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Transformational changes beckon as Goan colleges adopt villages

Dnyanprassarak Mandal’s College (DMC) and Research Centre in Assagao and Fr Agnel College in Pilar are among 338 colleges across the country that have been chosen to adopt five villages each under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA), the flagship programme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) Government of India. NT KURIOCITY finds out more

RAMANDEEP KAUR | NT KURIOCITY

Institutions of higher education have knowledge and resources that can help transform the lives of rural youth and those who have not directly benefited from mainstream government programmes. Now that two colleges in Goa namely, Dnyanprassarak Mandal’s College (DMC) and Research Centre in Assagao and Fr Agnel College in Pilar, among 338 colleges in the country, have been chosen to adopt five villages each under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) Government of India, they will get an opportunity to be part of the developmental strategies of surrounding villages.

Both the institutions belong to the category of non-technical institutions. 338 colleges from this category have been selected through this programme to enable higher educational institutions to work with the people of the villages to identify developmental challenges and evolve appropriate solutions to accelerate sustainable growth.

The five villages adopted by DMC are Hassapur, Chandel, Cansarvornem, Alorna and Assagao, while Fr Agnel College has adopted Agassaim, Goa Velha, Batim, Neura and Carambolim. Explaining why they chose only these particular villages principal of DMC, D B Arolkar says: “Our college is located in Assagao village and over the years has been carrying out many activities as part of our Institutional Social Responsibility Programme. So adopting Assagao village was an obvious choice.” DMC has been conducting the NSS seven-day annual residential camp for the past two years at Hassapur village in Pedne taluka and this gave them an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the local people, observe their lifestyle, etc, and so they adopted Hassapur and three of its neighbouring villages Chandel, Cansarvornem and Alorna so that their developmental work could be concentrated in this area and would be fruitful.

Arolkar further mentions that they observed that these villages are close to the upcoming Mopa International Airport due to which there would be a drastic change in the socio-economic profile of the villages. “Being an educational institution, we felt that through our programmes we could help the village youth prepare themselves to take maximum advantage of the opportunities that the new infrastructure and change in demography would provide,” he adds. Principal of Fr Agnel College, Pilar, Fr Fredrick Rodrigues says: “We have selected villages around Pilar since the college was built for the students of the villages surrounding Pilar. This will help the institution connect with the rural people.”

Role of students and teachers in this initiative

Arolkar explains that the college will have a special ‘Unnat Bharat Abhiyan Project Monitoring Committee’ which will mentor staff members and students who are in charge of each adopted village.  “They will devise and implement various programmes based on the survey conducted. Wherever possible, the students and teachers will act as resource persons, and when external expertise is required they will coordinate with experts,” said Arolkar adding that ex-students, panchayat members and prominent members of each village will also be roped in to help the college implement various schemes along with teachers and students.

Rodrigues says that the role of students and teachers will be to organise surveys and different activities with regard to sanitation, health, cleanliness, renewable energy, awareness of different government schemes, etc, based on the surveys’ result. “IIT Delhi will also guide us regarding the same,” he adds.

Benefits of adopting villages

Adopting these villages will help the institutions in brand building and help them gain more visibility at the local and national levels, consequently making them a model and instrument for further developmental projects. Arolkar says: “It will provide a great opportunity for faculty members to implement various innovative ideas for community development. It will also bring about holistic development and positive transformation in students since they will be able to put their learning to practical use and see the benefits.” He also adds that as a large number of students from these villages are studying in DMC there will be a strong bond between college and community.

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