With the status of Delhi University’s reopening, along with the rest of the country’s educational infrastructure, literally and figuratively, still up in the air, Indian college students across the boards are missing out on the uniquely collegiate period of young adulthood, and its consequences remain to be seen. Thankfully, generation Z is tech-savvy enough to make things happen, and one of the tools they can recently avail of is #14DaysOfScenes Challenge, created as a part of their Delhi University-centric campaign, by Scenes by Avalon.
The home-grown next-gen community platform that “connects like-minded people and fosters communities of all shapes and sizes,” is currently hosting Hansraj College as a part of their pilot project. Scenes by Avalon, which has been founded by serial entrepreneurs Varun Mayya, Shashank Udupa, and Abhinav Arora, has already surpassed 9M voice minutes since its launch and has 50,000+ users and 2000+ live communities. Out of the 500+ entries to the challenge, Hansraj College Societies were exclusively chosen to be a part of this challenge.
Speaking on the same, Arora says, “As we were trying to on-board college societies onto the Scenes app, we learned that almost all of these society members have not really met each other in person or virtually. Since all colleges have been functioning remotely from the lockdown, these students have not had much interaction with each other from the club. This made us see the problem in a different way and the challenge was a solution to this; facilitating bonding in these societies and getting incentivised for it.”
He adds, “We saw how crucial it is for freshers to meet their peers and how they are missing out because of the present circumstances in the country, which is saddening. As a result, we decided to encourage universities to join our platform; where students may interact and socialise outside of class.”
Since former freshers have not seen each other in a year due to Covid-19 and virtual classrooms, and new freshers are especially missing out on college life, Scenes by Avalon provides them an opportunity to form a connection. The various societies of the college come together for sessions to celebrate what they are known for and occasionally play games with their batch mates.
Sanway Mukhopadhyay, Member of Pixels, the Photography Society of Hansraj College says “It’s been a trip on this app from the start. The interface is user-friendly, the features are neat and it’s easy to use. Plus, it provides us with a platform to hang out with our people. We have been conducting sessions every day, and we are having a lot of fun getting to know each other, especially the new members. We are glad to be offered this opportunity and we look forward to more in the future.”
Kirti Kalra, President, Terpsichorean (dance group), the Choreography Society of Hansraj College, says, “This is by far the most online fun I have had with my team. We are having a good time connecting with each other through these sessions besides focusing on their studies. We have been here for almost three days and the energy of the whole team is increasing by the day. We hope to continue having such fun interactive sessions with Scenes in the future too.”
Speaking of the scenes, Arora says topics go “all the way from talks related to mental health and LGBTQ to playing simple games like Skribbl, chess, etc. to watching cricket matches together while chatting on the app, students have been using the platform in a variety of ways.” Here, Scenes by Avalon takes on the role of a virtual hangout space for them.
To further sweeten the deal, these societies get rewarded to come and hang out with each other on the platform. Being a part of the streak challenge, every society that conducts topical/gaming/chill sessions for 14 days in a row gets rewarded in cash and kind. Thus, students are incentivised to simply come and form connections.
“The response has been incredible so far; the students are totally enjoying it and are thrilled to keep up their streaks alive, “mentions Arora, adding “About future iterations, we will probably expand to more Delhi University colleges and on-board them. We have already on-boarded eight-nine societies from Manipal Institute of Technology and they are having a blast.”