Mr.S.Karthikeyan – Staff Coordinator
Socially Committed Managers
Companies worldwide are looking for attention towards socially responsible managers is sought to be bridged. The demand gap in St.Joseph’s Institute of Management by providing an opportunity for the students to engage in the social issues and jumpstart their own ideas on responsible business practices through the extension programme called “SHEPHERD”. JIM aims at shaping the students to be socially committed managers through this extension programme. This programme gave practical exposure to the students on rural life. The programme takes the students directly to the villages and makes them stay for a week. Students were divided into groups and were assigned different activities which made them think and act innovatively.
During this period they were made to realise the need for paying attention to the upliftment of the have-nots. They came upto with different possible solutions for various problems faced by the people of the villages. Several awareness programs on various topics like education of children, effectively functioning of self help groups,availing bank loans ,Herbal medicines ,improving agricultural practices, their rights and legal help etc are organised . Apart from these the students were actively involved in cultural programs , planting trees ,imparting computer education to the children, opening a library in the village and donating books for the same.Thus the programme helped the students to identify problems and give innovative solutions and provide awarenesson social issues.Students involved in this programme considering this as their duty and not as a part of their curriculum.
From the year 2012-13 onwards the department takes responsibility to conduct the shepherd programme based on the proposal approved by the academic council. The new proposal is based on the capability and suitability of the programme for the students. The programme has three components: three day live-in camp, one day social exposure visit and four day skill development workshop.
This year, the rural live-in camp was held at Malaiadipatti and three adjacent villages near Manaparai between 7-9 December 2012. All the hundred and eighteen first year students both boys and girls stayed at the villages in four groups, to observe, study and analyse the life and context of the people. They conducted a rapid survey on the educational status of those below 25 years of age and the entrepreneurs from those villages. Efforts were taken to clean up the village facilities from plastics and create social awareness though cultural programme and exhibition. The collected data are collated and the findings suggest that only 10 % of the students turn out for higher education and a large number of students drop out after 10th standard and move to construction work. It is decided to promote higher education in these villages through conducting soft skills training for four days in those villages in small groups for 11th and 9th standard students. The students went to visit the social intervention programmes of Reaching the Unreached, a voluntary organization at Kallupatti, near Batlagundu. They learnt a lot from the children villages where more than thousand orphaned children are cared and educated freely.