Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Rural Exposure visit

The Rural exposure visit for MA Applied Sociology students took place on 26th and 27th of June. We were a batch of more than 40 students along with teachers. We visited villages in the Hoskote Taluk which belongs to the Bangalore Rural district. Our visit was planned and organized meticulously by Centre for Social Action – Christ University.
We were provided stay in the CSA dormitories. The village visit was an eye opener in many sorts. We started off with an enlightening interaction with one of the pioneers of this social change Mrs.Shakuntala from Appasandra. We had six translators to assist while this interactive session was going on. It was a riveting experience. We heard about the transformational journey the villages had undergone with the help of CSA. They explained how the whole project took off in 2003.

A very humble beginning, filled with many a troubles and challenges. CSA first began with the Nutrition of Children. CSA had a preliminary report with pointed towards the massive malnutrition trends in this region. Gradually with procurement of the nutritious food, the weight of the kids increased substantially and was there for everyone to see. This in a way reduced the slight inhibitions the villagers had towards the “Christ” tag. Soon, CSA was involved in assisting education for these kids. They were convincing their parents and getting them into schools, reducing dropouts, spreading awareness of a quality education and reaps of reward awaiting them in future.
Mrs.Shakuntala also spoke about the Self-Help groups, which has been the backbone of the village development from last one decade. There are more than 15 SHGs which meet up regularly. It enables crowd saving and this money would then be diverted to savings bank account. Later when a need arises , the loan from this amount is granted to a member. There are also cluster groups which provide money only for the income generating activities. It started off with an initial seed amount of 25 lakh rupees. And today the village can boast of a turnover of 18 crores. Most of the households are financially stable and settling into safe courtyards.

We also had the opportunity to visit the Government School in Appasandra village. The experience was an eye opener for all the privileges we enjoy. Cause the situation cried for more assistance and help. The school taught from 1st to 5th std. But it had only two classes. This meant many classes had to be combined and with only two teachers, most often this combination made all classes look same. The headmaster told us about the lack of government support, how just 92 paise was allotted to each kid for a month. And also how irregular and irresponsible it was when the paying heed to the concerns and cries of the school. With the whole country chanting about “Swachh Bharat”, many of these schools do not have proper washroom facilities. In Appasandra, there are no water facilities. A kid has to draw water from a distance and travel to use washroom. We spoke to the kids and taught them few of what we knew. We also used flashcards to have an interactive session. The enthusiasm and exuberance the kids’ exhibit is tremendous and keeps our faith intact in the potential. We also had house and farm visits which enabled us get firsthand experience about the lifestyle and operations of SHGs.
On the last day, we had a community program where we painted the walls of their school with educational themes. We also had a reflection session, where our mutual experiences were shared and suggestions were made. To top it all, all groups sang a local folk song to appreciate and nurture the local tradition. Overall, it was an eye opener and a fruitful visit, which will help us take our future as sociologists in the right path. 

Prajwal, MA Applied Sociology

Rural Exposure MA Applied Sociology

On the 26th of June, 2015, the first year and second year MA Applied Sociology students were taken by the Sociology Department for a village visit to Hoskote. Hoskote is a taluk in Bangalore Rural District. Headquartered at the Hoskote town, it consists of 5 Hoblis - Anugondanahalli, Jadigenahalli, Kasaba, Nandagudi and Sulibele. Agriculture, Apiculture and horticulture are primary occupations of people here, although the industrialization in the recent times in Hoskote and places around has thrown up new opportunities for the people. Hoskote is the largest taluk in Karnataka having 333 villages.

On arriving the same day, we had stayed at the Pragathi Cluster Level Association, funded by The Churches’ Council for Child and Youth Care, Hoskote as a village can now be seen as a semi-developed town. Since this was my second visit to the village, it was still a refreshing experience and I was accustomed to the ways and practices of the village and its people. Given an overview of the developments by Shakuntala mam, the students got an insight into the past, present and future of Hoskote.
After being divided into separate groups, my group had gone to the local school. We had spoken to the school headmaster who was an extremely hospitable gentleman. We learnt that he had been the principal for twenty years out of his own choice. Two classes were held simultaneously in the school, which was a bit difficult to understand. However, the students enjoyed their classes. There were a higher number of girls in the class as compared to boys. Every student was extremely keen on learning and according to the headmaster were “fast learners”. Later on we taught the students about health and nutrition and what vegetables and fruits were important for the proper functioning of the body.

Later on we were introduced to the local tutor by Vinay Sir. He had taken us to the cultivation area, where they grew raggi that they consumed for their own requirements and did not sell it. Mangoes, chillies and mulberry leaves were also grown. By the evening we were taken to the tutorial centre where we had a discussion with the tutor. The number of students who come has dropped in the years. According to me, a proper tutorial centre along with proper lighting and more experienced teachers are required to motivate the children and mainly the parents to send their children to these centres.

We were also taken to visit an SHG group. These women stayed together and according to them, they would take loans for personal needs such as weddings or for festivals and in two-three months would pay them back. It was great to see how these women were getting their act together and actually going out of their way to do things for their village.

The next day the artists of our department gave back to the community by painting the walls of the school with images of the solar system and so on. It was truly a beautiful gesture.

Later on in the reflexive session, we all had certain recommendations. A few were that street lights needed to be put along with proper drinking water and other facilities for the school so as to make the children’s lives better. Another suggestion was that SHG groups should not only use the loans that they get for personal purposes but should make proper use of it so as to benefit the community as a whole such as construction of better roads and buildings, proper drainage systems, etc. Every individual should also learn to be self-reliant and not always depend on outsiders for help. The outside world should be introduced to them and this is possible with proper transportation that needs to be easily available to them. A hospital should also be within reach so that they can access it easily whenever necessary.

Overall it was a great and fun learning experience. The people of Hoskote are very hospitable and treated us with respect and kindness. They were never shy to answer any of the questions that we put forth, maybe because they are used to students visiting them. Hoskote is a promising village and if looked after properly can develop further.

Neomi DCruz, MA Applied Sociology

Monday, 28 September 2015

Seminar on Social Change in India

On 21st September 2015, paper presentation was organized by the students of I MA Applied Sociology under the guidance of Dr. Sheila Mathew, professor, Department of Sociology. The class was divided into three groups. Each group was assigned topics namely, ‘Commercialization of Agriculture in India’, ‘Industrialization’ and ‘Globalization’. And, 19 papers were presented in total in over a week’s time.
The first group presented their papers on commercialization of agriculture in India. The first set of presenters from the group defined the concept of commercialization and gave the historical background to commercialization of agriculture in India.  

The next set of presenters covered the topics such as commercialization of agriculture in contemporary times, the changes in agrarian class structure, the agrarian crisis and the agrarian unrest due to commercialization of agriculture in India.
The second group presented their papers on industrialization. The papers presented were on the history of industrialization in the west, the socio-economic changes that occurred due to industrialization, the history and growth of industrialization in India till the contemporary times, the differential view held by sociologists on the industrial class structure in the west and in India.

The third set of presenters presented on globalization. The key topics addressed by the group include the definition and history of liberalization, privatization and globalization in India, the various dimensions of globalization, the impact of globalization on Indian agriculture and the positive and negative impact of globalization on Indian society.

In conclusion, it was observed that commercialization, industrialization and globalization facilitated social change. But, the benefits were reaped only by an elite section of the society, while the vulnerable sections remained out of the realm of these drivers of social change.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Exploring our rural roots

As we entered the bus, one by one, all of us were equally excited for the overnight visit that would expose us to the rural environment of Karnataka. This excursion, which was undertaken by the final year undergraduate students of Sociology between 31st July to 1st August, was directed with the help of the Centre for Social Action. The main objective of the trip was to create awareness among the students about the rural life of India by sensitizing them to rural communities. One of the main tasks assigned to us was to study the village system and its important components.After a journey of around 2 hours, we reached the base camp in Halasinakayipura village, Hoskote, where we received a warm welcome from Mrs.Shakuntala, the head of the village cluster. She rendered a brief summary of the developmental activities that were initiated in the village by CSA. We were made aware of how CSA had worked in the village for the first 7 years after which all the responsibilities were given to the villagers for better functioning. She also oriented us with the challenges faced by them before the advent of CSA to the village, which include – lack of awareness about the nutrition to be provided to children and pregnant women, problems in the areas of education, financial inclusion and women’s position in society.
We were met by Mr.Ranjit Kumar Singh after a delicious lunch. We had an enthusiastic ice-breaker session with him, after which he gave us instructions about the activities to be done. All of us were divided into 2 groups and had to visit two different villages with our respective leaders.
              Team Ragi Mudde visited the village of Chikanallala, where on visiting the school [Nammoora Sarkaari Hiriya Prathamika Shaale] they interacted with the headmaster. The students found out about the day-to-day functioning of the school and the problems faced by them, one among which was the lack of benefits received from the government. Further, the students visited two households, where they had friendly encounters with the inhabitants. They learnt about the functioning of self help groups and how the men of the houses enthusiastically supported their wives in all of their endeavours. One of the interesting experiences of the students was weaving silk with a charkha that was improvised by the wheel of a cycle. This was looked at as a source of additional income.
Activities were carried out in Halasinakayipura by Team Suhaas’s Angels. They visited the school in the village, agricultural fields and two houses after which they observed a self help group meeting. All this gave them a firsthand experience of the daily circumstances of rural society. The students learnt songs in Kannada from the schoolchildren. They saw fresh crops being grown and were also offered a few vegetarian delicacies like tomatoes and ridge gourds. On their way back to the base camp, they also had the opportunity to witness a beautiful peacock in the forest.  
As the day came to an end, the two groups returned to the base camp, tired and exhausted. Everyone had a scrumptious dinner and retired for the night.
The following morning proved to be a peaceful delight with the smell of fresh earth and the sound of birds singing. Consequently, most of us went out for a morning stroll, exploring the interiors of the village. After a tasty breakfast, we prepared ourselves for Shramdhaan, or the gift of service, which was to be provided in the form of painting the school walls of the Halasinakayipura School. An artistic quarter of us were involved in painting the water cycle and depicting the stages of a woman’s life through our colours and brushes. The rest of us applied coats of primer on the other walls. Completing this task took a time period of 3 hours after which we had a session of reflection with Mr.Ranjit Singh.
All of us shared our experiences during the session and discussed the learning outcome. We reflected and internalized our roles as agents of change in order to transform the adverse situations in rural society. We conversed about the importance of development projects and the session ended with us giving a few suggestions as to how this rural exposure programme for students could be improved. We had a wholesome lunch and set out on our way back.
In its entirety, it was a beautiful experience that widened our perspectives and gave us multiple dimensions of looking at the world.



Sunday, 20 September 2015

Panel Discussion: “Growth and issues of the Indian middle class.”

On 20th July 2015, the students of the Dynamics of Indian society paper from I MA Applied Sociology held a panel discussion on “The growth and issues of the Indian middle class.” The panel discussion was organized under the supervision of Dr. Sheila Mathew, Professor, department of sociology, which was moderated by Ashween Lama, Mitchelle D'Souza, and Roshni Mondal. The class was divided into three groups. The panelists from the first group initiated the panel by defining middle class and gradually moved to discussing the rise of the middle class from the British period to the post LPG period of contemporary India. Along with discussing the rise of the middle class, they also pointed out the disassociation of caste in India, the influence of Nehruvian and Gandhian ideology on the middle class in particular and the Indian Society in general.
The second set of panelists continued the panel with intensive discussions about the various problems faced by the middle class. They highlighted the various psychological, political, social and economic issues faced by the middle class. The panelists also emphasized on issues related to education and lack of skills among the middle class.
The third group of panelists discussed the impact of the middle class on the society and their various contributions to the society. They spoke about the effects of the middle class on the economy, politics, and the social organization.  The panelists pointed out that in a patriarchal society like India, the amount of gender disparities in the IT sector is less compared to the other sectors such as banking and finance. This gender blindness of the IT sector led to the comprehension that IT is a good job for women. The panelists also highlighted the political behavior of the middle class and the changing social lives of the middle class.
In conclusion, it was observed that all the panelists pointed out the importance of the middle class as the driver of economic, political and social change of the society.

Workshop on ‘CSR in India’

The Department of Sociology organized a workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility in India on Wednesday, 16 September 2015. It was attended by teachers and students of various departments including Applied Sociology, Social Work and Development Studies with a total of 90 participants. Resource person for the day was Ms. Abha Saxena from Social Equity Services. The context of the workshop was the implementation of mandatory CSR in India. The first session was on the provisions of CSR implementation based on Companies Act. She discussed the structure and provisions of the policy cum strategy document on CSR. Thrust was given on the understanding of what is CSR and what is not.

It was followed by a presentation by the II MA Applied Sociology students on their findings on CSR implementation of various companies in India. They had visited few organizations and reviewed the annual reports of some other companies. They discussed how the CSR implementation styles differ from companies to companies, the focus areas for CSR activities and different ways of taking CSR in a project mode with the help of Non Governmental Organisations.

The next session was on the current status of CSR implementation based on the data collected through various channels like NGO Box report, Mercer Survey etc for 2014-15. The cheque book philanthropy style of   companies were analysed very critically. This was followed by a discussion on the scope, opportunities as well as challenges of CSR implementation in India. It was a fruitful workshop in participatory manner with active dialogue between participants and the resource person.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Youth Speak 2015

On the 16th of September, 2015, AIESEC an organization that focuses on developing leadership through experiential learning conducted ‘Youth Speak’ in Christ University. It was facilitated by the Department of Sociology and addressed an audience of over four hundred students. Ritama and Keshav were the interface between AIESEC and Christ and instrumental in organizing the event. The main purpose of the event was to give the students a forum to speak about changes that they could implement for the development of the country as well as for themselves. 
The first speaker was Rajat Badami, the local chapter president of AIESEC in Bangalore who kept his focus on motivating the students and emphasizing their individual role in the development of the country. The Second speaker was Mr. Dheeraj whose key ideas involved original startups as a source of money as well as progress. The crowd was then divided into groups with a student moderator to preside over them. They were asked questions relative to actual situations faced in the United Nations and were made to work together in order to find solutions.

This event was the third in a series of conferences intended to target the student community in various colleges and was successful in terms of communicating ideals of personal responsibility, leadership and teamwork.
Report by:
Anushka Basu

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Workshop on CSR in India

Fair Trade

Fast Fashion isn't free- someone somewhere is paying

A discussion was organised in Christ University in collaboration with the Department of Sociology and Fair Trade India on 6th August, 2015. Ms Devina Singh who is placed with Fair Trade India in Bangalore addressed the first and second year M.A students about Fair Trade Organisation and its role in the lives of farmers. She focused on farmer suicides and how we as individuals can bring about a change in their lives.

Fair Trade is an alternative approach to conventional trade, based on a partnership between producers and traders, businesses and consumers. Fair Trade offers producers- improved terms of trade and a better deal. It is a powerful way of reducing poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability through their everyday buying decisions. When a product carries a Fair Trade mark it means that the producers and traders have met 'Fair Trade Standards'. The standards are designed to address power imbalances in trade, unstable markets and injustices of conventional trade. Fair Trade standards focus on improving labour and living conditions for farming communities and promoting a way of farming which protects people and the environment.

Having a long history in India, Fair Trade aims to build on the success of the export market in  key products like coffee, tea, spices, cotton and directly reach the consumer market in India. The three pillars of fair trade India are protecting biodiversity, gender equality and social justice. One of the pillars of fair trade being gender equality- women farmers, are directly paid rather than through their husbands or other male family members. This gives them more decision making powers and now they often provide loans to their husbands. Women hold important positions in the fair trade board too.

Cotton farmers who are highly illiterate and have limited land holdings are dependent on middle men or ginners who often buy their cotton at prices below the cost of production. Rising costs of production, fluctuating market prices, decreasing yields and climate change along with food price inflation and food insecurity are great challenges which the farmers face. In India, many farmers are seriously indebted because of the high interest loans required to purchase fertilizers and other farm inputs and in desperation resort to ending their lives.  Fair Trade encourages sustainable cotton production and acts as a standard tool to provide economic benefits through Fair Trade Minimum Price and additional Fair Trade Premium for seed cotton farmers. Thus cotton cooperatives have been more organised and both men and women farmers receive the same rewards.

She enlightened us with regard to how additional income through the fair trade premium is supporting better farming, strong cooperatives, and local infrastructure and helping communities plan for the future. Fair Trade also supports workers to realize their rights and negotiate the terms and conditions of their work through Collective Bargaining and Trade Unions. Fair Trade is formed and run by farmers and not by corporate which helps to eliminate middlemen in trade who are the major sources of exploitation.

Fair Trade is not the answer to the problem of farmer suicides, but it can be a part of the solution. The awareness of fair trade and what it means is still very low. We need to raise awareness so that things can start changing for the better. We as individuals can popularize the movement and resort to purchasing garments made of Fair Trade cotton. A small change even at a minimal level by questioning 'Who made my clothes' can bring about a difference for a global cause.
                                                                                                                        Nibedita Dutta (1537614)
                                                                                                                        Namrata Ghosh (1537613)

Sunday, 9 August 2015


Sambandh is the annual students’ festival of the Department of Sociology. It is conducted in the odd semester every year and it is a platform for the students pursuing Sociology at the undergraduate level to come together and participate in various competitions. It is a festival that reiterates the unity, cooperation and togetherness of the Sociology fraternity.

This year the festival was held on Friday, August 7, 2015. This day long festival was one that was organized for and by the students. TEAM SOCIOLOGY met in June to set things rolling as they had numerous meetings to conceptualize, design and then finally execute the various events that were conducted in the festival. 
As the broad theme was Human Rights, Team Sociology ensured that all the events were streamlined. Each class organized at least one event and the entire day was a grand success marked by high levels of participation. Some of the events organized were Creative Writing, Relay Painting, Pot Painting, Mehendi, Caricature, Quiz, 20 Questions and 10 Minutes on Stage.
Dr Kennedy, Dean, Humanities and Social Sciences
Dr Kennedy, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences was the Chief Guest for the inauguration of the festival. Dr Victor Paul, Head, Department of Social Work was the Guest of Honor. 
Nitin and Vidushi, the MCs for the day

Anushka giving an overview of SAMBANDH 2015

Registrations for various events
Ten Minutes on Stage

II PSEco won the overall class trophy with II PSEng coming in a close second. This day was marked by high levels of enthusiasm and participation by all the students in these various events.
Vote of Thanks by Bharath

Runners Up!

First Prize Winners

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

SAMBANDH 2015 Rules

Food Stall Guidelines

  • No use of fire
  • No cooking on the spot
  • Food must be brought readymade
  • 3 people have to be in the stall
  • Names have to be given beforehand and no one else can stay in the stall other than these people
  • Prices need to be reasonable
  • A portion of your profit must be given for charity. The amount can be submitted to the department and is not specified and voluntary
  • Cleanliness must be maintained. Gloves are required.
  • Expect maximum crowd between 12-2pm

Art Events


  • ·        It’s an individual event
  • ·        Participants must bring their own stationary
  • ·        Paper will be provided
  • ·        No colours allowed
  • ·        Topic will be given on the spot
  • ·        Mention Name, Register Number and Class
  • ·        Time limit- 45 minutes
  • ·        Participants must write a brief paragraph explaining the caricature
  • ·        No abusive or offensive caricatures


  • ·        3-4 members per group
  • ·        Charts will be provided
  • ·        Magazines and newspaper and any other stationary required to be brought by the participants
  • ·        No scissors or scales allowed
  • ·        White/blank space not allowed
  • ·        Time limit- 1 hour
  • ·        Participants must write a brief paragraph explaining the collage


  • ·        Individual event
  • ·        Duration – 1 hour
  • ·        Materials to be brought by participants
  • ·        Topic to be announced on the spot
  • ·        No base coating or colour to be applied prior to the event
  • ·        Pot size ranging from small to medium

  • Two participants per team from the same class (1 artist and 1 subject)
  • Original designs
  • Participants have to bring their own material
  • Time: 40 minutes
Lit Events

The structure of the essay to be written is styled in such a way that participants have space to apply in a logical pattern what they take out from their chosen quote/cartoon clip (which will be given on the spot) rather than merely discussing the same in a general and superficial manner. 
This essay writing competition is one that is solution driven and goes on to provide a tinted glass view of what applied sociology actually is, to not only the participant but also the ones who get to read and evaluate them. 
In a nutshell it can be said that writing this essay and further evaluating it leads one to a two way process of learning wherefrom both the participants and those student volunteers involved in organising and evaluating it get to benefit, thus further enhancing our sociological experience in this year’s SAMBANDH.

  • Rules:
  • ·        Individual event
  • ·        The essay should be between 350-750 words
  • ·        Strict adherence to the minimum word limit is advised since non-compliance results in disqualification of the paper and negative marking for the class
  • ·        Choose and write on any one of the topics/quote/cartoon clipping that will be given on the spot during the competition
  • ·        Clearly indicate the topic you are attempting on the top of your paper 
  • ·        Write down your Name, Register Number and Class
  • ·        Plagiarism will not be tolerated
  • ·        Time Limit: 45 minutes
  • ·        Three minutes of time will be given for studying and analysing the topic

  • ·        Individual event
  • ·        2 topics will be announced on the spot
  • ·        Clearly indicate the topic you are attempting on the top of your paper 
  • ·        Write down your Name, Register Number and Class
  • ·        Plagiarism will not be tolerated
  • ·        Time Limit: 45 minutes
  • ·        Participants are expected to write minimum 15 lines
  • ·        There will be negative marking for the class if you write less than 15 lines

·               2 team members
·        No limit on number of teams per class
·        Each team will be given a personality, country, city or any other famous object to guess
·        Each team will be given only 10 minutes to guess their word
·        Maximum of 20 questions allowed per team per turn
·        All team members will be required to guess, and all questions will be directed towards the Emcees (or organisers)
·        The team which uses the least number of questions to correctly guess the word will win
·        Points will be given based on number of questions asked, time taken, and the final guess
·        Only Yes or No questions will be allowed
·        No enactments, miming, or spelling out of the word will be entertained

·        4 team members
·       Only one team per class
·       Each team will be given an institution to represent, which has had in the past, accusations of human rights violations levelled against it. (Institutions may vary from Prison administrations to private companies to government departments)
·       Each team will have to understand the case study given and analyse the situation at hand
·       Points will be given based on the way the team handles their respective crisis situations, the questions asked by the panel and the defence they construct around their case studies
·       Each team will be subject to a stress test from a panel of individuals who specialise in Human Rights Law and are engaged in various fields, academic and non-academic
·       Case studies will be released three days prior to the event by August 5, 2015
·       Parallel to this year’s theme of Human Rights, the panel will seek the team with the most viable defence of an institution based on logic, facts and plausible solutions
·       Points will be awarded for construction of a viable defence, using (or reference of) Human rights law in their respective arguments and the way each team handles the stress test in terms of answers, logic and replies/rebuttals


General Rules:

  • Team event
  • Every team should consist of 2 members only (from the same class)
  • Preliminary round will be written
  • Final round rules will be explained on spot

Preliminary Round:

  • Written quiz
  • Team of 2
  • Total 25 questions
  • Star questions will be used to resolve tie breakers
  • No negative marking
  • Prohibition on use of communication devices during quiz
  • Quiz master’s decision will be final and binding 

  • The participant will be assigned a sociologist the day before through a draw the day before the event which is Thursday, August 6 in II PSEng, Room 102, Block 1
  • Participants will have to prepare all possible topics under the sociologist
  • They will get two minutes of speech and one minute of answering questions
  • No profanities or vulgar language allowed
  • Humor is allowed and encouraged
  • Judges have the final decision



  • Each class has to put up a performance for a maxium of ten minutes
  • It could be any of the following or a combination of the same:
    • theatre
    • music
    • dance
    • mime