Joy of Giving experience by Amrita Students

The students of Amrita College of Engineering, Bangalore have been busy following in the footsteps of Amma’s example of selfless service. The first, second and third year students have been working hard at the Amritavarsham60 celebrations collecting trash, serving food and controlling the massive crowds.

However, the students have also been busy with other service projects back at the Bangalore Campus. They have organised blood donation camps, organ donation drives, a Joy of Giving Week, a flashmob for the Amala Bharatam Campaign (ABC) and a massive clean-up drive of the KR Market that involved more than 1000 students.

“We enjoy organising and getting involved in the various service projects,” said Kisan Kumar, 19, a third year engineering student. “We get a sense of satisfaction knowing that we are making a difference in the quality of people’s lives.”

Around 600 students and staff organized the blood donation camp, which saw a total of 400 units of blood collected, which was the most amount of blood ever collected by the local blood bank in one day.

However, the students wanted to do more – and knowing how many lives are saved by organ donation, organized a organ donation drive.
“Five hundred students and staff came forward to pledge their organs for donation,” said Ms C Sucha, 19, a third year engineering student. ” It was estimated that this many organ donations could save up to eight lives.”

The students extended the theme of giving to initiate a Joy of Giving Week that saw them give gifts to 400 low-grade workers at the Amrita Engineering Campus, with money for the gifts coming from the students themselves. The students also served the workers food and used any left-over funds to provide food and other basic needs at local orphanages.

Wanting to do more to help the wider Bangalore community, the students have also initiated ‘flashmobs’ as part of ABC, as well as a clean-up of the KR Market, one of the oldest markets in Bangalore. More than 1000 students and staff from the college were involved in the KR clean-up.

“More than twenty news channels and 35 newspapers covered the event,” said Madhan Kumar, 19, a second year engineering student. “The clean-up was published in all the major newspapers and inspired other educational institutions to get involved . We were highly praised by the government for cleaning the entire area, including the drainage system,” he said.

Future service projects include visiting old age homes at least twice a month, teaching English to underprivileged children and continuing with their program of teaching students in Government schools, which they have been doing once a week for the past semester.

- Lasita