Student volunteerism key to address social, environmental problems: Prof Talat
Srinagar: Vice-Chancellor of University of Kashmir Prof Talat Ahmad on Saturday called upon academics to work towards inculcating in students a sense of volunteerism to enable them to serve the society with passion in times of need.
Addressing as chief guest the valedictory session of a week-long training for programme officers of National Service Scheme (NSS), Prof Talat said academic institutions have to be on the forefront of societal volunteerism to help tackle a host of social and environmental issues, including mental health problems, drug abuse, pollution, climate change and risks related to natural disasters.
The training-cum-orientation programme was organised by the varsity’s NSS under the aegis of Empanelled Training Institute, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.
“Teachers who have been trained about the objectives of NSS must pass on the learning amongst their colleagues and students to widen the ambit of volunteerism in academic institutions and beyond. They must pass on the learning at the community-levels too so that we all work towards addressing the major concerns that our society is faced up with,” Prof Talat said, congratulating the varsity’s NSS team for organising the training programme that had participation from colleges across the J&K UT, including Poonch, Rajouri, Kishtwar, Jammu, Kupwara and Budgam.
Prof Talat said the NSS initiatives must motivate its volunteers to live a disciplined life based on the values of mutual respect, compassion and empathy.
Dean of Academic Affairs Prof Shabir A Bhat, who was a guest of honour, said such community-level programmes can go a long way in creating awareness amongst students and teachers about their role and responsibility towards the society.
“We owe a lot to the society that we come from. The volunteerism, like the one promoted by NSS, enables us to introspect and understand why we all need to get actively involved in combating a host of societal problems for our better today and tomorrow,” he said.
He said the National Education Policy-2020 advocates for overall personality development of students and such training programmes can help achieve that goal with a sense of seriousness at grassroots.
KU’s NSS Coordinator Dr Mussavir Ahmad said the week-long training programme included expert lectures on issues of critical importance, including drug de-addiction, mental health and disaster management.
He said such training programmes are aimed at raising awareness about social responsibilities of teachers and students.
Dr Ishtiyaq from GDC Ganderbal and Dr Maale from Jammu, two NSS programme officers, spoke on the occasion and appreciated KU’s NSS team for organising the training programme in a professional manner and ensuring quality hospitality for the outstation participants.
Dr Wakar Amin, NSS Programme Officer KU, conducted proceedings of the valedictory session.