• Singur, Hooghly, West Bengal, India

Best Practice : 1

  • Title :
    Community Outreach and Awareness Programmes of NSS
  • Objectives of the Practice : 
    In a critical contemporary situation where instrumental reason and mechanical skills for personal career growth are deeply over-leveraged at the expense of wider social and environmental awareness, the college under the aegis of the Principal and NSS have conducted—and continues to do so—different types of activities and programmes that directly address the most pressing issues related to community welfare alongside helping to shape the social responsibilities of this institution vis-à-vis that of students. The primary objectives of these activities are: 
    • To create an inclusive model of direct engagement of the institution with communities at large where a wider spectrum of people would be brought within the folds of its many forward-looking initiatives. 
    • To directly foster among students a healthy outlook on the strengths and problems of the localities and villages. 
    • To inculcate civic and social responsibility among students. 
    • To create a problem-solving attitude among students that would be more ethically inclined and would help bring about a greater sense of equity and desired balance in the educational curriculum. 
  • The Context :
    Located in a rural context amidst a largely agrarian community the college has majority of students from these areas. They often have to survive in situations with enormous challenges that could be properly addressed if they are taken in their totality with health care, environment and community welfare and sustenance factored in.
  • The Practice :
    A whole network of practices and events related to communities and socially relevant issues were carried out in the last five years, the highlights of which are the following: 
    • Van Mahotsava :
      Through the first week of July the festival is celebrated which is meant to foster love and care for trees amongst the students and people for a sustainable and green environment. Students and other people are given free saplings of local varieties of trees encouraging them to plant them in an effort to do our bit to bring down global warming and pollution.
    • As part of its outreach programme the college has initiated a programme to initiate contact between adjacent schools where faculty members periodically visit to apprise the students, especially that of reserve categories of the various opportunities and financial assistance in higher education. 
    • Rain-water harvesting. 
    • Prevention of child-marriage. 
    • Thallasaemia detection and counselling camp for students: A 5-member team consisting of pathologists and technicians from the Institute of Tropical Medicine Kolkata conducted an awareness programme and blood group test for this severe inherited blood disorder among students on 12th September, 2018 in the college seminar hall. It was followed up by another Thallasaemia detection camp on 26.08.2022. 
  • Evidence of Success : 
    There are two features that mark out the success of these endeavours among both students and the community at large. The first of which is the sustenance and regularity of these events both on and off campus. The second reason being the high number of students and people within the communities to enthusiastically embrace these events.
  • Problems Encountered and Resources Required :
    Some structural and logistical constraints were faced during the prolonged lockdown periods when much of the activities were shifted online.

Best Practice : 2

  • Title :
    Psychological Counselling and Mental Health Awareness Programmes
  • Objectives of the Practice :
    The need for psychological counselling could not be overstated given our collective experience of a global pandemic and its brutal aftermath which severely threatened the education and mental health of the student community at large. However, the Department of Psychology has been holding periodic counselling sessions for students even before the pandemic with the aim to foster their mental well-being since they have to face challenges of educational institutions alongside peer group pressure. Especially the students are prone to problems related to the various psycho-physiological changes in late adolescence that trigger off a whole range of social adjustment issues and identity-related crises. It is with a desire to redress these issues that counselling and awareness programmes related to mental health are regularly organized.
  • The Context :
    The college being located in a fast-changing rural setting away from typical privileges of a metropolis the students often lack opportunity to discuss their various problems with professionally trained mental-health counsellors or clinical psychologists. Often the onset of anxiety, mood disorders, and other adjustment related issues are brushed aside in want of a proper hearing that would bring about a more cohesive engagement with their educational institution and society.
  • The Practice :
    • The college has a dedicated psychological counselling cell for students, teachers and office staff in an effort to bring them together in an inclusive ethical practice of care. There is a separate counselling room where teachers of the Department of Psychology, who are also trained clinical psychologists organize both group and individual sessions. The sessions are conducted keeping the privacy of the counselee intact. All interactions are kept strictly confidential. 
    • The Department of Psychology also organizes regular awareness programmes on the various facets of mental disorders for students of schools and colleges. On 23-24 November, 2017 it organized 'Choose Life: Awareness on Depression and Suicide' in collaboration with Indian Association of Clinical Psychology (West Bengal) with eminent psychologists as speakers.
    • It regularly organizes community outreach programme in collaboration with other departments on the necessity of self-care. 
    • During the pandemic it organized regular live streaming sessions on YouTube and G suite on various aspects of mental health care touching upon issues of psycho-social relevance like taboo and stigma. On 29.08.2020 it held a special session in collaboration with the Department of Sociology on the problems related to addiction and substance abuse.
  • Evidence of Success :
    The success of these programmes is largely seen in students turning out in large numbers and also from the positive feedback shared by them. There is a noticeable improvement in the quality of class presence and attention in them.
  • Problems Encountered and Resources Required :
    The problems encountered were largely because of the restrictions related to Covid lockdown and dearth of infrastructural and communicative means for students.