‘Care for the Other/Social’ and ‘Crossing the Barriers’ are the best practices of the college. The former underscores the value of caring for the social, transcending the care for the self. The latter encourages students to cross the barriers of socially constituted bias towards women labour.
Title: Care for the Social/Other Objectives:
The main objective of the initiative is to intimate the importance of the value of caring for the social/other against the upheld view of the care for the self.
The care for the social/other is an umbrella term for the initiative of the college that attempts to address one of the acunae in the existing field of higher education, ‘social care’. It is largely acknowledged that the existing syllabus and curriculum in higher education are oriented towards the value of the care for the individual/self success and personal well-being, along with primary knowledge in their concerned discipline. Realization of these lacunae forced the academic community of the college to chart a few programmes and re-orient some of the existing ones as well to practically learn the value of caring for the other.
- Limbs for Life
- Free Noon meal scheme and Uniform scheme
- Little Acts of Caring
The college, with the initiative of the NSS units has been successively conducting prostheses camps named ‘Limbs for Life’, to care for the disabled since 2018. In 2022, the Higher Education Minister inaugurated the Phase III Artificial limb camp –“Limbs for Life”. This is a boon for people who have been unfortunate to lose their limbs due to accidents and disease. This year, apart from donating artificial limbs, polio affected persons were also given calipers. 16 physically challenged persons received limbs, 20 got calipers and one an artificial hand . The camps lasted a week and the beneficiaries were invited through public notice. The programme was charted in the way that the entire community of the college would manage major part from check-in of the differentially abled to their check-out after fixing artificial limbs.
The free noon meal scheme is envisaged by the staff and Parent Teacher Association of the college as an initiative to help the needy students. Apart from ensuring that no student goes hungry, it aims at providing wholesome meals to selected students. The college canteen is entrusted with the work of preparing and providing lunch to such students on all working days. The class tutors identify students in need of free meals. They do so by conducting tutorial meetings and after having face to face interactions with students of a class. The quality of the food given to students is not compromised and they are given nutritious diet every day.
The free uniform scheme is yet another scheme carried out in the college with the aid of PTA. The needy students are identified and they are given uniforms. The parent department in which the student studies also gets involved.
Students also involved in other acts of caring like Blood Donation Camps, Lunch for the Desolate, Fund mobilisation for a destitute student, palliative visits to Old Age Homes in Kannur District, visits to meet the inmates of the Central Jail, Kannur, for Cultural Exchanges, Southern Railway for Swachh Bharath Mission.
Care for the Green was another remarkable project with subprojects cloth bag making, paper pen making, afforestation, anti-plastic campaigns, e-waste collection, and energy conservation campaigns.
The college had initial difficulties in mobilising financial resources for such diverse programmes The student community took active leadership for mobilising funds through gift coupons and the teaching community also made their donations. The Artificial limb camp undertaken by the college has been greatly applauded by the community and due recognition has been given to the students of the college for their little acts of caring.
The success of the programme can be assessed on two counts, first, by citing the examples of students increasingly involving in activities that inculcate of the value of care for the other from the opinions of the general publicProblems Encountered and Resources Required:
Problems Encountered and Resources Required:
The college had initial difficulties in mobilising financial resources for such diverse programmes. The student community took active leadership for mobilising funds through gift coupons and the teaching community also made their donations. This demanded much physical work from the students which they did with devotion and a sense of charity. While the programme was going on, we did not have any means to check whether the students were internalizing the value we wanted them to embody. Therefore, after the completion of each programme, a discussion and an evaluation of their experiences had been organised to gauge the success of these philanthropic endeavours.
BEST PRACTICE 2
Title: Crossing the Barriers
Crossing the Barriers is an encompassing programme visualized to endow the students of the college with the opportunities to become critically aware of the means by which they are continuously being marginalized as women.
Objectives: To enable the students to reflect upon the gender bias and to convince them that the social exclusion of women is cultural rather than natural and hence needs to be challenged.
The Context: Being a women’s college, the institution considers its efforts are required to generate critical attitudes against gender inequality and to achieve this goal a long-term plan has to be designed.
The Practice:The college continuously provided an environment for students to challenge the elements of patriarchy in society through a set of well-sequenced programmes. This includes creating gender consciousness among the students through seminars, workshops, invited speeches and campaigns, to become economically independent and also encouraging them to take up activities hitherto considered to be exclusively in the male domain. The Women Cell in association with Kannur Thaluk Legal Service Committee conducted a session on the legal problems faced by women in the society and the protection laws that have been constituted for the welfare of the female. Sessions on Zero Menstrual Waste, Breast Cancer as well as a Gender Awareness Campaign and Skill Development Training in collaboration with the KSWDC was conducted. Women’s Fest marked a week-long celebration with talks, performances and competitions. On International Women’s day 2023, the college in association with Kannur Town Janamaitri Police Station organised a Self Defence Training programme for the students. The students received hands on training on defending themselves from assaulters in buses, on streets and at home. They were also given tips on facing petty thieves, pick pockets and possible sex offenders.
Apart from Bush cutting and Cycle literacy, activities like LED Bulb making, Glass Painting, Artificial jewellery making and Beautician training were also conducted to impart skills to the students.
There are visible evidences that the efforts have started fructifying. A significant impact of the programme is that the students are increasingly coming forward in public sphere. A few of our alumnae are now willingly engaged in works which were remained under male terrain. A few of them run independent business concerns as well. For instance, 2 students have rubber tapping as a part-time job, 11 students have started tuition classes for school students, 3 students have commercial home-based cake production and have succeeded to an extent in becoming economically independent.
Problems Encountered and Resources Required
The implementation of the programme required financial and physical resources like coconut climbing machine, sewing machine and bicycles apart from the expenses to buy various consumables as part of the skill training activities. The college got financial assistance from the District Industries Centre, Kannur and from the Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation. With the active initiation from the part of Entrepreneurship Development Club and Women’s Cell, the programmes are functioning in the college.