LEADearthSHIP, a youth program by TERI is a one of a kind leadership and sustainability programme meant primarily for undergraduate and postgraduate students. The “Campus Impact Challenge’ is an inter-college competition under the youth program exclusively for Delhi-NCR colleges. The idea behind the competition is to let colleges identify sustainability challenges in their campuses and come up with collective social and environmental solutions.
On the basis of the umpteen application forms received, a certain number of teams were shortlisted to participate in the Youth Initiative which helps future leaders grow and understand the importance of environmental sustainability.
Monmi Barua, a research associate with TERI told the University Express, “The initial entries went through a tough screening process wherein all colleges were required to send in their sustainability campaign and the pressing issue it aimed at providing a solution to. Out of the thirteen colleges presently in the league, eight will be shortlisted for the second round. The final three shall be declared the green campus impact winners.”
The challenge is seeing active participation from many colleges of DU. Colleges such as Sri Venkateshwara, Lady Irwin, IP college for women, Janki Devi Memorial and many others are gunning for the title of the green campus impact winner.
Motilal Nehru College, one of the shortlisted colleges have a unique, two-dimensional project. Under the aegis of the social entrepreneurship society- Enactus, the students of Motilal Nehru College have been working on completely eradicating rabies, while also improving the lifestyle of a certain underprivileged community of women. The project is an intertwining of the two.
Anandita Dudeja, the President of the Motilal Nehru chapter of the campus impact challenge told the Univeristy Express, “India accounts for 20,000 of the 45,000 deaths due to rabies in the world, annually. That’s a huge number that can easily be prevented. Our project strives to implement the Animal Birth Control Programme on a large scale; while changing the mindsets of people, and making humans and animals co-exist.”
The Animal Birth Control Programme aims to catch street dogs, surgically sterilize and vaccinate the dogs against rabies and release them back to the exact location from where they came, dogs being territorial species.
However, the project doesn’t only aim at helping the dogs but also alleviates the stresses of a bunch of poor and underprivileged women. The women are responsible for hand-making dog merchandise under the brand of BE DESI which is then sold through NGOs the college has collaborated with (PAWS, Friendicoes), ultimately making the women financially independent and the leaving the NGOs with enough funds so as to vaccinate and sterilize street dogs.
“Until now, we have been successful in making Motilal Nehru College a rabies free zone, with 14 dogs; while we’re still trying to make the women more self-sufficient.”, said Anandita.