"Make a Difference" by IEEE Rajagiri College SB, India: IEEE Region 10 newsletter committee's COVID-19 heroes series

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"Make a Difference" is by Rajagiri School of Engineering & Technology (RSET)'s IEEE Student Branch (SB), Kochi, Kerala, India. This video is part of the IEEE Region 10 newsletter committee's COVID-19 heroes video series focusing on community initiative

MAKE A DIFFERENCE; AN INITIATIVE FOR THE STUDENTS IN NEED by P Aiswarya, IAS SBC Treasurer, Rajagiri IEEE SB Diya Denny, Technical Coordinator, Rajagiri IEEE SB The Covid19 pandemic has led to all education institutions around the world being shut down in order to maintain social distancing and avoid the communal spread of covid19.

While most elevations were able to shift to online education without any major issues and were able to continue to provide quality education to all students in the country. But the same can be said for a developing nation like India, many students in India rely upon government-provided education in order to gain basic qualifications for their future. While most families could afford to provide a smartphone or a tablet to their children, the families of students who attended government schools could not. This meant the students were no longer able to have access to education and their future was at stake.

The government did take action by providing education over television networks but many families whose children attended government schools didn’t have access to a television. This led to students coming together and learning in any place there was television which puts them at risk of being infected.

We realize this problem and were very disheartened to see students who had the caliber and tenacity to become something great, losing their future to a global pandemic. We knew we had to do something about it and hence approached the student branch and discussed with them the possible actions we could take as a community to help the students get access to education without putting them at risk of losing their life.

This led to the beginning of the make a difference campaign, the members of the student branch as well as all the members within the section were informed about the initiative and asked to contribute any amount they see fit to help these students in need anything from 1 rupee to whatever they want to contribute. This initiative saw overwhelming support from the members within our student branch as well as the students in our college who shared this with their family and friends and helped raise the funds required to help these students.

The campaign was held for a week at the end of July and we made sure that every member and every student in our college knew about the campaign and how it would change the lives of students across the state. After a week of tireless campaigning, we were able to raise a total amount of Rs 100,000.

We used this amount to but 12 mobile phones gave it to 12 students. An additional amount of 1000 Indian Rupees was also given along with the device so that they can take a mobile plan for at least the next six months. These 12 students were personally identified from different parts of Kerala (Thiruvalla - 5, Kottayam - 4, Thodupuzha - 1, Alappuzha - 2) on the basis of academic performance and recommendation from their school principal.

This campaign raised awareness among the student community about the crisis that the education system in our country is facing amidst this global pandemic. We as IEEE members should always strive to pave the way for the advancement of humanity and work towards the betterment of our community. This was the motivating factor behind initiating this campaign. “Advancing Technology for Humanity” the slogan of IEEE is something we took to heart and decided to act upon.

The student community in our section is a very strong and very vocal community that has the power to affect real change in society. Our initiative was able to bring out the best from this community to affect a positive change in the lives of 12 students.

"Make a Difference" is by Rajagiri School of Engineering & Technology (RSET)'s IEEE Student Branch (SB), Kochi, Kerala, India. This video is part of the IEEE Region 10 newsletter committee's COVID-19 heroes video series focusing on community initiative

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