VSM celebrated its 9thVardhapandin (Foundation Day) on 15th August 2017 with usual fanfare & in joyful atmosphere; amongst all its present & past students, mentors, volunteers & donors.
VSM family is now spread over 5 centers across Maharashtra and in order to facilitate exchange of ideas amongst its ever expanding family; this year the event started early at 12 noon. The first hour was dedicated to “HEART TO HEART” exchange between the family members of different centers. Mentors and students shared the activities & achievements during past year.
Some of the salient achievements and activities conducted & shared were as under:
- Goal setting, Time management & Study skills workshop conducted at Pune Center
- Health & Hygiene Plan prepared for students by one of VSM MBBS Student
- Theme / Topic based discussion by KPs & Students being practiced by Pune & Borivali Centers in monthly meetings
- Activities creating awareness about Environment such as Tree plantation, Trekking etc.
This was followed by a very interesting and lively one hour session of BE FRANK conducted by VSM students – Anand Sapate & Bharat Kadam. BE FRANK is VSM’s exclusive platform for students to express their views without any inhibition; on a wide range of subjects. The topic this time was recent incidents of suicides by young students which was presented through a small skit. It was emphasized by all students to have an emotional connect within friends, families, relatives, teachers and have an “Inner Circle” with whom we can share everything without any reservations. VSM student Manasi Doke narrated a poem “Kase Aahaat – Majet” (How are you – Fine) which aptly summarized the BE FRANK topic.
The very lively BE FRANK session was followed by awards presentation to VSM students who have excelled last year in their respective fields.
This was followed by a song by VSM Music Carole composed by Mrs Jyoti Deshkar
VSM’s Founder and Guiding light Mr Bhau Nanivadekar then presented the Annual Report for the Year 2016-17. He emphasized that VSM would like to grow without compromising on QUALITY and its core VALUES. In line of this philosophy during 2017-18 VSM will be supporting 250 students as against 225 last year. He informed that last year 40 students have passed out from VSM bringing students who have successfully completed their academic career to over 200. He gratefully acknowledged the support extended by our DONORS to meet the increasing budgets. Bhau mentioned that VSM is getting increasing support from people from diverse fields who are keen to be a part of VSM family as Volunteers/Mentors.
Bhau’s speech was followed by presentation of Meenatai Patankar Awards. This is an annual fixture on our Foundation Day whereby VSM acknowledges contribution made by VSM students in the field of Social service to the community. This year the four awardees and their field of social service was as under:
- Aruna Pattewar (Helping Blind students in their studies)
- Ashsish Shelar (Women Empowerment – Helped 40 women in getting loan for Auto Rickshaw)
- Payal Ade (Collects clothes for distribution to very poor/street people, filling potholes near her college thus leading by example)
- Sagar Gade (Makes posters for Cancer Awareness/ Drug addiction; Introducing Alphabets to very poor village children through cartoons)
Diksha Dinde and Bharat Kadam were also applauded for their outstanding achievements.
Adarsh Palak Puraskar
Every year VSM also felicitates parents of VSM students who have displayed highest resolve and determination in education of their children in the face of heavy adversities. This year the awardees were Shri Shivaji and Smt. Sunita Patil. The family faced a catastrophe during the 25th July 2005 flooding in Mumbai/Thane region. Their entire belongings were damaged & washed out and they were left to start everything from scratch. In spite of this the family never lost heart and steadfastly followed their children’s education. Their elder son Santosh has now completed Engineering and younger son Ajay is pursuing Degree Engineering after completing Diploma. Both students are supported by VSM so that the family could see their dream fulfilled.
It was now the turn of the star event of the function viz. the introduction of the Chief Guest and his interview by VSM volunteers Mrs. Suhasini Thakur & Karan Paradeshi. This year VSM was fortunate to have Dr. Sanjay Mangala Gopal, Associate Dean and HOD of Electrical Engg. Dept of VJTI. Dr Sanjay Mango as he is affectionately known shared his memories of VSM’s first anniversary and expressed happiness at VSM’s all round growth in last 8 years. He particularly appreciated the VSM system of continuous follow up with students by dedicated mentors. He stressed that VSM students should not lose touch with their childhood community after completing their academic career. This is extremely important so as to create awareness at the grassroot level about the change education can bring about.
The interview with Chief Guest was very lively and Dr Sanjay Mango shared his entire journey from a lower middle class childhood to getting Doctorate, working with renowned experts in the field of energy conservation in Universities abroad to his present role at VJTI and in social life. Dr. Sanjay Mango besides associated with various energy conservation measures such as “AKSHAR URJA ABHIYAAN” in &around Thane city is also the President of “Samata Vichar Pracharak Manch” which works in the slum areas of Thane to bring about social change. They also give “Eklavya Puraskar” to students from underprivileged communities for passing SSC examination with merit.
The event was also graced by Mr Sanjay Kelkar, Local MLA who praised the attitude and commitment of VSM in shaping the lives of hundreds of under privileged children.
Thereafter VSM volunteers and students shared their experiences as how the association with VSM have enriched their lives and put them on a learning curve.
The programe concluded with Vote of Thanks by Mrs Jayashree Matsye and song composed by Mrs Jyoti Deshkar and sung by VSM students.