Give a Hand – To Lead, To Lift
Channeling the right attitude towards education is a requisite for attaining self- sufficiency and a quality lifestyle. With a majority of students hailing from economically strained backgrounds, the institution resolutely strives to lay a solid foundation to nurture their young mind and actualize their aspirations. It is at the heart of Camel College to,
Carmel, a college for women run by the Sisters of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, has the explicit vision and mission to empower young women with knowledge and inculcate in them the spirit of selfless love and compassion. Situated in a remote rural locale, with a majority living far below the poverty line, advocating the prospects of higher education has often posed a considerable challenge. The majority of the students are first- generation learners who come from the lower stratum of society and face financial difficulties, oftentimes struggling to complete the course. In this context, the Management has decided to give a hand to those students who aspire to attain education and become self- reliant. Born out of this loving intent is the programme “Give a Hand- To Lead, To Lift.”
The college gives both financial aid and emotional support to students coming from economically weak backgrounds to reach out to the horizons of excellence. They are given financial assistance in the form of fee concessions, scholarships and free field trips and study tours besides supplying books, uniforms and meals for free. The institution has also instituted cash awards to economically backward students for their meritorious achievements. To execute the same, the institution has devised a strategy, beginning with inviting applications from students. The principal verifies the details of the application with the aid of the Heads of the Department, taking into consideration the overall performance of the student and the genuineness of the need. The visit of faculty members of each department to the homes of their students and the meaningful interactions with their parents and family members, generally on Fridays, provides an opportunity to understand their circumstances and extend seemly guidance. This is indeed beneficial in identifying the deserving student and those selected students are rewarded with incentives to assist them to come out in flying colours. The awards instituted by former faculty members, alumnae and well-wishers are given in the Annual College Day celebration to the needy students with good academic profile to pursue further studies. Substantial financial help is also provided to the deserving, meritorious and regular students from the Students Aid Fund.
In addition, the college takes all effort to inform and sanction the monetary schemes for deserving students from the management and government. The Chavara Euphrasia Scholarship and the Carmel Bright Scholarship instituted by the management opens the door for the academic high achievers from low-income families. The college pays attention to notify these students about various scholarships accorded by the State and Central governments without fail. Details regarding the scholarships are displayed on the college notice board and specified in the College Handbook.
The loving embrace through the Faculty homeprogramme has proved valuable for developing a cordial relationship between teachers and students. Students who hail from strained family backgrounds and encounter personal crises are identified by teachers and supported through mentoring and counselling sessions. A family counselling centre with a full-time professional counsellor function in the college to help students get through distressing times. Financial exigencies are an everyday reality for the families of several students, with some living in deplorable conditions and poor dwelling. In the light of the situation, the Abhayamscheme has been utilized by the NSS unit of the college to initiate house construction for the neediest identified from among students. Departments also take initiative in raising funds to meet the medical expense of the ailing family member of students.
The deluge of 2018 opened the dams of compassion among the Carmel fraternity. In the light of havoc wreaked by the flood upon families, both teachers and students spent nearly one month extending their helping hands and emotional support through house visits, cleaning flood-ravaged dwellings and providing monetary and material aid.
The practice of giving a hand to lead and lift have over the years yielded encouraging results, with students learning to refine their perception towards life and possibilities rather than remain demotivated by circumstances. The most palpable evidence of success from this initiative has been the university ranks attained by the beneficiaries. Many of the students who benefited from this project have been able to pursue higher studies and secure better job opportunities. The Faculty @home initiative has opened doors for both teachers and students to warm up to each other and invest in mutual trust. The genuine purport of this initiative has been appreciated by the families of students as is evident from the wholeheartedness with which they accommodate the teachers into their home. The assistance, in cash and kind, rendered by the institution to the families, particularly following the outbreak of flood, has been a source of immense support to ease into rehabilitation.
With the increase in the number of needy students and limited funds, we have been forced to shortlist them. Another hurdle has been the delay in the timely disbursement of government scholarships.
Stay Green – In Embrace of Mother Nature
To live in a time of mounting environmental concerns, espousing an eco-sensitive perception and sustainable lifestyle is of paramount importance. With this pivotal intent, Carmel College advocates the practice of conserving nature for today and the future ahead. Through this noble gesture, the institution aims to,
Natural disasters of great magnitude have become a common sight over the recent years, with many lives having to bear the wrath of an untamable nature. Unquestionably, the inconsiderate intrusion of humans upon nature’s bounty has manifested into natural calamities and untold environmental crisis like pollution, ozone depletion, the decline of biodiversity, climate change, soil erosion, deforestation and the like. The disastrous deluge of 2018 took a tremendous toll on Kerala and Thrissur district in general and Mala,in particular, has been severely affected. As a college situated in this ecologically fragile zone, we strongly believe in the inevitability of moulding an ecologically conscious society. Given the growing importance of conserving nature and effecting sustainable development, numerous initiatives have been undertaken by the institution to implement within the campus and the community outside its borders.
Carmel College lies in the embrace of a green canopy and this idyllic locale serves in energizing the ambience of the campus. A majority of the green practices in the institution have the student community in lead, executing them in and out of campus. Students are the active contributors and facilitators of the campus’s green mission like cleanliness drive, tree plantation drive, and environment preservation campaigns/drives and rallies, often organized in collaboration with authorized GOs and NGOs, as part of the extension/outreach programmes by departments, NSS and NCC units. Each student partakes in maintaining the campus litter free and clean. The awareness programmes and national/state seminars organized have an impact on staff and students in reinforcing a comprehensive knowledge about nature and proactive practices. The number of faculty and student projects on environment-related themes also add to the knowledge repository.
The use of alternate sources of energy like solar panels, LED bulbs and tubes and employment of water-conserving measures have effectively reduced energy consumption and water wastage over years. With the use of various waste management measures, the institution has been able to effectively implement the 3 principles -reduce, recycle, and reuse – to eliminate waste and contribute to preserving the environment.
Nature camps organized by the department of zoology have introduced students to the bounty of nature. The creation of the biodiversity register by the Green Guardians, as part of the green audit, have acquainted them with the rich flora and fauna in the campus. These activities have been beneficial in sensitizing the students towards conserving nature, its resources and biodiversity. The green audit has been a productive venture in evaluating the effectiveness of measures and programmes implemented by the institution towards waste management, environmental quality and energy conservation.Expert reviews and suggestions for improvement have been taken into confidence and steps initiated.
The various departmental green practices including quail farming, aquaculture, rice cultivation, banana cultivation, apiculture, and maintenance of botanical garden have students at the helm, supervised by a faculty, and these have been instrumental in raising their eco- consciousness. Making and using paper pens have become a common eco-friendly practice among staff and students. Knowledge on the same have been disseminated to nearby schools as part of the campaign to reduce the use of plastic and have earned positive results. The extension activities conducted by the departments of Botany as part of the KSCSET funded projects on sustainable livelihood have profited the local women and student community in raising farming plots in their homesteads for mushroom cultivation and vegetable gardening. Training, production and sale of LED products as an energy-saving measure by the department of Physics have also yielded visible acceptance among the campus and neighbourhood community. The water analysis carried out in the flood-affected area of Kuzhur Panchayat by the department of chemistry has assisted the local body to adopt requisite measures for restoring the water quality. Adherence to the green protocol of the campus is a routine practice in which all stakeholders of the institution are well-groomed.