Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sparsh - The NGO Event

Sparsh has teams from all around the country coming up with innovative ideas for touching lives and making the difference to the community. The team from MDI, Daityva gave solutions to Bal Janagraha, a section of the NGO Janagraha. Bal Janagraha aims at imparting education to students of classes 7th and 8th about various issues like urban governance, police, electricity, water etc. Daityva used a bottom-up approach to create a buzz among the students. They covered various aspects of marketing and strategy thereby delving deeper into the problems of all the stakeholders.

Udaan, the team from IIMB, suggested connecting school and students to the parents on annual days or through year books. Rolling trophy for a cluster of schools performing well in the Bal Janagraha movement was another creative idea as promoting a single winner can de-motivate others. Udaan also delved into the aspects of roping print media to cover one school every week and interspersing the elements of Bal Janagraha in various subjects during schools. The team advocated the strengthening of bonds between the volunteer groups through orientation and mentoring etc. The methodology adopted by Udaan and its implementation in a time bound manner was appreciated by the judges.

Teams also brain-stormed on Akshay Patra – a programme dealing with mid day meal scheme of school children. The meal costs Rs 4.54 per head and is prepared under highly sanitized environment following ISO certified processes. The scale of the programme is such that even a reduction of 10 paise per meal would mean feeding 22,000 more children per day! Team warriors came up with suggestions for integrating the supply side by sourcing directly from the farmers. They also suggested reducing the costs by hiring the vehicles for transportation instead of owning them. Team Gladiators had very innovative ideas for cost reduction, waste management and improvising on the efficiency of the process. They advocated partnering with retailers like Reliance and Metro to reduce sourcing costs and in return promoting their image for CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives. The best idea of the lot was using starch to generate methane in a methane generation plant and use it for cooking food. This would impact the cost of fuel to a great extent.

Overall, Sparsh was a great experience and an initiative to touch lives on a larger scale. We are sure, there will be many such editions of Sparsh in the years to come and all of us will be able to make things better for a lot of people in the society.

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