The fifth edition of annual social festival Abhyuday, the social body of IIT Bombay, held during January 20-21, 2018 was a roaring success. Audience comprising students from the Institute as well as from the other colleges of Mumbai, NGOs and corporates were sensitized, through the various programmes, to the challenges faced by many sections of the society.
Dedicating this year’s festival to the theme of ‘Enabling Humanity with Human Rights’, a series of events, exhibitions, lectures, workshops and competitions were organized to motivate the audience by highlighting the works of people who have made it big in the sector of social upliftment.
‘Changemaker Series’, one of the biggest events of the festival, highlighted the plight of children living on streets and their “unconscious” neglect by society. Deprivation of their basic rights and lack of equal access to opportunities was highlighted through a dialogue involving changemakers Ms. Dia Mirza (actor and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador), Ms. Prerna Langa (CEO of Yes Foundation) and Ms. Kaveere Bamazee (Editor, India Today). This was a big step towards recognizing the identity of these children, amplifying their issues and rights.
Working to uplift the rights of women, the Women Empowerment Conclave focused on problems like discrimination, undermining etc. faced by women in society and at workplace. A sanitary pad-making workshop was held to highlight the stigma associated with sanitary napkins, a primary need for women. A Breast Cancer screening camp was also held. 100 women were screened free of cost to raise awareness of the need of cheaper and early Cancer detection methods.
Voicing its support for the LGBT community, Abhyuday organized Rainbow Diaries, an amalgamation of discourses by eminent personalities like Mr. Harish Iyer, Ms. Sonali Giani and Ms. Urmi Jadhav, who are actively involved in activism for LGBT rights. The speakers gave a talk on "Perspectives and Acceptance of the LGBT Identity in India". It was followed by a healthy and open discussion with the audience.
A Socio-X lecture series featuring Ms. Medha Patkar , Dr. Prakash Amte and Dr. Mandakini Amte served as an inspiration for the audience to put society before self and work for upliftment of downtrodden and marginalized people. Mr. Afroz Shah and Mr. Mahesh Sharma talked about the importance of contributing to the society and solving real problems of people by being a part of their community.
Declaring safer roads as an essential right, Drishya focused on using the passion of youth to bring about a change. It was supported by Mr. Sanjay, Deputy Commissioner of Transport and Mr. Amit Bhardwaj, Deputy Advisor of NITI Aayog. An Action Plan competition was also organized where participants came up with brilliant solutions for the social problems faced by India.
The last evening featured a Concert for a Cause: a collaboration with NGO Swaradhar, providing platform to singers ‘entitled’ as beggars on Mumbai locals. Performing alongside was Ms. Akriti Kakar, the famous Bollywood playback singer. These artists impressed the audience and showcased their wonderful abilities. The concert also acted as a fundraiser for the improvement of livelihood of these heroes and giving platform to them for showcasing their skills.
The concerted efforts of a small group of concerned people from Abhyuday made all this possible. Abhyuday will keep working towards creating a better society where human rights and equal access to opportunities is no longer demanded, it is a part of life!