Social Outreach in Covid Times

Visiting Doctor of the College Dr Chugh's video for Covid

Celebrating the Environment: Initiatives by Janki Devi Memorial College

Caring for the environment cannot be a one day affair. It has to be sustained. Now, more than ever, it is clear that Nature has been abused for so long that the consequences are severe to say the least. Whether it is the Corona virus that has affected millions the world over and which has forced us to reconsider the whole aspect of sanitisation and pollution; the earthquakes; the cyclonic storms; the locust swarms; there appears to be a response from Nature that is Biblical in its proportions. Images of migrant workers dying abject deaths have triggered the human conscience and forced an introspection about our greed and inability to build an egalitarian society based on an equitable distribution of wealth. Horrifying tales of humans physically suffocated due to racial discrimination or animals such as a pregnant elephant fed with pineapples stuffed with crackers and thus dying a gruesome death- all of these fill one with despair and shame at human callousness.

Endeavoring to always do something constructive for the environment has been the constant mission of Janki Devi Memorial College. This year, the lockdown did not affect the commitment of the college in its environmental initiatives.

The college IQAC and Political Science Department organized an international webinar on World Order and Non Traditional Security Challenges on the 4th of June where four academic experts, Cleo Pascal from the United States , Ashutosh Mishra from Australia, Asanga Abeyagoonasekara from Sri Lanka and Uttam Kumar Sinha from India , deliberated on environmental security issues and how the world order is affected by these. More than 300 people attended this thought provoking webinar that made everyone reflect upon their individual and collective responsibility in creating a safe and healthy environment.

On World Environment Day, 5th June, the college garden committee organized a sapling plantation in college where air purifying plants were planted by the staff, faculty members and Principal of the college, ensuring of course that all precautionary measures were taken while doing so. That aside, the students of Avani, the Environment Club of the college along with others who were hostel residents as well as students of EVS, made environment videos which they posted on social media, as well as posters that underlined the urgent need to deal with environmental issues. The students also planted saplings in their residential area.

Finally, on 6th June, the college held its annual Inter College Environmental debate competition, online, on the topic 'Human Suffering will worsen unless environmental exploitation ends'. The event saw enthusiastic participation from the colleges of Delhi University and students made very relevant presentations of their viewpoints. The prize winners were Srishti Singh (IP College), Anandita Mishra (ARSD College) and Subia Noor(Laxmibai College).

The positive and meaningful ways in which environmental issues were taken up by Janki Devi Memorial College, even at a time when there is a lockdown spells hope in these dark times and shows the way forward.


Green Matters, 2020

Avani, the Environmental club, JDMC held its fourth inter-college debate competition, Green Matters on June 6, 2020. The topic of the competition was Human suffering will worsen unless environmental exploitation ends. The competition was held virtually due to the pandemic situation of COVID-19. It was a stunning success as 25 students from different colleges had enrolled for the competition out of which 19 participants were able to join.

JDMC's former principal, Dr. Indu Anand, was the Guest of Honour for this event, under whose guidance this society was introduced to the college. Dr. Suraj Beri, Assistant Professor, Sociology Department, Indraprastha College for Women, DU judged the competition. Dr Swati Pal, the principal of the college graced the occasion by attending the debate. She congratulated the team Avani for making students introspect and think about the relevance of environment during COVID-19 times.

The winners of the competition were Shristi Singh (first position), Anandita Mishra (second position) and Subia (third position) from Indraprastha College for Women, Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College and Lakshmibai College, respectively.

Virtual Book Club: A Covid Outreach Initiative by Iridescent

Iridescent: The English Creative Writing Society of JDMC hosted a Virtual Book Club for the society members. The aim of this exercise was to encourage the members to read and discuss their perspectives with fellow readers. It was a successful endeavour as members not only put their perspectives forward but there was an active engagement amongst them over various perspectives. It was also a well appreciated initiative during the lockdown.

The discussions were held once a week in a WhatsApp group from 11th April 2020 to 12th May 2020. The members discussed a novella, two poems and a short story. The texts were decided in advance and calendars were prepared to help the members take out time from their day and read the texts regularly.

The first text that was discussed was Animal Farm by George Orwell. The discussion took place over the course of two weeks. The members read the novella according to the calendar and two rounds of discussion took place. The first discussion was about the first half of the novella and the second discussion was about the second half of the novella. During the course of discussions, members put forward their understanding of the novella, its context and form.

This was followed by a discussion on two poems over the course of two weeks. The poems were "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop and "Villanelle" by Agha Shahid Ali. Both of the poems are written in French poetry style, Villanelle. The members discussed the ideas behind the poems and how the form was used to bring out the ideas. One of the major takeaways from this discussion was the enthusiasm of the members to incorporate this writing style into their writings.

The last text was a short story "Overcoat" by Nikolai Gogol. The members had a good time reading the story as they discussed the nuances of writing and the events that took place in the story.

A conference meeting took place on 21st May 2020 to conclude the virtual meetings. The members discussed their experience over the course of one month. The initiative helped them during this period of physical distancing. A lot of them started to read more books during the course of this activity. The book club was concluded with members giving each other book recommendations.

The book club was a successful endeavour as the group actively took initiative to discuss the texts. Moreover, it inspired them to read and write more during these trying times.