Fr Stephen Mavely, Vice Chancellor & Dr. Bhattacherjee from Tezpur University inaugurated Self Help Week
Volunteers selling roses
Some students of Don Bosco College of Engineering and Technology, now termed the School of Technology of Assam Don Bosco University had started organising free tuition classes for students of classes VII to X of the neighbourhood, in Mathematics, Science and English in the college premises on Sundays. The tutors were volunteers from among the engineering students with guidance from the faculty members. The classes were much appreciated and we had over 100 students who came for these tuition classes.
With the arrival of the MSW students, they took this initiative to a higher level. They set in motion a project which was named “Swastyayan... a Commitment”. With this project operative in the Spring of 2013, the classes now became a daily feature. Initially they started with a few students of classes nine and ten. In the Autumn of 2013, the numbers had swollen to 130, with students of classes 7, 8, 9 and 10 benefitting from these classes. The MSW students visited the families of the students as part of their continuous field work and made a survey of the neighbouring villages and invited students from these villages too for these tuition classes. The tutor base too grew with these developments – students and faculty members from all departments of the University volunteered to tutor the Swastyayan students.
Currently, over 200 children from the neighbourhood of the University benefit from the activities of Swastyayan and over 150 students and faculty members of the University volunteer their services to tutor, inspire and motivate them. Apart from academic inputs, students are taken through a series of sessions on goal setting, time management, life-skill development, spoken English tutorials, recreation, games and sports that are intended to enthuse and enhance their overall personality and self-esteem. Various competitions on singing, dancing, drawing, etc. are conducted to identify the students’ talents so that their skills could be further honed in the coming days.
The annual “Swastyayan Day” conducted generally on 14 November (to synchronise with Children's Day) is a special day – a day on which both students and their parents come together to take part in various activities and both students and their tutors are felicitated for the activities conducted during the year.
Over the years Swastyayan has grown stronger and widen its reach. A Community Self Help Week- Fund Raising Programme, started in January 2015 with an objective to make Swastyayan a self-reliant and self-sustaining programme has become a regular feature of the programme. During Self-Help Week, different activities like challenging fun games, car washing, and share-a-pakoda, momo and food fest would be organized. Thanks to the enthusiastic participation from the students, faculty and the neighbouring villages, Swastyan has been a self-sustained and self-reliant programme.