Jagdish Sheth School of Management (JAGSOM, formerly known as IFIM Business School) has been recognised by AACSB International in ‘Innovation That Inspire Initiative’ 2021 for “Kanyathon” – a student-led experiential program of the institute designed to create social impact. AACSB International (AACSB), is a prestigious global non-profit organisation that provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and learning and development services. The association is the world’s largest business education network with over 1,700 members and more than 840 accredited business schools worldwide.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sanjay Padode, Chairman, Center for Development and Education, said, “In a developing country like India, where social inequality is prevalent, institutions need to groom graduates who are socially responsible and sensitive to the issues of distributive justice. JAGSOM does just that through Kanyathon, a student-driven Experiential Learning program which has enhanced the lives of the Girl Child through utilization of INR 4 million over the last five years, raised through ‘Kanyathon’.”
JAGSOM has cultivated a position at the intersection of academia and practice with Kanyathon, an Experiential Program for Social Impact. The broad objective of the ‘Kanyathon’ intervention is to enhance students’ managerial skills through real-time application and make them socially responsible. The intervention focuses on: (i) Students to organize themselves like departments within a corporation, to plan and organize the mini-marathon ‘Kanyathon’ as part of a credited ‘Effective Execution’ course – essential skills, like planning and organizing, teamwork, conflict resolution, and the art of getting things done constitutes the learning outcomes. (ii) The ‘Negotiation Skills’ course, where students learn to generate funds from prospective runners and event sponsors through actual sales. (iii) A two-week Social Immersion Program to manage the project and fund utilization with CRY, – by living in the villages, students learn to appreciate how people unlike us live and to experience the joy of contribution.
‘Kanyathon’, over the last decade has evolved into an exemplary pedagogy for experiential learning. The students are immersed into the full life cycle of creating awareness, raising funds, delivering a fun-filled experience including organizing the run, whilst managing an event of significant scale and utilizing the fund for education and nourishment of the girl child impacting UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This year, the fund generated is being utilized to institute the “Kanyathon Shiksha Kendra” in one of the adopted villages at Kolar to support the “Save a Girl Child” initiative in collaboration with CRY. These villages are adopted by JAGSOM at Kolar, under the government’s Unnat Bharat Abhiyan Scheme.
Last year, the event received an overwhelming response with more than 10,000 participants demonstrating their penchant for the cause of women empowerment. By successfully managing and organizing the run of such scale to generate funds and then utilizing the fund effectively for the cause of ‘saving-the-girl-child’, the students have demonstrated, that if mentored effectively and given an opportunity, our youth is capable of delivering an “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.
In 2020, the funds collected through Kanyathon were deployed through its NGO partner CRY for the immunization of 2543 children in the areas adjoining Kolar, Malur, and KGF. Additionally, 22 Anganwadi centers have been receiving timely ration supply and 862 children are receiving midday meals and take-home ration. Through advocacy with the labor department, 200 families received financial aid, 40 pregnant and lactating mothers were given regular awareness and counseling on wellbeing and nutrition supplements. Over 1000 families were made aware of health and nutrition. ‘Kanyathon’ made an impact during the pandemic by touching many lives, especially migrant workers, daily wage-earners, the urban poor, and other vulnerable groups particularly women and children in Kolar.
The initiative of the students of JAGSOM to institute the “Kanyathon Shiksha Kendra” is a baby step to educate girl children in spoken and written English, effective use of Information Technology, and personal hygiene. The vision is to expand the ‘Kendras’ across the country to empower the women of this nation.