Being part of a group called iCare, a social service club in PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore, Harmanjeet Singh has a pragmatic way of dealing with things. Four years in this club has taught him the value of making a contribution to society, however small. That there are people living among us who do not have basic amenities and that we can’t just go on turning a blind eye to other people’s problems are some of the lessons Harmanjeet owes to iCare.
A final-year student of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, he was invited by a senior during his first year to be a part of the group. He recalls, “It was just a bunch of people who thought they can give a part of what they have received from the society to the deprived.” He has taken part in several blood donation camps, clothes collection drives, Bangalore-based NGO Make a Wish’s events for terminally ill children, organ donation camps, activities to create awareness for women empowerment and drives to get electoral rolls registrations. He has also taken classes for slum children in Maths and English. “The happiness reflected on their faces over our small acts of humanity is priceless. Everything else pales in comparison to this sheer joy,” he says, about his experience.
He is as resolute when it comes to academics and for this reason he allots specific time for studies and other extracurricular work. “I try to complete my academic work in the class itself so that I am left with enough time to take part in other activities,” he says.
He believes that platforms like iCare in colleges can help inculcate in many a fervour to give back to society. He explains, “Take for instance, the cause of sustainable development. Many are aware about the conservation of ecosystems and balance that needs to be maintained. All they need is a platform where they can put their ideas to action. Even if one-third of the people who care for sustainable development are given a suitable platform, the impact will be tremendous,” he reasons.