Symbiosis Centre for Information Technology hosted its first ISR-Building Bridges-Summit for the year 2015, with a motive of providing a collaborative platform to different sectors such as educational institutions, corporates as well as social activity organizations, on 7th June, 2015. The summit aimed at bringing together the representatives from these sectors to share their experiences, aspirations and responsibilities.

Like every auspicious occasion, the summit inaugurated with lightning of lamp. With the very first step to a Change, this time the lamp was lit by the female students of the MBA Institute, promulgating the importance of women empowerment in a society. Then, the respective representatives initiated their presentations on their NGOs.

The first one to start-off was an NGO named Team Everest which deals with schools and villages adoption, digital literacy, etc; followed by Navkshitij which boasted of being a home to mentally challenged adults, and focuses on guiding such people to make quality products such as candles, lanterns, soaps, jewelleries etc. The other NGOs in the queue were SNEH Foundation, which aims at women empowerment as well as taking care of malnourished children and their grooming; Apni Shaala, where children are made to solve their problems by their own experiences and improvise their self-management skills with the help of theatre, drama and art; Sampurn(e)arth, which works on collecting wastes and transforming them into useful products with the help of recycling industries; unCancer India, which provides medical support to cancer patients; GreenThumb, claiming to save environment in true sense; and Initiatives of Change, focussing on trustbuilding, ethical leadership and sustainable living.

The ISR Summit also held a panel discussion by inviting the leading experts on the dais. The theme for Panel Discussion was “Shared Vision for Community Development.” The six panelists invited were Dr. Sudhir Saran, SCIT Faculty; Mr. Sarang Pandey from Lokpanchayat who deals with farming practices, bio-diversity conservation, women’s empowerment, enterprise development and liberal school education in rural schools; Prof. Satyajit Majumdar, TISS Faculty who is engaged in research and consulting in the areas related to ‘growth strategy in entrepreneur managed firms’; Ms. Swetha Ranganathan from Apni Shaala, also the co-founder of UnLtd India, who believes in offering the entrepreneurs a complete ecosystem of seed funding, incubation support and a peer network with the help of which they can launch their ventures; Ms. Mary D’Souza from Aditi Learning Centre, who was undoubtedly the most eloquent speaker, happened to grab the attention of the audience by her magical words- “Reduce your needs, simplify your life, choose what you really want”; and last but not the least, it was Mr. Abhishek Jain, a CSR Manager at Cognizant, who marked his presence by his golden words like “We are what we learn, think about how to make education enjoyable to children.”

Dr. Shaila Kagal, former Director, SCIT, graced the occasion as Chief Guest, and was felicitated by our Director, Dr. Dhanya Pramod. The venerable lady addressed the students with her thoughts on social responsibilities, and encouraged them to be a part of them. The summit ended with an amazing Skit, performed by the team Eklavya 8.0, which covered the major social issues in India such as domestic violence, female foeticide, and religious discrimination.

The ISR Summit proved to be a huge success because of active participation of the student volunteers, who dedicated their time and efforts towards this initiative. Along with thoroughly enjoying the session, all the students as well as each and every faculty member who attended the summit, were enlightened with the insights on practicing sustainability lessons focusing on human rights, initiating valuable changes and social entrepreneurship.

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