18 November 2019

Building Inclusive Societies to End Poverty

One year ago United Nations Academic Impact announced the inauguration of the UNAI SDG Hubs, UNAI member institutions selected as exemplars for their innovative scholarship and engagement related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) who serve as resources for best practices for the UNAI network, currently composed of over 1,400 universities and colleges in more than 130 countries.

On the anniversary of the program launch, we’re taking this opportunity to check in with some of the hub schools to highlight their scholarship and activities over the past twelve months and look ahead to future initiatives. The first school profiled in our anniversary series is Kristu Jayanti College (India), UNAI hub for SDG 1: No Poverty.   

One of the core values of Kristu Jayanti College is dignity. The institution believes that dignity of the human person is the foundation for empowerment and socio-economic transformation. Efforts are taken to uplift the dignity of socially disadvantaged, marginalized and underprivileged people through education and service. All academic activities strive to promote the dignity of the individual, gender sensitization, empowerment of women and social transformation.

The institution is working to end poverty in all forms by providing equity, access, and quality in higher education. The students are actively involved in various initiatives to ensure social protection for all susceptible groups which is critical to reduce poverty. Capacity building and diverse career opportunities help students build the confidence to contribute to the uplift of their families and communities and lead lives of service. The extension services of the institution create avenues of learning and understanding of modern world issues such as social exclusion, vulnerabilities, disasters, diseases and other phenomena which contribute to poverty and exclusion. Jayantian Extension services has organized 136 programs to address social issues and empower economically disadvantaged communities. The college was selected as one of the partnering institutes for the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan [UBA 2.0] program to help build the architecture of an inclusive India, and the institution was recognized for systematically fostering the culture of innovation among students and faculty members.

Some of the significant service learning programmes organized by the institution towards an inclusive, prosperous and sustainable society in 2019 include:

  • Bhavishyajyothi, an education support program initiated for economically disadvantaged children in primary schools;
  • The student volunteers organized a weeklong camp at Doddamaralavadi village with the theme Eradication of Poverty and Promotion of World Prosperity. Rural Exposure Camps were organized at Purushanahalli, Kesaragere, Malur, Byalahalli, Vaddarahalli, Ambalagere, Gullapura, Yelachagere, and Badrapura villages and provided life skills training, awareness raising about government poverty alleviation schemes, e-banking, environment friendly agricultural practices and career guidance to rural youth;
  • Twenty-two health awareness and cleanliness campaigns were organized at seven villages of North Bangalore to help reduce the incidents of dengue, chikungunya and other infectious diseases;
  • Essential supplies, generic medicine, reading materials, clothes and groceries were provided to 36 institutions assisting orphans, teens, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and those living with HIV in the community;
  • Weekly English and computer literacy programs were conducted at four rural schools; and
  • Students organized campaigns at 30 construction sites of North Bangalore to orient more than 300 construction workers on the importance of hygienic practices for their  well-being.

The impact study conducted by the institution revealed an increase in enrollment, decline in the school dropout rates and improvement in academic progression among rural children. The awareness and orientation programmes conducted by the institution have shown improvement in youth strengthening family business, seeking gainful employment and taking up entrepreneurial ventures. The families have reported better yield due to the adoption of organic farming and are now able seek remedies from government agencies for any type of agricultural issues.

Conscientious effort on the protection of the environment and sustainability

The institution believes in and promotes sustainable development that fulfills the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The institution molds environmentally literate, competent and dedicated global ambassadors of sustainability in all aspects of life. The institution offers 32 environment-related courses that nurture individuals who are committed to the conservation of the environment, and it encourages research on environment and sustainability concerns such as deforestation, pollution, diminishing natural resources, catastrophic climate change, species loss, vanishing water bodies, over-population and malnutrition. Twenty-six research articles were published in 2019.

India is a land with great demographic dividend. It is the duty of higher educational institutions to harness the potential of Indian Youth. Kristu Jayanti College, Bengaluru foresees a better tomorrow in collaborating with the United Nations’ mission of creating future leaders ready to face the challenges of the contemporary world.

To learn more about the UNAI SDG Hubs, including Kristu Jayanti College, visit the United Nations Academic Impact SDG Hubs.