Social Immersion Program (SIP), a unique initiative of IFIM Business School, sensitizes students to the needs of the community and enables to identify their social problems through research. Students will learn to design solutions for social problems through a Techno Economic Viability (TEV) study, thereby enabling sustainable social positive and measurable impact - all this by completely immersing into the community.
The Social Immersion Program was introduced as a 5-credit course in 2016. Since then, 2 cohorts of PGDM students have successfully completed the SIP. The SIP is ongoing for the 2018 – 2020 batch of students. The Social Immersion Program serves a two -fold purpose. It creates in students the desire to give back to society. It also results in actual contributions being made to various communities.
IFIM Business School has tied up with many NGOs to facilitate the immersion component of the program. These NGOs are known as IFIM's partner NGOs for that cohort of students and Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) are signed with these partner NGOs.
IFIM has tied up with NGO’s across India who work closely with students, such as World Vision India, Action Aid, Art of Living (AOL), Anti-Pollution Drive, Help Age India, Biocon Foundation, CARE India, CRY, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, etc. to name of few.
Students form themselves into groups of 8 – 10 members. Each group selects a partner NGO with which that group of students will be attached during the immersion period. Each SIP student group is then allocated a faculty mentor and an NGO mentor. Each SIP student group is then assigned a social issue for it to work with.
SIP student groups then visit the NGO's activity area and are immersed in that location for a period of 2 weeks. These areas are usually less developed. There are thus many social issues which can be investigated. The areas where the SIP student groups work span the breadth and length of the country.
The immersion sites are spread out across the length and breadth of India. During the immersion period, students collect data about the social issue they are examining. On the last day of the immersion, students present their findings to their NGO mentor. At the conclusion of the SIP immersion, students return to the IFIM Business School. Most students are deeply affected by their immersion experience. Each SIP student group makes a presentation about their immersion experience to their peers. They then write an account about what touched them the most during their immersion period. Each assignment is read by the Faculty Head, SIP and aligned with one of the 17 United Nations Sustainability Developments Goals (SDGs).
In 2019, students have indicated an interest in contributing to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)s:
SIP student groups are then re-grouped based on the SDG aligned social issue they have indicated interest in. The newly constituted SIP student groups the use techno-economic-viable (TEV) analyses to formulate a solution for the social issue they have tackled. The students work in project mode and present their proposed solutions to NGOs working with the SDG examined.
The Immersion Pathway is built on IFIM’s philosophy of making a positive social change.
These are key learnings are as follows:
It is believed, that to truly affect a meaningful change in a person’s life, we need to understand their lives holistically. The traditional measurement of ‘Rs. X per day’ cannot adequately capture the full effect of a life lived without opportunity. With experience in working with different communities, it is found that ‘Needs’ can revolve around certain key areas, which have been captured in the Social Impact Wheel.
SIP IN KARO VILLAGE, LADAKH
In April 2019, Business Standard presented a SIP group of the 2018 – 2020 batch of PGDM students with certificates, for being semi-finalists in the Business Standard Best B-School Project Award, 2018.
The students had looked at how plastic waste could be managed in Karo village, Ladakh in a way that contributes to the sustainable development of their community. This effort is aligned with SDG 11.
The impact of the Social Immersion Program can be seen in the following select example: A SIP group collected data about the lung conditions of 300 autorickshaw drivers in Mangalore. A spirometer was used to conduct pulmonary function tests. 20% of the autorickshaw drivers were found to have lungs damaged by pollution. This data was presented in the Vidhan Soudha by a sitting member of the legislative assembly. This effort is aligned with SDG 3.
Awards: (a) Won the award for best CSR practices of an institute of higher education from the Karnataka Rotary Club. Passed two selection rounds before emerging the winner. (b) Was a finalist for the NHRDN best CSR practices award and was invited to showcase SIP at the NHRDN fair. (c) Student SIP project was selected for the preliminary round of the Business Standard Best Management Project Award 2020.
Some of the SIP reports were developed into RI papers.
Some headway to make a presence in Kolar was made on April 10, 2020, when 640 one kilo packets of ghee were distributed in the adopted villages of Kolar as a mark of solidarity during the current coronavirus outbreak.
The students and staff of IFIM Business School led by Prof. Nina Jacob led this initiative to help the residents of the adopted villages.
The Full Circle of Holistic and Social Development.
Our state-of-the-art curriculum, pedagogy, engaging student activities and our organisation’s structure, work hand in hand to help our students travel a Full Circle journey of Holistic and Social development. Integrated into this circle is the creation of means, the dissemination of the means and the deployment of the means. The Circle also has embedded into it, the holistic blossoming of our students, an empowered society and the institution’s contribution towards furthering the UNDP goals.
The Circle begins with our flagship student activity, Kanyathon, an annual charity Marathon that creates a fund corpus, the Kanyathon Company, a student leadership team that drives Kanyathon, the Effective Execution Program course where students generate Effective Solutions through Institutional Committees and help in the execution of the event, the Negotiation Skills Course which engages the entire PGDM batch in activities that make them active contributors to the success of Kanyathon. The Circle continues flowing on with our partnership with CRY, the NGO that disburses the Kanyathon fund into marginalised communities.
IFIM has adopted five villages in the Kolar district under the government’s Unnat Bharat Abhiyan scheme that aims to link higher education institutions with Rural India so that they can contribute to their economic and social betterment. CRY has set up a project in these villages to empower children especially the Girl Child. Finally, the Full Circle loops into SIP or our Social Immersion Program where the entire student community will work in tandem with CRY at Kolar to utilise the corpus effectively to impact society. The fourth and final pit stop is the new batch taking over from their seniors and the building up of the Brand Kanyathon once again through media leading up to the next edition and the creation of funds and so forth.
An added feature this year in this circle was Kanyathon rising to help the daily wage woman worker as well as families in our Kolar adopted villages during the COVID 19 lockdown.
The very First Step in this circle is the Creation of Funds through Kanyathon. IFIM’s pride, Kanyathon is an annual charity Family run organized by our students to Save the Girl Child and for Women Empowerment. Runners from Corporates, Schools, Colleges, Army, Running Clubs and Fitness centres, families of Electronics City and volunteers from CRY all ‘Run for Her’’. Rs. 22 lakhs has been donated to CRY in the last four years and have impacted the lives of more than 300,000 girl children in education, nutrition, safety and hygiene through our partner, CRY (Child Rights and You), who has been working towards creating happier and healthier childhoods for the last 40 years.
The 9th edition, on 1st March 2020 that has been the largest so far alone garnered a surplus of 23 lakhs. The students of IFIM made this happen under the umbrella of the Kanyathon Company and with the able guidance of the Personality Enhancement Program faculty who have been managing this event for the last nine years.
The funds are generated through the student volunteers through sale of tickets and offering event sponsorships.
The Full Circle of Social and Holistic Development continues with students once again playing a pivotal role in the utilisation of the Kanyathon 2020 surplus funds to impact UNDP goals.
250 students united across three institutions worked effortlessly with this edition and accrued a revenue of 46 lakhs with a surplus of 23 lakhs as compared to 12 lakhs in 2019. IFIM has been consistently impacting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with all its social initiatives. In fact, SDG 1 which is ‘No Poverty’ and SDG 5 ‘Gender Equality’ has already been impacted by Kanyathon 2020 during COVID 19 Lockdown.
The 21-day lockdown and loss of livelihood amidst social distancing has disproportionately affected migrant workers, daily wage-earners, the urban poor and other vulnerable groups. IFIM’s first social initiative of compassion during this COVID crisis was to help the daily women wage earners in our Electronics City community through the funds of Kanyathon 2020. 200 women, women who are security guards, housekeeping staff and daily wage earners associated with Electronic City Township Industrial Authority (Elcita) were the beneficiaries of Rs. 2000 each. IFIM made individual bank transfers, with a total of two lakhs being dispersed. The women were extremely grateful and have conveyed their gratitude to us through video testimonials.
Our second initiative from Kanyathon was to empower the women at Kolar with nourishment to supplement her rations during the Lockdown. The initiative was about distributing a kg of desi ghee to each household. A team of faculty and staff organized packets of ghee from Nandini Dairy, a volunteer student team was made, police permission was got with help of the Kolar Zilla Parishad, PPE kits consisting of a mask, gloves and a sanitizer for each of the ten member team was organized. The entire IFIM Family of faculty, staff and students rallied around to make this successful. On 10th April our team distributed ghee to 600 households under the guidance of officers from the Panchayat. The IFIM team went relentlessly from village to village and students actively participated in delivering this sustenance to women, children, young and old. The happiness was contagious and the villagers’ expression of joy was enough for the IFIM team to feel that it was all worth it.
The third round of deployment of the Kanyathon funds, both of 2019 and 2020 will be utilised in Kolar, starting this year to alleviate the lives of young girls in the areas of education, health and nutrition. CRY also plans to empower mothers with ways to look after their children. The project details have been outline in the next section.
Shiksha Adhaar, a student initiative from IFIM Institutions along with V.B Padode Centre for Sustainability helps under privileged kids cope with their homework and reinforces concepts taught in schools. Shiksha Adhaar operates out of our hostel to help children in neighbouring villages. This body is completely run by our student CSR Committee under the guidance of the Centre of Sustainability and has been in operation since 2013. The final round of deployment of the 2019 and 20 funds is to add new programs into the Shiksha Adhaar framework through our students and CRY experienced volunteers who would help in better management of this program.
As we had mentioned earlier, the driver of the Full Circle of Holistic and Social Development is the student who has created the funds to impact society, has developed a Holistic basket of skills along the way, helped in the deployment of the funds and plays a vital role in the utilisation of these funds. The deployment of funds was conducted through our flagship IFIM initiative towards achieving our mission of nurturing Socially Responsible professionals through Social Immersion Program as described above.
The fourth step in the Full Circle is the building of the Brand Kanyathon once again throughout the year with a phased social media campaign on different topics. Our existing database needs to be told about how funds are being disbursed and utilised. The ‘Run For Her’ culminates in impacting society and this message should go viral. We also need to strengthen the awareness issues on the Girl Child and the need for Women Empowerment. Besides, Kanyathon advocates a family fitness ethos and needs to reinforce the same stand. The objective is to build up a ready database for the next edition.
IFIM’s pride – Kanyathon, the annual charity run came back for its 9th edition this year, with a lot of vigor, passion and determination. Our beloved charity run that has helped over 300000 girl children, was able to make a larger and more intense impact this year with close to 6500 participants and 10000 registrations. “Run for Her’ has been Kanyathon’s motto for a while now and we can say that we’ve successfully been able to do exactly that and more, this year too. Kanyathon continued with the tradition of raising funds to uplift the five villages in Kolar adopted by the IFIM Institutions under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan Scheme as well as enhance Shiksha Adhaar, a school run by the students at our hostel. The 2020 funds will be donated to CRY, our partner NGO who has been working towards creating happier and healthier childhoods for the last 40 years.
This year we continued our tradition of the 5K, 10K and 3K runs and also introduced an inter-collegiate run where college and school groups could compete. Our energetic mascot Laughing Cow flagged off our popular 3km run whereas the 5km timed run was flagged off by Aruna Newton, Global Head- Diversity & Inclusion, Sustainability Governance and Reporting at Infosys. Our Corporate Challenge run also saw a hike in numbers this year. From four teams last year, the number rose to 14 teams this year. Overall, we saw a surge of participation from the corporates towards our initiative.
We used both the lower and upper area of the Infosys Leisure Grounds which was dressed up with all our Kanyathon branding on banners and backdrops. We had set up various stalls for serving breakfast, snacks and beverages, sponsor stalls, live displays of sponsor products and even had a live band playing during the duration of the run. Our Shiksha Aadhar children and college Cultural committee put up a heart-warming performance of dances and we had our customary Zumba warm up and our College Band Performance. We also had Kerala Dhol dancers and Nasik Dhol drummers to cheer our runners. Our MC, RJ Archie effectively engaged the crowd. In fact she got into the middle of the crowd and had them grooving.
Our NGO partners CRY came in good numbers with their own team consisting of 200 individuals. We also had a large number from the Army once again as well as Running Clubs, colleges like SIBM, NMIMS, IIIT e and esteemed corporates such as like Biocon, Infosys, Siemens, Momentive, 24/7 and more. To top it all, Kanyathon 2020 also witnessed a large age group with the eldest participant, Mr. N.S Dattatreya, aged 91. Diversity made Kanyathon a unique marathon where runners from Nigeria, differently abled individuals and runners from various parts of the world truly joined hands for a cause.
This edition had a massive increase in sponsorship in cash and kind. Ajmera was our lead sponsor. Fitbit, Lenovo, Cycle World, Kosmoderma, Morris Garages, Soulfull, Infosys, Decathlon, C.R.Y, Sakra World Hospital, Nestle, SRV, Elcita were our partners too in cash and kind. The sponsors who aided us in kind were abundant too.
Kanyathon 2020 was bustling with life from the Bollywood Zumba beats to the Laughing Cow. Kids had a gala time on a Sunday morning, with mind engaging activities, fun and entertainment at the Kids Corner and mini master chef competitions. The magician wowed the kids with his magic tricks. All this enhanced the family flavor of this year’s Kanyathon.
We had Madhu Bhandari - Lawyer and Artist as the Chief Guest, wife of his Excellency Justice Dalveer Bhandari, Judge, International Court of Justice. She is a highly skilled lawyer and an extremely creative artist. She’s a strong woman who’s working towards building an equal world.
Kanyathon 2020 was held at the Infosys Leisure Ground once again and the ground was spewing with high levels of energy and enthusiasm. A breakfast from Farm Veda, a social enterprise that works with 35000+ farmers to make their incomes sustainable and shares 100% of its profits with the farmers, a hot beverage from the World’s leading chocolate malt beverage, Milo refreshed the participants. Participants were also given a Finisher Medal, Certificate and a Kanyathon T-shirt along with a goodie bag filled with more snacks, vouchers, and gifts to take back home.
The promotions for 2020 started out in October by bringing out a campaign of messages, posters and videos on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to attract interested participants. Digital Media partners, SRV enabled successful promotion of Kanyathon. ELCITA, like always was kind enough to support us in various manners like promoting the event on their social handles, lending us their Digital Board, providing us security force, a waste management team, and permissions for activities. Promotions were held in apartments, corporates, digital media, stores and outreach activities like a bike rally across Electronic city.
IFIM students were involved in Kanyathon since day one. Initially, we had an idea of how it could pan out, based on what our seniors had told us. Little did we know how much we would learn from this process of planning and putting up a marathon. Every single one of us learnt a variety of things, from patience to perseverance and sheer hustle.
One of our biggest learnings was to work with a variety of diverse people and teams. We learnt how to navigate different opinions and work in an intense and challenging environment. When things got challenging, we would keep reminding ourselves of the purpose, which was to make girls lives better. We were doing this to enable girls to get educated and change the world in their own way. Hence, the tough times seemed worth it. The whole Kanyathon team became a family and it was exhilarating when Kanyathon 2020 was a grand success. At Kanyathon, we don’t just create the funds, but we deploy the funds through our Social Immersion Program (SIP) also. We’re the only ones to do so and that’s our badge of pride that we carry, every single year.
A highly skilled lawyer and an extremely creative artist, Madhu Bhandari, wife of his Excellency Justice Dalveer Bhandari, Judge, International Court of Justice strives to build an equal world. Mrs. Bhandari strongly believes that the world needs to be capability driven and not gender driven.
(Global Head- Diversity & Inclusion, Sustainability Governance and Reporting at Infosys)
As Associate Vice President, she leads Infosys Diversity and Inclusion and Sustainability Reporting and Governance portfolios. She works with Bangalore City Police and the Government of Karnataka on projects concerning improvements to traffic and infrastructure and the prevention of crime in the city, She has also served as the Chairperson of ELCIA Trust (2015 -2017) and adopted 19 government schools under the Model School initiative. She is an avid marathon runner.
Kanyathon Achievements - Snapshot
|2019||4000||3051||3000||36 lakhs||20 lakhs||14 lakhs|
|2020||10076||7362||6500||46 lakhs||23 lakhs||23 lakhs|
|Race Categories||3k Kids, 5k and 10k Fun and Timed, Corp Challenge||3k Kids, 5k and 10k Fun and Timed, Corp Challenge, Inter College|
|Contributors||Infosys, Goldman Sachs, Siemens, IDRS, Ajmera Club, CRY Corporates, Army, EC residents, Portals||Infosys, Biocon, Momentive, IDRS Labs, Siemens, Verifone, 24/7, Goldman Sachs, Edify School, Redbridge, DPS School, Surana School, Army, EC residents, Portals, CRY Corporates|
|Sponsors(Cash and Kind)||Infosys, Address Maker, Columbia Asia, Fitbit, Cycleworld, FBB, Decathalon, Zolostay, Nuttify, Jeep, Amrutanjan, Gopalan Mall, Harsha Electronics||Infosys, Ajmera, Laughing Cow, MJ Hector, Grape Events, Lenovo Store, Flea Market Events, DPS, Redbridge, Soulfull, Cycle World, Nestle, Kosmoderma, Decathalon, Sakra, Fitbit, Soulfull, And Me Drink|
|Events||Infosys, FBB and Campus Expo, Zumba, Shiksha Adhaar Karate performances, Breakfast||Infosys Campus Lenovo Store Expo, Zumba, Shiksha Adhaar, School performances, Flea Market, Children’s corner, Kerala and Nasik Dhol, Kids cheerers, Magician, Breakfast, Milo truck|
RUN FOR ALL / FAMILY RUN
3k kids run, the first of its kind in 2019 was strengthened in 2020 by School and Electronic City family participation (DPS, Surana , Edify , Redbridge etc. are some of the schools that had participated in Kanyathon 2020)
Felicitation of 3km kid winner by Deepak Mehra- CEO Ajmera, Housing Corporation and Sanjeev Sharma- CTO Ajmera Housing Corporation Bangalore
To encourage college students to run for the cause, 7 colleges participated in the event
Kerala Dhol, Nasik Dhol, Flea Market, Magician, Food trucks, Nutritious Breakfast, Dance Performances, BollyBeats, Emcee involved crowd, Cow Mascot, Children games, school kids as cheerleaders
Shiksha Aadhar is a student initiative undertaken by the V.B Padode Centre for Sustainability at IFIM Business School. Shiksha Aadhar helps under privileged kids cope with their homework and reinforces concepts taught in schools. Shiksha Aadhar operates out of our hostel to help children in neighbouring villages. This body is completely run by our student CSR Committee under the guidance of the Centre of Sustainability.
It started on 15th February 2013 on the auspicious day of Saraswati Puja. It was started by the CSR Team under the guidance of Prof. Rajarshi Chakraborthy. Around 40+ students from nearby village and government school enrolled themselves in this activity.
In Shiksha Aadhar, students from our college teach unprivileged kids from Monday to Friday from 5.30 PM to 7.30 PM. Many co-curricular activities were also conducted for those kids. On Fridays, we have sports day and we also conduct GK classes twice a month on Wednesdays.
Shiksha Aadhar, a student initiative from IFIM Institutions along with V.B Padode Centre for Sustainability. and has been in operation since 2013. The final round of deployment of the 2019 and 20 funds is to add new programs into the
Implementation of Shiksha Aadhar
CSR Committee has 60 volunteers. Based on their timings, schedules are allotted and 4 volunteers a day are present for educating the children.
Currently, we have 30+ underprivileged kids. We follow the Khan Academy Module for the students who are above 5th Standard and our own module in teaching the students below 4th standard.
With respect to our college mission of nurturing socially responsible and continuously employable professionals we stress more on Computer classes and English language for those kids.
We even introduced swapping system for our volunteers. The volunteers who were allotted on a day if they are unable take the session then they can swap with others. By this we provided flexibility to attend the session without disturbing their academic schedules.
Along with that we also understood that most of the children are from Kannada Medium Schools and our volunteers are from diversified states there is lack of communication. To fill that gap, we make sure that while preparing the routine for Shiksha Aadhar atleast one individual fluent in Kannada would be present as a volunteer.
At the start of Shiksha Aadhar, there were only 13 students. Each house in the adopted village was visited by the volunteers and the parents were encouraged to send their children to Shiksha Aadhar.
Shiksha Aadhar is funded through the funds raised by the efforts of students during the Annual Charity Run of IFIM Business School – Kanyathon.
At present, the Shiksha Aadhar framework is being implemented through our students as well as experienced volunteers from CRY (Child Relief & You) Organization who help in increasing the impact of this program.
5 SIP groups were mentored and enabled to have their immersion in the 5 adopted villages. The groups were not attached to any NGO and had to identify problem areas through surveying villagers and the local panchayat officials. This is the first time that SIP was integrated with UBA and is part of IFIM’s ongoing efforts to create a rapport and establish a presence in the adopted villages. Video testimonials were collected from the pradhans of the villages. These testimonials have been shared with the director and Mr. SP sir.
SDG details about these SIP group immersion:
The UBA SIP groups had looked into the problem of water scarcity in the villages of Kolar. (SDG 6). There was interest in addressing this issue by digging a bore well near the villages. Since we do not own private land in Kolar, the bore well would have to be dug on government owned land. We had met the deputy commissioner (DC), Kolar in this regard. He had informed of us of the procedure to be followed for digging a bore well, which would be done by government engineers, managing workers employed by the PWD. The contribution IFIM could make was the financing of a bore well. IFIM was considering raising Rs.3 lakhs from corporate donors. Meanwhile, the DC promised to pay any amount that exceeded Rs.3 lakhs from designated government funds. This initiative could not be taken to its logical conclusion, given that the 10-day immersion period was too short a time frame.
This academic year also, 10 SIP student groups will be sent to Kolar, for doing their SIP immersion. 5 groups will work with CRY in the area of improving anganwadi efforts. (SDG 4). The remaining SDG groups will work with the district panchayat and me on other SDGs. 20 UBA SIP student groups, comprising 80 students were formed before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Having SIP groups in Kolar will not only add value to our UBA initiative, but will also be in line with our new approach to SIP; that of encouraging the emergence of longitudinal studies.
SIP: 39 SIP groups, working on 39 different projects successfully completed their immersion in 18 different locations spread out across India. We had 28 partner NGOs, with all of whom we had signed MOUs. SIP projects were done in areas which aligned with the following SDGs: SDG 1, SDG 3; SDG 4; SDG 5; SDG 6; & SDG 11. In the interest of promoting longitudinal studies, this year also we will focus on these SDGs.
Amendments were made to the SIP to improve its design and execution.
This was done, keeping in mind the requirements of the top management and leadership team.