Kshamta, the Social Responsibility Forum of Shobhaben Pratapbhai Patel School of Pharmacy & Technology Management, SVKM’S NMIMS, is an active platform for students to use their technical skills and expertise to make an impact on society. Founded in 2009, Kshamta is a student driven, non-profit organization, that conducts donation drives, medical camps, free health check-ups and medicines to the underprivileged sections of the society, thus playing a part in the global mission to provide meaningful healthcare opportunities to everyone, without any discrimination. An interview with Dr. Bala Prabhakar – Dean, Shobhaben Pratapbhai Patel School of Pharmacy & Technology Management. Excerpts of an interview:
What was the rationale behind setting up Kshamta and how has the journey been so far?
Being responsible citizens of India, helping the ones in need, and bringing a smile to their faces is our primary duty, which gives us immense joy in return. Social service is one of the best ways we could fulfill this purpose, and hence, Shobhaben Pratapbhai Patel School of Pharmacy & Technology Management, SVKM’S NMIMS came up with students to explore their compassion, team spirit, leadership skills, creativity, technical skills, and expertise to make an impact on our society through Kshamta, their the Social Responsibility Forum.
Since inception, Kshamta has put in tremendous efforts to provide quality healthcare to those who come in contact with it through diagnostic camps, food donation drives, marathons, and awareness programs. Kshamta has been able to reach out to a large number of people, thus playing its part in the global mission to provide for the less fortunate.
What are the major initiatives undertaken by Kshamta in the past and especially during the pandemic?
At Kshamta, an array of initiatives was undertaken over the years to help the needy. Our key initiatives include the two medical camps: Aarogya and Svasthya. Aarogya aims to provide free of cost primary healthcare services to the needy in the local community whereas Svasthya aims at undertaking the adoption of a village by providing health facilities. Our other major initiative is Kartavya which is aimed towards visiting the old age homes and spending quality time with the senior members of our society.
During these unprecedented times, our team worked relentlessly through the digital medium and physical efforts. More than 50 families were provided with essentials, 300 stray animals were fed on a regular basis, we conducted vaccination assistance drive for elderly people and regular tree plantation drives at homes and in the student’s vicinity were conducted.
We also conducted various online events in order to continue taking care of society’s needs which included sessions with Mr. DeekParassini to enlighten the students on various topics like Mental Health, Public speaking, Adolescent issues, and Financial Freedom,. We also conducted fun but learning activities for mentally challenged adults on the Zoom platform, organised online clue hunt game and conducted informative Instagram live Session with brave coronavirus survivors, Ms. Gunjan Saxena and Ms. Kavya Joshi.
What have been the major challenges to continue the CSR initiatives during the Covid-19 outbreak?
The major challenge which we faced in terms of organizing various events and activities after the covid outbreak was mainly that we couldn’t connect with people directly anymore. The one-on-one people contact which we earlier had was completely lost and whatever we could do was now limited to the online mode or at an individual level. Another problem was the morale of the team members as many were grief-stricken as their friends, loved ones, and sometimes, they themselves have been affected by Covid. Despite all these challenges Team Kshamta’s indomitable spirit triumphed over all obstacles.
What are the new initiatives planned while adhering to the COVID protocol?
We aim to increase our outreach with every passing year. Few of our planned initiatives in the coming months include Energy Conservation Event where we conduct some activities along with organizations working with this motive to directly impact energy usage around us, Promote local to spread awareness about the importance of shopping local and supporting our communities, Paricharya initiative where we feed the stray animals on the behalf of the followers who share our posts on their Instagram, Samarthan, a four-day event in collaboration with Mann Foundation – Center for Individuals with Special Needs, Vriksharopan, an initiative through which all the members will plant saplings every month in their vicinity and Food Donation Drive to fight hunger.