Saturday 17 February 2024

Beyond Boundaries: Sambandh 2023's Three-Day Spectacle and the Power of Connection

Title: Beyond Boundaries: Sambandh 2023's Three-Day Spectacle and the Power of Connection"

On October 9, 2023, the Department of Sociology and Social Work inaugurated its annual Sociology fest, Sambandh. Dr. Victor Paul, the esteemed Director of the Centre for Social Action (CSA), spearheaded the inauguration, followed by a speech by our HOD, Dr. Suparna Kar, setting the tone for a three-day celebration of diversity and interconnectedness.

Commencing with a symbolic watering of the plant ceremony, faculty members joined hands, emphasizing collaboration and unity within the department.  The fest unfolded with captivating dance and music performances, lifting spirits and creating an educational atmosphere. The theme for the year was "Cultural Fusion Fiesta," aiming to break down barriers, promote acceptance, and celebrate the unique identity of each culture. 

The diverse lineup of events promised a grand celebration. Over the next three days, i.e. from 9th to 11th October, a total of nine events were organized spread across venues in the entire campus. The events started off with Time Traveler's Symposium, judged by our immensely knowledgeable Coordinator, Mr. Rajeev. A flashmob and open mic, with multiple eager performers set the tone for the next few days. While many came together for art and photography events like Paint a Poetry, a beautiful combination of poetry with painting, a duet concept or Through the Photographer's Lens, an event skillfully made to judge the best picture aligned with the theme of 'Capturing everyday Inclusivity'. These were ways of participants showcasing their hidden creative talent. 

Two events stood out as crowd catchers, events the Association thoroughly enjoyed organizing and the students couldn't get enough of it. Treasure Hunt was scheduled for 10th October and had a whopping total of 136 people, findings clues that had been meticulously placed at all the hot spots of the CHRIST Central Campus. Keya Pattavi, Shriansh Chakraborty, Arnav Mishra and Sneha Das from 1MAIS emerged victorious since they reached the final clue first and sent a complete image of the Sambandh puzzle. 66 students took part in the Blindfolded Conversation event. Participants engaged in 10-minute dialogues without revealing their identities. The decision to disclose afterwards added an intriguing element of surprise. This innovative event not only broke communication barriers but also created a platform for authentic connections and potential future interactions.

The last day was packed with an Art Exhibit where students could display materials, paintings, or objects that reminded them of their culture. Fusion Frenzy Battle, our last event held at Sky View, brought together people of all backgrounds, as they chose to dance and sing and represent their cultures. It was a beautiful experience for all those in the audience. In conclusion, Sambandh 2023 marked a cultural extravaganza, reflecting dedication to celebrating diversity, fostering unity, and creating an inclusive environment for all. 

Celebrating cultural richness and encouraging understanding among diverse communities, Sambandh 2023 aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10: Reduced Inequalities. By fostering a three-day celebration of diversity and interconnectedness, the event promotes inclusivity, breaking down barriers and providing a platform for authentic connections. Initiatives like Blindfolded Conversations and Fusion Frenzy Battle create opportunities for individuals to engage irrespective of background, contributing to a more inclusive and equal society. 

Friday 16 February 2024

Empathy and Purpose in Education

Department of Sociology and Social Work

Empathy and Purpose in Education

The session, on 13th January, 2024, resonated with the struggles many face: finding jobs that offer both meaningful work and financial security. The discussion delved into the gap between job expectations and reality, highlighting systemic issues like high teacher-student ratios leading to burnout in the education system.

Sparking a Different Flame: Enter Sparkling Mindz Global School, an international institution challenging the status quo. It follows a dual curriculum (Cambridge and CBSE), but its core values lie in fostering children's curiosity, prioritizing health and nutrition, and employing a flexible approach to learning. Age-based batches are complemented by individual assessments, ensuring children are placed according to their abilities.

Beyond Just a Teacher: But Sparkling Mindz isn't just about teachers. The speaker emphasized the diverse opportunities for personal and financial growth, extending beyond traditional roles. Think researchers, writers, career counsellors, even media and marketing professionals – all contributing to this unique learning environment.

Technology as a Tool: Embracing technology, the school views AI as a tool to enhance learning, not replace human interaction. Live classes addressing vulnerability and emotions showcase their commitment to developing well-rounded individuals, nurturing them to become changemakers.

Building a Village: The proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" resonates deeply with Sparkling Mindz. They aim to create a supportive community that goes beyond academics, prioritizing individual needs and continuous learning.

Challenging the System: This community-centric approach stands in stark contrast to the "toxic" job market, often characterized by its give-and-take imbalance. Sparkling Mindz seeks individuals passionate about learning and adapting, building a positive and meaningful work culture.

Connecting to SDG 4: Sparkling Mindz Global School stands as a beacon of hope in the fight for quality education (SDG 4). It tackles critical issues like high teacher-student ratios by fostering a diverse, supportive community. Children aren't confined to age-based boxes; their curiosity and individual needs guide their learning journey. Beyond academics, the school prioritizes emotional well-being, nurturing them to become changemakers. This aligns with SDG 4.1's focus on inclusive and equitable education, and SDG 4.4's emphasis on relevant skills for future careers. By empowering individuals and fostering a healthy learning environment, Sparkling Mindz embodies the true spirit of SDG 4, paving the way for a brighter future.

Relevance of Gandhian Ideas in Contemporary Urban Milieus

Department of Sociology and Social Work

Relevance of Gandhian Ideas in Contemporary Urban Milieus

A panel discussion titled "Relevance of Gandhian Ideas in Contemporary Urban Milieus" on 4th October, 2023, offered a captivating exploration of Mahatma Gandhi's legacy and its applicability in today's complex world. The event featured diverse perspectives from renowned panelists, Dr. L.T Om Prakash and Mr. Shankar Varma, sparking thought-provoking insights and challenging conventional interpretations of Gandhi.

Beyond a One-Dimensional Figure: The discussion moved beyond presenting Gandhi as a static symbol of peace and non-violence. Instead, it delved into the "bunch of contradictions" that defined him, highlighting his advocacy for self-sufficiency while accepting financial support from industrialists, his promotion of celibacy while remaining married, and even his controversial call for recruitment during war times. This approach encouraged understanding Gandhi not as a perfect ideal, but as a complex individual who practiced critical thinking and evolved throughout his life.

Time, Space, and Patience: Essential Lenses: Both panelists emphasized the importance of viewing Gandhi through the lenses of time, space, and patience. They advocated for appreciating his ideas within the historical context of their emergence, recognizing their limitations but also their potential for adaptation in different geographical and cultural settings. Additionally, patience was identified as a crucial virtue, underscoring the need for sustained efforts and long-term perspectives when applying Gandhian principles.

Living for Others and Self-Mastery: A central theme explored the essence of Gandhi's life dedicated to serving others. Mr. Varma poignantly stated that "Gandhi's life was for others," highlighting his unwavering commitment to social justice and uplifting the marginalized. Dr. Om Prakash further added that Gandhian civilization focuses on "mastery of self," emphasizing the importance of individual transformation as a foundation for societal change.

Ecology and Sustainability: A Vital Connection: The panel discussion also shed light on the profound connection between Gandhian philosophy and modern environmental concerns. The panelists drew attention to Gandhi's deep respect for nature, citing his aversion to wasting resources and his advice to apologize to a tree for harming it. This emphasis on ecological consciousness resonates strongly with SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, highlighting the need for sustainable practices in our increasingly urbanized world.

Embracing Complexity and Moving Forward: The Q&A session further enriched the discussion, revealing the spiritual underpinnings of Gandhi's ecological voice and his unwavering trust in people's capacity for positive change. By acknowledging the complexities and contradictions inherent in Gandhi's life and philosophy, the event encouraged constructive dialogue and critical reflection on his enduring relevance in our contemporary urban environments.

Peace Institutions – Perspectives, Challenges and the way forward.

Department of Sociology and Social Science

Peace Institutions – Perspectives, Challenges and the way forward.

Our event, on 8th September, 2023, delved into the critical topic of Peace Institutions, sparking thought-provoking discussions among postgraduate students. The session explored the contemporary role of these institutions and the challenges they face in a world riddled with geographical, political, cultural, and social complexities.

Contextualizing Peace: The discussion emphasized the need to move beyond a simplistic understanding of peace. It stressed the importance of acknowledging the "gray area" of peace, recognizing its multifaceted nature encompassing both positive and negative aspects.

Core Values and Human Dimension: The session highlighted the centrality of core values – equality, rights, and justice – in achieving genuine peace. It also underscored the crucial role of the human dimension, emphasizing the need to consider emotions and non-negotiable aspects like the human mind when striving for peace.

Beyond Liberal Paradigms: The discussion challenged the universal applicability of traditional liberal notions of peace. It acknowledged the existence of contradictions and limitations within these paradigms, calling for more inclusive and just systems and policies.

Multiple Levels and Actors: The event recognized the multi-layered nature of peacebuilding. It acknowledged the roles of various actors beyond the UN, including regional and cultural institutions, all contributing to the complex tapestry of global peace.

From Individual to Global: The session challenged the limited perspective of viewing peace solely through an individual lens. It emphasized the crucial need to approach peacebuilding with a global mindset, recognizing the interconnectedness of international issues.

Challenges and Contradictions: The discussion did not shy away from addressing the challenges faced by Peace Institutions. It explored the ongoing conflicts, resource negotiations, and the complexities of attaining absolute peace in a diverse world with divergent cultures and statuses.

Connecting to SDG 16: The event's theme resonates deeply with SDG 16.

By fostering dialogue about the complexities of peacebuilding, the session contributes to SDG 16's aim to promote peaceful societies, strengthen institutions, and ensure access to justice for all. By critically examining existing paradigms and advocating for inclusive approaches, the event serves as a catalyst for progress towards a more peaceful and just world. 

HeartArt ~ Stories from the heart that will shape life as an art

Department of Sociology and Social Works

HeartArt ~ Stories from the heart that will shape life as an art

A captivating event brimming with literary and artistic flair on 30th August, 2023, bringing together undergraduate and postgraduate students in a vibrant display of talent. This celebration of poetry, storytelling, and monologues transcended academic boundaries, fostering a sense of unity and shared passion for creative expression.

The stage became a platform for diverse voices, as students poured their hearts and souls into poems exploring themes of self-love, resilience, cultural identity, and the complexities of human emotions. Titles like "Mamatar City," "HOME," and "Detached from Her Feelings" hinted at the depth and personal nature of the pieces shared. Performances like "It was about hardships in life in a wheelchair during 1st year" and "Greek Mythology- Talk about Medusa" showcased the power of storytelling to illuminate diverse experiences and perspectives.

The raw emotions conveyed through monologues like "Hopeless Romantic" and "When she was left alone with her own thoughts" resonated deeply with the audience, creating a palpable sense of connection and shared understanding. The supportive atmosphere, fueled by applause and encouragement, fostered a spirit of mutual respect and appreciation among students.

Beyond the individual performances, the event itself served as a testament to the unifying power of art and literature. It transcended academic levels, bringing together UG and PG students in a shared celebration of creativity. This breakdown of barriers underscores the importance of fostering inclusive communities where diverse voices can be heard and appreciated.

Connecting to SDG Goals:

SDG 4: Quality Education. It highlights the power of creative expression as a valuable learning tool that fosters critical thinking, communication skills, and empathy. By providing a platform for students to share their voices and connect with different perspectives, the event contributes to creating a more inclusive and equitable learning environment.

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities. By breaking down barriers between academic levels and celebrating diverse voices, it promotes a sense of community and belonging, contributing to a more inclusive and just society.

The success of this event lies not only in the individual performances but also in the spirit of unity and appreciation it cultivated. It serves as a reminder of the transformative power of creative expression in fostering understanding, building bridges, and promoting a more inclusive and equitable world.

Exploring the Intersection of Research and Social Sciences

 Department of Sociology and Social Work

Title: Exploring the Intersection of Research and Social Sciences: 

A Workshop Report On October 16th, 2023, the Seminar Hall on the 4th Floor of the PU Block was bustling with intellectual energy as the Department of Sociology and Social Work at [University Name] hosted an engaging workshop on research. In collaboration with the Students Association, the event brought distinguished speakers and eager participants together to delve into the multifaceted domain of social research and its implications. The workshop explored the intersection of research and social sciences, highlighting the transformative potential of collaborative dialogue in advancing scholarly inquiry and cultivating a more inclusive understanding of social phenomena. 

The workshop began with Dr Dev Nath Pathak, a Senior Assistant Professor from the South Asian University, New Delhi, unpacking the intricate dynamics of "Social Research: A Form of Intellectual Politics." Dr Pathak eloquently conveyed that research is deeply intertwined with politics, urging researchers to ground their work in everyday realities and avoid perpetuating colonial knowledge structures. He emphasised embracing diverse perspectives and updating methodological approaches to address contemporary issues. 

Following a brief intermission, Dr Hemlatha K, a Professor from the Department of Sociology and Social Work at Christ (Deemed to be University), took the stage to discuss "Research Informed Practice: Insights on Research as a Method of Social Work." Dr. Hemlatha highlighted the essential link between research and practice in social work, advocating for evidence-informed approaches that enhance client outcomes. She expressed concern about the growing gap between research and practice in India, emphasising the necessity for synergy between the two realms to effectively address societal needs.

 The workshop peaked with Dr. Rajeev K, an Associate Professor from the same department at Christ (Deemed to be University), delving into "Methods and Multiple Realities in Social Sciences." Dr. Rajeev skillfully navigated the complexities of knowledge production, advocating for a balance between institutionalisation and academic freedom. He challenged traditional notions of reality, encouraging participants to explore the nuanced layers of subjective and objective truths. Drawing from anthropological perspectives, he explored the concept of multiple realities, stressing the significance of cultural diversity and civility in research endeavours. 

Throughout the workshop, primarily attended by research scholars, participants engaged enthusiastically with the speakers, exchanging ideas and viewpoints on the dynamic intersection of research and social sciences. Dr. Dev Nath Pathak's impassioned discussion on intellectual politics prompted attendees to reflect on the political dimensions of their research pursuits. Dr. Hemlatha K's pragmatic insights sparked debates on bridging the gap between academia and real-world social work interventions. Meanwhile, Dr Rajeev K's thought-provoking exploration of multiple realities left participants grappling with knowledge production and language dominance complexities. 

As the clock struck at 1:00 pm, signalling the workshop's conclusion, participants departed with enriched perspectives and renewed enthusiasm for their research endeavours. The event served as a testament to the transformative potential of collaborative dialogue in advancing scholarly inquiry and cultivating a more inclusive understanding of social phenomena.

 The workshop aligns with SDG 4: Quality Education by promoting inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. By fostering dialogue and critical thinking among participants, the workshop builds a more informed and knowledgeable society capable of addressing complex social issues. Additionally, the emphasis on research-informed practice in social work aligns with SDG 1: No Poverty and SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being by advocating for evidence-based approaches to address social challenges and improve the well-being of individuals and communities.

Nurturing Minds Through Time: British Seaside Tourism

 Title: Nurturing Minds Through Time: British Seaside Tourism

In the vibrant setting of Room 908, 9th Floor, Central Block, Dr. Alex Seal, a distinguished Professor in the UK, unfolded the captivating history of British Seaside Tourism on October 20, 2023. This exploration, titled "The Birth of Mass-Tourism in the UK: The Rise and Fall (And Rebirth of the British Seaside)," not only delved into the past but also resonated with the principles of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) – Quality Education.

Dr. Seal set the stage by immersing the audience in the challenging World War era, where restrictions on private car use, rationing of travel funds, and the conversion of holiday resorts into military bases marked a tumultuous period. This historical context laid the groundwork for a profound exploration of the evolution of British tourism.

The lecture unfolded a transformative period in the 1950s and 1960s, witnessing the boom of mass tourism. Dr. Seal navigated through the economic upswing that granted increased wealth and leisure time to the populace, leading to heightened consumption capabilities and reshaping the tourism landscape. The lecture not only presented historical facts but served as an educational tool, aligning with the principles of SDG 4.

The role of Fordism in the development of 'mass' tourism was a key focus. Dr. Seal highlighted the marketisation of leisure, showcasing how marketing opportunities aligned with the desires of the public. The British seaside emerged as a sought-after destination, reflecting a fascinating chapter in the history of tourism and providing valuable insights into economic and societal shifts.

The lecture transcended traditional boundaries, fostering an interactive session that engaged students in discussions and reflective thinking. The subsequent Q&A session became a platform for intellectual curiosity, embodying the essence of inclusive education, a cornerstone of SDG 4.

The entire activity aligned seamlessly with SDG 4 by promoting quality education. Dr. Seal's presentation not only imparted historical knowledge but also encouraged critical thinking, reflections, and discussions among students. The interactive nature of the session fostered an inclusive learning environment, addressing the goal of equitable education for all.

The enthusiastic response during the Q&A session underscored a renewed interest in the topic. The plan for future lectures on British Seaside Tourism is not just a continuation but an expansion of educational initiatives. This aligns directly with SDG 4's objective to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, fostering a continuous learning environment and promoting a deeper understanding of historical and cultural perspectives.

As we navigate through the currents of history, the educational voyage continues. Join us in unraveling the mysteries of the past, understanding the present, and shaping a future steeped in knowledge and curiosity. The exploration of British Seaside Tourism becomes a beacon, guiding us toward the educational ideals set forth by SDG 4. Together, let's nurture minds, fostering a world where quality education is a beacon of empowerment for all.