The National Service Scheme (NSS) is an Indian government-sponsored public service programme conducted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The Government of India launched the NSS scheme in Gandhiji’s Centenary year 1969. Aimed at developing students’ personality through community service, the NSS is a voluntary association of students in higher secondary schools, colleges, and at universities working for strengthening a campus-community linkage.
Prof. Jitendra Menghani
NSS Programme Officer
A group of 90 NSS student volunteers of Institute of Architecture and Planning, First year, visited village Vautha, in Dholka Taluka of Ahmedabad district on 1st February 2020. They were accompanied by 3 faculty members of the Institute including Prof Jitendra Menghani, Prof Digisha Mehta and Prof Nishant Kansagara.
Vautha is a small village with a population of around 2056 located at the Dholka Taluka in Ahmedabad district at the banks of the meeting of rivers Sabarmati and Vatrak. It is well known for holding the largest animal fair in Gujarat from Kartik agyaras to Kartik Poonam of the Hindu calendar. During this fair people from far off places come and stay here in the camp for 5 days with their families.
This village is considered to be holy spot owing to the confluence of 7 rivers Vatrak, Meshwo, Hathmati, Shedhi, Majum, Khari and Sabarmati at this village. The locals call this as Saptasangam. The place also holds religious and mythological significance as it is believed that Katrikeya, son of Lord Shiva visited the site on Kartiya Poonam during his journey round the earth. It is also believed that the Pandavas spent the last year of their exile in disguise here.
The trip started with a brief introduction to the village at the primary school of the village by the Sarpanch Mr Hitendrasingh Vaghela and the principal of the school Ms. Bhartiben. They welcomed the students to the village and introduced them to its rich history. They briefed about the various Faliyas of the village, major occupations, and major landmarks etc of the village and all other important aspects of the village.
After this brief introduction students distributed themselves into groups and made a preliminary survey of the various faliyas of the village to develop an overall understanding of the village and its people. They also visited the Mela ground and ended the trip at the Bhathuji temple located near the banks of the river.
A Seven-Day Special NSS Camp by IAPNU at Dandi, Navsari
The NSS volunteers of Institute of Architecture and Planning, Nirma University from 2017(A) batch, successfully undertook the seven-day special NSS Camp starting December 23, 2019, at historic Dandi village near Navsari. Student volunteers were guided by programme officer Ar Jitendra Menghani and faculty members Prof Digisha Mehta and Prof Paritosh Kumar. Volunteers undertook activities like popularising Dandi beach through attractive and interactive Graffiti, Installation of graphical Map of Dandi, Art workshop in primary school, Art competition for awareness regarding Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and providing support to the activities of local women self-help groups (Mahila Mandal). Students demonstrated their ability to do selfless work for the community using their skill-sets and know-how of graphical communication. A week’s stay in a village environment with basic facilities has sensitised students to the hardships faced by village folks and to the limited availability of resources in rural areas (especially fresh water). During this camp the sarpanch of Dandi village Shri Vimalbhai, trustee of Vinay Mandir Shri Dhirukaka, principle of primary school Smt Bhartiben, officers of Gujarat Ecology Commission, Shri Kalubhai Dangar a Gandhian Researcher, officers from Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Pujari of Radha-Krishna temple supported student volunteers and faculty whole heartedly.
Students of The IAPNU conducted a 7-day NSS camp in Dandi village near Navsari, in the coastal region of South Gujarat, from 17th to 23rd December 2018. 37 students were accompanied by Prof. Jitendra Menghani, Prof. Tanaya Deka and Prof. Nishant Kansagra on this camp. A brief outline of activities carried out at the above-mentioned camp is as follows: