Dr Ranjan R Pai, President, MAHE & Chairman, Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG) launched the event through a cultural element of Tulunaadu, wherein the pingara flowers signify growth and prosperity. Lt. General (Dr) M.D. Venkatesh, Vice Chancellor, Manipal Academy of Higher Education welcomed the gathering. The keynote address was given by Venkat Krishnan, Principal Trustee, India Welfare Trust on the topic “Youth in Social Change: Volunteering as the change catalyst”
Around 700 enthusiastic students from MAHE and Non-MAHE institutions participated in the conference which included talks and panel discussions with reputed changemakers from the developmental sectors. While the speakers spoke on diverse topics like social change through inclusivity, nurturing empathy among school children through volunteering, and building a global volunteer movement, the panel discussion was focused on Innovating Enterprise: The India Way Forward.
Speaking about the event Dr Ranjan R Pai, President-MAHE & Chairman – MEMG said “Development of the spirit of generosity and empathy in the younger generation will help in creating ethical leaders of tomorrow. This event jointly facilitated by the Innovation Centre & Volunteer Services Organization of MAHE is a great initiative towards achieving this goal. We are glad to see such enthusiastic participation by students from across the country. Interacting with reputed social changemakers will surely inspire them to take up volunteering initiatives of their own in the future”
Dr HS Ballal, Pro-Chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education said “MAHE has been celebrating DaanUtsav – the Joy of Giving Week (Oct 2-8), India’s festival of giving, for the past 10 years as one of the means to encourage students to be a catalyst for social change. Our holistic approach to education helps the students to develop multiple skills and become a lifelong learners and a catalyst to lead to create sustainable change in the society
Lt. General (Dr) M.D. Venkatesh, Vice Chancellor, Manipal Academy of Higher Education “We are a young country and youngsters are the change makers of societal problems. MAHE focuses on serving the community through volunteerism. It has a sustainable volunteering engagement and has evolved a system over the years for academic volunteering in higher education in India. Through volunteering students gain opportunities to meaningfully engage in community service that benefits society and also instils a sense of civic and social responsibility within them. MAHE’s student volunteering initiative is in line with the implementation of National Education Policy 2020.”
The conference also featured a Poster Presentation on diverse issues to promote constructive dialogue and societal change and also a Hackathon for Social Change on 14 different themes. There was also the Manipal Seva Mela (an NGO exhibition) where reputed NGOs discussed the change they are bringing about in the community, offered internship opportunities to students and displayed their products and artisans.
In the Poster Competition, 30 student teams presented their ideas on diverse issues to promote constructive dialogue and societal change. The Manipal Seva Mela saw participation from 20 NGOs like Teach for India, Goonj, Robin Hood Army, Bhumi, Darshan Education Foundation and local NGOs. The Immersive hackathon for social change witnessed 20 multidisciplinary student teams presenting their innovative solutions to societal problems.