If academics are the brain of an institute, co-curricular activities are its heart and soul. You miss the fun in College if you haven’t utilized the zero periods or breaks for practising nukkads, painting the campus walls or discover the Marley and Dylan in you. Institutes in Bhubaneswar are a bundle house of talents. No doubts about it! They have their own activity groups to help students polish their skills in art, music, dance, debate or any creative thing under the sun. This week, The City Express strolls through the campus of IIT Bhubaneswar to bring you some of the happening activity groups of the institute. These groups come under a students’ body called Students’ Gymkhana that fosters such activities and bridge the gap between the students and the authorities. Founded in 2010, it is indeed the nucleus of all cultural and tech activities happening at IIT, Bhubaneswar.
Members of ‘Souls for Solace’ dedicate their leisure time to stand by the side of people in need of help. The group was started by four students in 2013. Today, it has at least 30 members. The members of this group volunteer for several non-governmental organizations in the city like Bakul Foundation, Swabhiman and We4You. They have been conducting blood donation camps in the campus since last year. Each year, the group receives Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh from the Gymkhana funds (provided by the institute) for carrying out social work. The group has conducted a campaign for popularizing the use of paper bags. “We collected newspapers from various households and from the campus. We then sent these newspapers to a recycling company to turn them into bags. We distributed the bags among teachers and students in the campus as part of the campaign,” said Shivam Shukla, a member of the group. As part of the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, the group has adopted six villages from Jatni district, including Argul, Podapada and Khudupur. “We have set up a science lab at Argul high school. We conducted plantation drive in the villages. We visit the schools there to teach students,” Shukla added. Moreover, the group also organises a children festival for the slum kids during its annual Alma Fiesta fest. The members of the group keep Fridays and Saturdays reserved for the philanthropic work.
Love for literature
Founded in 2010, Panacea is a group for the literature lovers and ‘campus-wale-writers’. Over the years, the group has evolved its function. Initially, the members would only write articles about the campus and what’s happening there. Today, 30 members of the group are engaged in journalistic writings, conducting debates, elocution, and writing for several in-house publications. The students also participate in the literary festivals of other colleges. One of the major events being conducted by the group is a Model United Nations. “We down size the United Nation to come up with a mock set-up. It is conducted once a year. Around 250 students from across various cities, including Delhi and Bangalore participate in this event. We bring experienced judges from outside the campus,” said Chinmay, a member of the group.
If you thought the budding technocrats aren’t artistic, you were wrong. They do have an artistic bent of mind. The art group, Kalakriti, has at least 100 members. It was founded in 2008. The members of this group meet-up often to better their skills in painting, clay modelling and making graffiti. They have made graffiti on the walls of Koshala at Saheed Nagar. The equipment, paints, and other utilities are purchased with the funds obtained from Gymkhana. “The annual budget is worth Rs 2 lakh for our group. We are also responsible for decorating the campus on festivals and special occasion. If a student’s artwork is found to be interesting, he or she is inducted into the group. The seniors teach the newcomers about art and painting. We also hire professionals from outside the campus to conduct workshops and help us learn art,” said Karunakar, a member of the group.