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Social service buzz in IIT B-school fest

A B-school fest with a difference is what students of the Vinod Gupta School of Management (VGSOM), IIT Kharagpur, are offering with Saamanjasya 2011.

Unlike usual management fests, Saamanjasya is about events revolving around rural marketing strategies, a bazaar for rural artisans of India, case studies for NGOs and mock parliamentary debates.

To be organised in association with The Telegraph on October 22 and 23, Saamanjasya wants to create a platform where corporates, NGOs, academicians and the youth will come together and nurture a culture of giving back to society.

One of the flagship events of the fest is Parishram, a case-study event. To be conducted in association with NGOs Khushii and Saksham, it is going to put forward a live NGO case study for the best brains in the country. The solution provided by the winning team will be implemented by the NGO.

Another flagship event of the two-day fest is Vichaar, a leadership summit. It will see top executives from companies like the Aditya Birla Group, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group and the Future Group debate organised retail and its contribution to inclusive growth in India.

Kalaakar Vikas, a fair organised on campus where artisans from rural Bengal and Orissa will sell their handicraft to the IIT crowd, promises to be another top draw.

Some crafts in store this year are woodcraft from south Bengal; bamboo work from Malda; horn carvings and copper work from Darjeeling; embroidery from Bolpur; paintings and lac bangles from Hooghly; jute items and stone carvings from Baruipur and terracotta and dokra from Bishnupur.

“The fair was a huge success last year. It’s the perfect way to introduce students to the dying crafts of India while the artisans make some money selling their items,” said an organiser of the fest.

The Saamanjasya team said the ministry of textiles has recognised the students’ efforts and has promised to come up with “long-term measures” to promote some of the dying art forms.

Another event to look forward to is Vikrinite, a rural marketing strategy event where the brightest B-school brains will have to come up with plausible solutions to problems faced by the industry while implementing micro-insurance schemes.

“This is not a run-of-the-mill B-school event. We want to awaken the social consciousness of the youth,” said an organiser. And Saamanjasya is not just a two-day fest, the students at VGSOM are quick to point out. “It is a year-long movement to promote sustainability,” the organiser said.

Through an initiative called Shraddha, the students at VGSOM sell T-shirts hand-painted by children of an orphanage during college fests. The proceeds are donated to the orphanage.

There are even plans to start a child nutrition drive, providing milk and biscuits to children of government schools in the vicinity.

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