An NSS Camp was organised for the volunteers from Carmel Convent School from December 18-24, 2020.
The camp began with Ms. Preeti Swami, the NSS Program Officer, addressing all the Class XII volunteers. She described the itinerary for the next 6 days, in great detail. She asked the students volunteers for certain activities which were required for the smooth functioning of the offline event. While describing the NSS Camps hosted by her before the COVID-19 period, she asked the volunteers to tell her about those moments which they missed and the problems the volunteers were facing.
The volunteers attended a class on self-defence by the Women Police Department, Sector 17, Chandigarh, at 9 am. At 10 am, Mr Bikram Rana, State Liaison Officer (Chandigarh), inaugurated the NSS Camp. He talked to the volunteers about how change can be brought about only after a change in the thought process, and how sensitivity is the pre-requisite for social service, etc. At 11:30 am, a session was conducted by two members from Regional Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization, PGIMER, Chandigarh. They talked about what organ donation is, busted myths about it, and organised a quiz and poster making competition on the same.
An online session was conducted by Dr. Shrimant Kumar, consultant diabetologist and holistic care physician, Global Hospital and Research Centre, Mount Abu, Rajasthan at 9am. The students participated in this event along with their parents. Throughout the session he described a variety of easy lifestyle changes which can help us live a healthy life. At 10 am, the volunteers assembled in the school auditorium and assembled donated woollen clothes, toys, ration for the underprivileged children, as well as goods for cows and dogs. These were distributed at Punjab University, Chandigarh in collaboration with the Punjab University’s Social Work Department under the guidance of Mr. Gaurav. Stray dogs were fed milk and pedigree, the collected clothes were distributed amongst the underprivileged children at a construction site, and about 15-20 kgs of gur were fed to the cows at a nearby gaushala. These activities featured in three newspapers the next morning: Hindustan Times, Dainik Jagran and Punjab Kesari.
The volunteers attended a class on self-defence, conducted by the Women Police Department, Sector 17, Chandigarh at 9 am. Next, at 10:15 am, there was a very valuable session by Ma’am Neelam from Red Cross Society, Panchkula, on first-aid; she also encouraged the volunteers to spread awareness about the same.
The day began at 9 am with the daily self-defence classes. From 10 am to 11:30 am, Dr. Gaurav (NSS Programme Officer) from Punjab University Social Work Department addressed the students. He described how he and his team worked to help the underprivileged people and stray animals during the lockdown. He then introduced Ms Ishita, an alumnus of Carmel Convent School, Chandigarh. She began by asking volunteers about their experience with online classes and discussed her own experiences with social service. Then the CESA (Carmel Ex-Students Association) members told the volunteers about how they had made this Christmas special for the students from Bapudham by recharging the mobile phones of 40 students for 3 months each! This was followed by 15 students from Bapudham who had participated in a variety of online competitions, conducted by Ms Preeti Swami in June 2020 (‘Mera Bapu Dham, Mera Kartavya’) being given their respective prizes for dancing, singing, article-writing, etc. The students of Bapudham were also given handmade masks by the NSS volunteers and were served a packed lunch and snacks.
Preeti ma’am began with introducing the volunteers to a new and creative way of interacting without identity disclosure. The volunteer’s used her code to log in to slido.com and answered the questions displayed anonymously. She asked the students to answer questions like the problems faced by them in their day-to-day life. She suggested ways to the volunteers through which they could overcome these problems. She gave very relatable solutions for the same. At 10 am, Dr. EV Swaminathan took a very informative and important session about the ‘value of values’ and importance of self and social service. He explained it through stories and famous quotes. The day ended on a very energetic and fun note wherein music was played and everyone danced to the beats.
Ms Preeti Swami began by asking volunteers to again login to slido.com for a creative, fun and interactive session. It was a way for volunteers to voice their problems anonymously. At 10 am, the students connected with Ms Soumya Sudhakaran, an expert educationist, who talked to the students about ‘the power of habits’. At 11 am, Ms Preeti Swami took over again. This was the final and concluding round of the 7 day NSS camp. It began with volunteer Ananya Paul singing a very melodious song. This was followed by a stand up comedy round by volunteer Reema Upadhyay. A video was also played with all the volunteers dancing to ‘Happy’ by Pharell Williams. After this, all the volunteers reminisced about old memories. This was followed by a beautiful song by volunteer Deavanshi Chopra and another song by volunteer Ananya Paul. Volunteer Hrishita Mehra recited a short poem about saying goodbye. The session ended with everyone dancing to some popular songs with ma’am. The camp ended on a very nostalgic note, leaving all the volunteers teary eyed and feeling sad.