them needing physical help to reach the venue. Students give their best to make the guests feel at home often going out of their comfort zones. The participant institutions get an opportunity to showcase their talents through various activities. The guests mesmerize the audience with their innate talents often casting a shadow on the performances of the able bodied. The coordinators also entertain the guests with different fun games and activities. The guests also take a bold step forward and participate enthusiastically in all the entertainment activities. The cultural activities of the participant institutions in between the various activities are breathtaking given the fact they are differently abled. Students rope in special performers and motivation speakers and performers to spice up the event. Usually time flies as both the hosts and guests get involved in a lot of give and take.
Refreshments and a light brunch is usually served during the programme. Students make arrangements for a sumptuous lunch which is usually cooked by the students themselves and it is a cherished moment to witness students competing to feed the inmates, many of them who need to be fed because of their disabilities. All invitees, guests, staff, faculty and student coordinators sit together and take part in the lunch. Various gifts are then distributed to the institutions based on their requirements and necessities along with some general gift packets. All institutions express their gratitude and share with the audience their experience about the programme. The coordinators take a great effort to make sure that all the participants are taken care of very well.
Students work hard to finance the expenses of the programme. The students themselves raise funds for the expenses through various fund raising activities such as games, shows and sponsorships. The sponsors include students, staff, faculty, general public, well-wishers, clients and organizations such as Naipunnya Welfare Services and other sister concerns of the group. Charity boxes are kept in the public places and contributions are collected. The SWAS club coordinators play a commendable part in raising the funds through sponsorships from outside the campus. The students enthusiastically conduct campus activities such as auction sales, food counters, film shows, stalls, fun games, mehendi designing etc. to raise funds for the programme. The Department of Hotel Management under the leadership of department chefs, make sure that the food and refreshments are prepared and served with love and passion. The entire guests are escorted back to their institutes when the curtains come down. Meanwhile a team stays back to restore the auditorium and the premises back to its original state for normal college activities.
Snehasangamam opens up a plethora of questions to the students who often never have enough opportunities to interact with a similar group at this scale. Most of them have their eyes opened to the basic needs of the guests. One of the endearing effects of the programme is that the students volunteer to help them and visit their institutions in the next possible opportunity and come back the next year when the programme is conducted by another batch. The programme throws open a great opportunity and a memorable experience for the coordinators to extend their hands to the needy and to realize that they become the reason for the smile in the face of lots of less fortunate people in the world. The students also realize the adage ‘Count your blessings’ without any further lecture. It dawns on the student that it’s not about what they have or even what they have accomplished, it’s about what they have received and what they have given back to the society. Apart from these valuable insights, students also learn the all-important managerial aspects such as planning, leading, organizing, directing and evaluation.
There will be a feedback session to thank and appreciate the coordinators and to evaluate and identify the areas where there are any improvements required. The programme is one of the most cherished social responsibility activities of the college in line with our motto, vision, priority and focus.