From The Campus: Mumbai's Sophia College Organises NSS Camp In Haloli Village, Know More

From The Campus: Mumbai's Sophia College Organises NSS Camp In Haloli Village, Know More

Experience the transformative journey of Sophia College NSS students as they immerse themselves in rural life, promoting education, hygiene, and community development in Haloli village, Maharashtra. Witness their impactful seven-day camp and meaningful initiatives.

Sargam SoralUpdated: Wednesday, February 14, 2024, 08:32 PM IST
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Each year, National Service Scheme (NSS) club of Sophia College, Mumbai embarks on a special journey to Haloli village in Palghar, Maharashtra, a village that the NSS of Sophia College has adopted for its annual camps. Even this year, the tradition continues, with the annual event being more than just a camp; It serves as an initiative that aims to help students learn about the lifestyle, realities, and genuine challenges in rural areas.

The student volunteers opted for local transport to reach their destination. Volunteers met at Virar Station, took a local bus to Virar Phata, and then shared jeeps for the rest of the trip.

Haloli transforms into a lively center during the time of this camp and offers activities for both students and villagers. This draws students from Sophia College, providing them with a practical experience of village life over the span of seven days. This year, the camp occurred from 24th Janurary to 30th January, with a total of 30 student volunteers actively engaged in the activities. The funds, amounting to 300rs per person, were collected by students, and the remaining expenses were sponsored by the government.

Students took part in different activities to learn about rural life and help the community. They cooked their meals, buying fresh food from the local village and cooking together with volunteers.

The activities also included school visits to both adivasi pada and local schools for educational sessions, shramdaan, flag hosting ceremonies, and cultural programs. Students also participated in clean-up drives, educational games, and quizzes honoring freedom fighters.

Notable initiatives included surveys on menstruation in the local village and adivasi pada, discussions on self-help groups for women, and visits to a poultry farm. Further exploration included star-gazing, community kitchen participation, and visits to a brick factory and farms. The camp culminated in donations to local schools, collaborative street plays advocating menstruation awareness with Ujaas, and the distribution of food and sanitary pads, which were sponsored by Team Ujaas. 

Nakshatri Chaudhary, an active NSS student volunteer at Sophia college shared, "We conducted surveys around the village and spoke with women about menstruation, asking whether they used sanitary products. Many women were either unaware of hygiene products or refrained from using them due to societal stigma.

However, all women were very open to discussing the topic. We organized various surveys and sessions to educate women in the village about menstruation and dispel myths surrounding it. We received positive feedback from the villagers and it made it an amazing experience."

Jahnavi Saraogi, a senior executive of NSS, and an SYBA student shared her experience, "Initially, it was a bit challenging, but with time, I became comfortable in the village setting. It wasn't your typical camp, but I genuinely learned so much during those seven days. We had so many activities planned throughout the day that we didn't realize how time went by. There was also a star gazing activity which we all thoroughly enjoyed. It was a unique and unforgettable experience."

Vedika Mantri, the editor in chief of NSS (responsible for making all NSS reports) and a student at Sophia college expressed, “The best part about the camp was the way I bonded with everyone. We had to do all the chores on our own, from cooking food for 32 people to cleaning washrooms, and also making a dam. It felt a little overwhelming in the start but as we progressed with the camp, the bond between everyone increased which made even the most difficult task fun and memorable.”

One of the villagers from Haloli (who didn’t want to share their name) shared, “The sessions were engaging and interactive. We got to know a lot from the students. It was a fun experience.”

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