Odisha News Insight

Sri Sri University Students take charge of Rural Development

Sri Sri University  EWB NGOSri Sri University recently inaugurated the students’ chapter of Engineers without Borders (EWB), an international NGO focusing on sustainable development in the sectors of sanitation, drinking water, energy and waste management.

Students of Sri Sri University invited EWB to commence the local chapter as a part of their service initiative, with the objective of promoting rural development and sustainable livelihoods.

“I believe that teaching people how to fish is more important than handing out fish. I am deeply concerned by the lack of proper health-care, sanitation and drinking water facilities in rural areas despite India being one of the fastest growing economies in the world,” said Dr.Ashok Agarwal, chairman, EWB, inaugurating the event.

“I encourage students to begin by initiating small projects to create sustainable livelihoods that will last three years. I urge students to take up social entrepreneurship to create balance between structure and innovation. If you have a good idea and the passion to pursue it, you will be able to succeed regardless of your background, experience or expertise.I am quite positive about the commitment of students here keeping in view their spiritual inclination.”

He measured his own success by his ability to change the mindsets of young engineers and MBA graduates in making them socially conscious.

Speaking at the event, Dr.K.C.Mishra, Vice-Chancellor, Sri Sri University, said “Social work is not about charity, but about empowerment. I advise students to empower people with the right intentions and with commitment. Empowerment can only happen when the required skills and the intention to use them to earn a livelihood are provided. Today, rural India needs committed micromanagement of social projects for sustainable livelihoods,” sharing an algorithm ­– DENT (Discuss, Evolve, Negotiate and Train).

He also pointed out that Bhalunka, one of the local villages adopted by the students of the Faculty of Good Governance and Public Policy at Sri Sri University is part of the list of 20,000 model villages listed by the Government of India in the recent budget.  The EWB teamvisited the Bhalunka villagewith Dr.Ashok Agarwalto discuss their plans.

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