Gopali Youth Welfare Society

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Gopali Youth Welfare Society commonly abbreviated as GYWS is a registered non-governmental organisation primarily managed by some faculty members and students of IIT Kharagpur, with the support of some local members from Gopali, a village 5 km from IIT Kharagpur.

It was established in 2002 by Mr. Mrinal Kanti Bhanja, with a mission to improve the living standards of the people of Gopali. Registered in 2004 under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act 1961 with Registration number S/IL/23893,[1] it has been advancing with the twin objectives of making the youth and society aware the situation of the surrounding and ensuring socio-economic welfare for underprivileged and weaker sections of the society. The society is also registered under sections 12 AA[2] and 80G[3] of Income Tax Registrations Act 1961. GYWS can also accept funds from foreign residents since it is cetified under FCRA act 1976 with Reg. No 147040589.

Through its programmes of free education, social awareness campaigns and vocational training, GYWS has seen many lives changed for better.

History[edit | edit source]

In 2002, a resident of Gopali village, Mr. Mrinal Kanti Bhanja saw the sufferings of people around him and it severely jolted him. And that is when he decided to work with all the resources and force that he can muster towards uplifting the society. The philosophy he adopted was simple and all the fuel it needed was sowing the seed of concern for society into the youth of the nation. The best avenue to mobilise and enhance the inherent goodness in the youth of India, lay right before him – IIT Kharagpur. Thus, Gopali Youth Welfare Society (GYWS) was born. Registered in 2004, under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act of 1961, with Reg No. S/IL/23893, the students and teachers of IIT have since then setup a network that promotes the growth, education and prosperity of the underprivileged people who reside outside the borders of the educational institution. Setting up schools, free tuitions, workshops and awareness camps and exploring all the possible territories of aiding the underprivileged has now become the vitality of this society.

Initiatives[edit | edit source]

Jagriti Vidya Mandir[edit | edit source]

Marking illiteracy as its prime concern, GYWS embarked on an education programme in April 2008: Jagriti Vidya Mandir,[4] an English Medium primary school. Its main motto is “not to make the children literate, but to make them educated”. GYWS is focused upon providing quality education aimed at actually educating the children, imbibing the true ideals of humanity in them and thus enlightening the future generation paving the way to a prosperous “tomorrow” built on a strong “today” Jagriti Vidya Mandir is an English medium school located in Tangasol (Salua) with a capacity of 207 students. Eleven teachers have been recruited through an interview to teach these children. Previously the school was running in the premises of I.M. High School, Gopali, Kharagpur but now it has been shifted to their own land. The objective is to provide quality education to the underprivileged absolutely free of cost helping them shape their future. The School is running full fledged since 15th April 2008.

Highlights[edit | edit source]

  • Most of the children studying in the school come from BPL (Below Poverty Line) families. Also, most of them belong to the SC/ST categories.
  • The school construction is in process,so due to infrastructure and time constraints,we are running classes in two shifts-7:30am to 10:30am for classes Nursery to 1 and 1:30pm-4:30pm for classes 2 to 5.

PaperKraft[edit | edit source]

Aimed ‘ Generating Employment, Preserving Environment and empowering women ‘ , As part of this project, students volunteer to collect old newspapers from the Halls of Residences of IIT Kharagpur. These are given to poor rural women, free of charge, to make into ‘thongas’ or paper bags. Currently 30 women are associated with the production process who were given a week long training to make thongas.

PaperKraft thus provides an opportunity to the destitute women to become self-employed. Also it promotes a cleaner and greener environment as it recycles degradable waste materials into something and also provides a viable substitute to plastic bags which are non-biodegradable. Thus PaperKraft is a sustainable, employment-generating, and environment friendly.

e-Samadhan[edit | edit source]

It’s a common story across villages in India to see people being stuck in the myriad of government procedures, and unable to benefit from the various schemes the government has announced. They often have no one to guide and support them. Their voices are left unheard. e-Samadhan is an initiative by GYWS to help address such grievances of people with regards to government procedures and schemes such as MNREGA and Right to Education Act. This initiative is run in association with 3 (B) Tech Air Sqn NCC, IIT Kharagpur. Under this initiative, a person can submit their grievances at any of the two counters, and our team shall guide them on what steps to take. However, if those steps fail then we shall directly intervene and approach the government officials. With this approach we hope to raise awareness among the villagers of their rights and duties. Also, by initially guiding them without directly getting involved in the process, we do not create a barrier between the villagers and the government.

KGP BloodConnect (K.B.C.)[edit | edit source]

K.B.C.[5] is an initiative started by Gopali Youth Welfare Society & Student Welfare Group -IIT Kharagpur. It was realised by us that whenever there is a requirement of blood, many people are willing to donate blood but due to some or the other reasons communication gap becomes their barrier and as a result prompt help doesn't reach to the patient which is very essential in case of an emergency .

K.B.C. can become a sailing medium of contact for the donor and patient and this particularly is our motto along with spreading awareness about blood donation behind starting such a program.

K.B.C. is also associated with 'Kharagpur Voluntary Blood Donor Organisation (KVBDO)' and have contacted the local hospitals of Kharagpur including Kharagpur Railway Hospital. It's not that K.B.C is only for the students but it will benefit local people in and around Kharagpur.

Say No To Child Labour[edit | edit source]

Childhood is most memorable part of our life, but some less fortunate children miss out having a normal childhood. Hands which deserve books and copies hold tea-cups and shoe polish. Some work at canteen, some at railway station, some dropped out of school as their parent could not pay the fee, while =some never ever stepped in school.

GYWS has successfully rescued 15 child labourers/school dropouts and got them admitted to nearby schools in the academic year 2014. GYWS member Mr. Rajarshi Debnath played a crucial role in identifying and rehabilitating the individuals. GYWS has taken the responsibility of sponsoring their education and has provided them stationery, school bags and other essential items.

Pedals for Progress[edit | edit source]

Some of the kids need to travel long distances to come to school and then go back again. Owing to these hectic travel, GYWS initially booked a Cab to supplement their requirements. But the cab has been unable to reach out every child because of which students either walk down the road or their parents have to go with them. So, GYWS members collect bicycles from passing out IIT Kharagpur students, repairs them and gives them to the JVM children. In this way, children coming from far off places can travel comfortably.

Prayas[edit | edit source]

A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. Inspired by the long list of successfully running programmes under the umbrella of GYWS, the core committee envisaged about PRAYAS in July 2014. Prayas aims to transform the youth’s perception by making them cognizant about the existing social challenges and opportunities. PRAYAS through its initiatives aims to inculcate a feeling of social responsiveness and altruism among the people to engender new opportunities for uplifting the underprivileged sections of the society. Such a spark would go a long way in mobilising the youth to come up with innovative ideas and action plans for uplifting the living standards and improving the inclusiveness of the weaker sections. Our mission at PRAYAS is to repeat the success achieved at JVM in other parts of the country via many more creative ideas and initiatives. To fulfil this vision work at PRAYAS is divided into following categories - Helping Hands (exclusively for school children) Internship (for UG/PG students) E-Samadhan (for villagers) Extension Program Employment Program

Activities[edit | edit source]

Yogdaan[edit | edit source]

Yogdaan is an initiative taken by GYWS in which the members go door to door of each and every student of IIT Kharagpur campus and request them for donation for their school construction project.Since last 3 years they have been doing yogdaan annually and have been getting a very good response from them every year. With the wholehearted support from students in the very first year of yogdaan, GYWS had bought land for school construction, and from the fund of next yogdaan, two classrooms had been completed there and from last year's yogdaan fund, the work is in progress currently, and the good news is that school has been started in new campus.

Spring Fest Stall[edit | edit source]

While everyone gets busy enjoying during the glamorous Spring Fest, GYWS Members in turn look after the stall which is majorly prepared to promote the activities and partially to collect funds for the betterment of the children.

Annual Day[edit | edit source]

Like every other school, JVM also celebrates Annual Day, which has been named Aashayein, with full flair. First Annual Day was held in 2009. Support by advisory committee and presence of dignitaries which includes Director, IIT Kharagpur Prof. Partha Pratim Chakraborty has helped GYWS & JVM celebrate annual days without any serious concern with limited monetary resources.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

Taking part in promoting education for the children belonging to destitute families.

  • Making people aware of the rights, duties and responsibilities as an individual, a villager, a citizen.
  • Providing preventive, promotive and curative health care services for the people in general and women and children in specific.
  • Empowering the rural women through microfinance and Self Help Group(PAPERKRAFT).
  • Imparting vocational training for rural youth with a view to making them self – supportive and acquiring skill suited to their needs.
  • To give emphasize on food security of the community as well as right to safe drinking water and healthy sanitation.
  • To provide support to the vulnerable person materially and emotionally.
  • To initiate an appropriate early childhood development and rehabilitation of the children with disabilities including older persons.
  • Development of micro – level infra structural facilities.
  • Promotion of local resources to function as self-sustaining development units.
  • Integration of crop cultivation, agri – horticulture, agro – forestry, livestock rearing and fish culture and increase their production.
  • Building confidence among the target groups to create their own resources and recycle those in sequential manner for sustainability.
  • Eradication of Child Labour

Media Recognition[edit | edit source]

GYWS is being recognized by various media and prominent personalities for the noble work done by the group. Following are the testimonials for the organization in recent past -

  • IITians run school to bridge social divide - The Times Of India [6]
  • IITians take education beyond Hallowed Campus - The Telegraph [7]
  • Dainik Bhaskar [8]
  • Pratidin [9]
  • Appreciation from Mr. Roy Da Silva, President of IIT Foundation [10]

Affiliated Organizations[edit | edit source]

  • Spectra

Each year GYWS in collaboration with Spectra organizes a wall painting in Jagriti Vidya Mandir. Click here to watch First Wall Art at Jagriti Vidya Mandir campus by GYWS and Spectra[11] Click here to watch Second Wall Art at Jagriti Vidya Mandir campus by GYWS and Spectra[12]

References[edit | edit source]

Annual report 13-14

Audit report 13-14

External Links[edit | edit source]

Gopali Youth Welfare Society Official Website

Gopali Youth Welfare Society Facebook Page

Gopali Youth Welfare Society Linked Profile

Gopali Youth Welfare Society Google Plus Profile

Gopali Youth Welfare Society Twitter Handle

Gopali Youth Welfare Society Youtube channel