After independence, the University Grants Commission headed by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan recommended the introduction of national service in academic institutions on a voluntary basis. National Service Scheme (NSS) was set up to serve this cause, in 1969, under the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports by the Government of India.
Today, 43 years from its establishment, NSS is still going strong and this is only due to the unwavering commitment of its young volunteers. To celebrate this outstanding role of the program and the impact it has had on the lives of thousands of individuals, the NSS wings of Hindu College and Miranda House jointly organised a two-day festival called Umang.
The fest was arranged at the Lal Bagh slums near Azadpur and Hindu College premises on 26th and 27th of February. On the first day, the volunteers visited an MCD school in the slums. The children there were seen vibrantly participating in a painting competition and enjoying various game stalls that had been put up for them. They were rewarded with prizes and certificates to encourage their talent. The dramatics societies of Miranda House and PGDAV College provided educational entertainment for all present at the event through their street plays. Needless to add, the children were treated to some delicious food by the nurturing volunteers.
The day saw 200 volunteers from all over DU join hands to accomplish the mission of bringing joy into the lives of these children. Says Disha Ramanan, a member of Parivartan- social service society of Sri Venkateswara College, “ It was a beautiful experience, made even more special by the delightfully precocious children and dedicated organisers. I am proud to say that the day will stay with me forever.” All the volunteers were headed by the presidents of NSS Hindu and Miranda—Priyananda Singh and Vidhushi.
On 27th February, Hindu College played host to book fair in collaboration with an NGO called Goonj. Complementing the showcase of books and recycled items was an exhibition of photographs that immortalised the work done by members of NSS in 2011. Later in the day, Dr. Vivek Sharma, a member of Gandhi fellowship society, had an interactive session with the youth of today. The fest concluded with some unique sporting events for the visually impaired. These included a kabaddi match, tug of war and a 100-m race.
“We would like to sincerely thank and congratulate all the volunteers for their ceaseless efforts. This is the start of a new culture and I hope it brings us closer to realising our motto—Not me, but you,” said Ishita Kumar, joint secretary of NSS Hindu College.