Contributed By: Ashay Sinha
It was only after the last box of the shipment was loaded onto the truck that Shubhankar Sohoni, a first-year MBA student at IIM Bangalore, took a breath of respite. Over the past few days, Shubhankar and numerous other volunteers like him had been working tirelessly and meticulously to collect relief materials from the IIMB community that would eventually be donated to the Kerala flood victims.
It all started when Mr. P C Mustafa, a distinguished alumnus of the institute and founder of ID Fresh Food India Private Limited, expressed to the Alumni Committee about the need for the IIMB fraternity to come forward and do something to help the Kerala flood victims. The Alumni Committee took up this suggestion in a proactive manner and partnered with Vikasana, IIMB’s social impact club, which set up the required infrastructure in place that would facilitate the collection of the items to be donated for the cause. In less than 24 hours, carton boxes bearing the message “Donate for Kerala” could be spotted at various collection points in the campus.
It was one of those laudable occasions at IIMB when one could find everyone to have come together to contribute towards a common cause. There were no PGPs or FPMs and perhaps, no one was a student or a faculty, but rather people who were grieved by the dire hardship that the citizens of Kerala had to face. A common understanding that every small help counts and makes a difference bound the IIMB community together.
The collection drive was supplemented by the efforts of not only individuals but also societies which went out of their ways and extended support in an open-handed fashion. The Merchandising and Retailing Society (MARS), for instance, extended their store timings which allowed students to buy more and contribute more. This initiative of MARS helped Vikasana collect items worth more than fifty thousand rupees. With their contributions in kind and in cash, many students and clubs like the Cultural Committee, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell and the Forum for Industrial Interaction also contributed magnanimously towards the cause.
The forerunners of the collection drive were the Faculty Officers’ Club which ended up collecting more than fifty cartons of relief material donated by the faculty and staff members of IIMB. Apart from the collection in kind, the drive also witnessed monetary donations of more than forty thousand rupees by the alumni and students of the institute. This initiative was coordinated by the Alumni Committee and the Hostel & Mess Committee. The total collected amount was donated to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.
The collection drive that started on 16th August reached its culmination on the evening of 21st August when a whole truckload full of supplies left the IIMB campus and reached the common collection point in Bangalore. The relief materials would now be sent to the affected areas of Kerala with the hope that “God be kind to his own country”.