Published: 08th July 2017
The Global non-profit organisation, Enactus, inspires students to focus on sustainable living
The International non-profit organisation strives to improve the world through entrepreneurial action
Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you had to struggle to make it through the day? What if you were homeless? Though we cannot certainly imagine what these people go through, we can empathise with them and do what we can to make their lives a wee better. With this thought in mind, Enactus, an international non-profit organisation strives to improve the world through entrepreneurial action by providing college students a platform to create community development projects that put people’s own ingenuity at the centre of improving their livelihoods.
With diverse groups of students from across the world, every Enactus team differs in terms of their projects. Each team designs a dynamic project which aims at solving a specific social issue. “These projects aim at meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs, as well as creating a deep impact on the society. While one of the projects aims at bettering the sanitation condition in a specific area, the other promotes the availability of clean water — both distinctively focussing on achieving sustainable development,” says Farhan Pettiwala, President and CEO, Enactus, India.
The teams are selected based on their representation of entrepreneurial action within the allotted time frame, how their project would impact the society, as well as showcase infinite possibilities of real human progress
Farhan Pettiwala, President and CEO, Enactus
Additionally, the teams showcase the projects that they’ve been working on and their progress and achievements at the Enactus National Competition that is conducted annually. The students present to a jury of influential corporates who provide valuable feedback, in addition to a comprehensive Q&A session. “Every year, a select group of 3,500 students, business and academic leaders from around the globe meet at the Enactus World Cup. The teams are selected based on their representation of entrepreneurial action within the allotted time frame, how their project would impact the society, as well as showcase infinite possibilities of real human progress,” he states.
Focusing Forward: Farhan Pettiwala believes that the programme could lead to real human progress
This year, the two such projects from India are:
Project Udaan — The mission of Project Udaan is to provide quality education in rural India with no gender bias, by setting up computer centres that utilise e-waste. This project by the team from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Delhi also focuses on empowering women by providing them with a livelihood and opportunity to provide for themselves. At present, there is one lab in the Kaloi village of Jhajjar district, Haryana that exposes children to computers. They hope to open many such labs in the neighbouring villages in the coming years.
Project Raahat — The mission of Project Raahat is to eradicate the habit of open defecation and provide safe sanitation in urban slum communities by innovating the management of community toilet complexes and sensitising people on good sanitary practices. In a bid to curb open defecation and usher in hygiene and cleanliness among the slum-dwellers of New Delhi, the project that is a unique campaign by a team from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies has brought down the open defecation rates in some slums from 95 per cent to 3 per cent.
Enactus’ programmes tap the entrepreneurial spirit within the youth and channel these unique ideas towards transforming the lives of the people served and in turn, the lives of the students, as they become value-driven leaders. The many challenges that go hand-in-hand with social work not only enable students to think outside the box, but also foster a problem-solving skill.