Enactus, formerly known as Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) is an international non-profit student-run organisation in 39 countries around the world and has over 70,000 students as active members. Enactus brings together a diverse network of university students, academic professionals and industry leaders around the world with the shared mission of creating a better and more sustainable world.
Enactus SRCC since its inception in 2007, has taken up 14 community outreach projects till date, of which 12 have been completed and 2 are continuing. Their two running projects are Project Asbah and Project Virasat.
Here, Team Enactus SRCC is sharing their experience of being involved in beyond the classroom activities. Their hard work has the potential to propel them ahead of the curve.
Go ahead and know what their story has to offer so that you can easily find a path of self-growth. Young Influxers go ahead and upgrade yourself!!!
What are your projects? Briefly list the responsibilities associated with it.
Project Asbah is an endeavour to provide clean drinking water to urban and rural slums at highly affordable rates i.e. Rs. 4/- for 20L through contaminant specific filtration mechanisms.
Project Virasat is an umbrella organisation that aims to revive the age-old craft-forms of India. Under Project Virasat, we have established P-TAL (abbreviated for Punjabi Thathera Art Legacy) in an effort to revive the dying art form of handcrafting copper and brass utensils using hammering techniques, by mobilising artisans and providing them contemporary designs and better demand avenues.
With valuable guidance from our Business Advisory Board, partner organisations and advisors, we strive to use entrepreneurial action to positively impact all members of society, living our values of passion, innovation, integrity and collaboration in all that we do.
What’s it like to juggle between leadership roles and academics? Pen down the challenges you faced.
Well, it is amazing to do the work which impacts society at large. But being young social entrepreneurs doesn’t free you from being a college student.
Enactus has running projects working at a large scale which requires a time commitment from its members. College, on the other hand, ends up with those never-ending presentation and assignment deadlines.
Our team effectively divides the work and follows a well-defined structure. With this, work doesn’t get compromised and all of us in this process learn to manage our time for academics, enactus, family and friends.
There is no denial of the fact that a college student has to face the daily pressures of academics, societies and career. But we are fortunate enough that enactus generates the perfect set of guidance for all of us and helps us cope with these pressures and manage our tasks well. Overall Enactus is not just a society that one becomes a part of, rather Enactus becomes a part of oneself.
Did you also get a chance to connect with any other activity while working on these projects?
Enactus SRCC has reached out to a lot of people by being a part of various competitions and organising various events.
Enactus SRCC had the privilege of representing India for three glorious days at the Enactus World Championship 2018, held from the 9th to 11th of October in San Jose, California. Amongst 36 countries, we were adjudged as the Second Runners Up in the Main Competition.
In 2019, Project Asbah won the World Water Race Competition out of 120+ projects from all across the globe, making our project the best water project in the world. Project Asbah was also adjudged as the winner of the health impact award at the ASIA social Innovation Awards 2020.
Project Virasat was applauded with the World Trade Center Award for Innovation and Impact for revival efforts towards the Thathiar Craft of Jandiala Guru. It is also the recipient of the SKOCH award which is the highest civilian honour in the country, conferred by any independent organisation.
During the coronavirus pandemic, we identified an opportunity and launched a 2-week social entrepreneurship development programme(SEIP), an initiative to help develop the entrepreneurial spirit in young minds around us.
Apart from this we also host a social entrepreneurship summit every year to give an opportunity to various individuals to turn their ideas into reality.
What are the top learnings, skills and values that you acquired here?
Enactus is always instrumental in providing students with an endless list of learnings, skills and values which cannot be learnt otherwise. It has been a way for all of us to grow as a person, individually and with everyone, that is working together in a team by following the principle of ‘we all win’.
It has added to the knowledge that we have and has opened the doors of practical learning through the work that we do in our projects, which is bringing classroom education to practice. At the end of the day, we hope to make our members complete individuals by providing them with holistic development. Apart from soft skills, we all have learnt various other qualities like negotiation, better networking, situation handling, analysis etc.
During these uncertain and testing times, the pandemic took a huge toll on various sectors of society.
With the urge to throttle into the ‘New Normal’ and the desire to go ‘VocalforLocal’, Innovation and Creativity are of supreme importance. Project Virasat, through its design innovation, robust digital marketing and most importantly, perseverance has generated sustainable revenues for our artisans during these unprecedented times to ensure that they don’t have to suffer in any way.
Similarly, in Project asbah, our women entrepreneurs, redefining the spirit of entrepreneurship and understanding the importance of clean drinking water, fought selflessly each day to provide water to the community by operating the plants with all the safety norms being followed religiously.
This way Enactus has taught us to find the ray of light in the darkest of times. Enactus brings a lot of learning opportunities for its members, it has built an emotion in all of us which helps us convert problems into opportunities for a brighter future for all.
Do you feel your current role fills you with pride and gratitude? Illustrate how the experience gained will help you going forward.
Being a part of Enactus SRCC has given all of us the opportunity to become part of something bigger than ourselves, to spread happiness and smiles in our community. Nothing compares to the pride that we get when we make someone’s life better.
The two ongoing projects impact 30000+ lives on a daily basis. We are immensely grateful to all the people involved in making our projects successful and where they stand today, be it our artisans in Project Virasat where they work very hard to maintain the legacy of India, our Women entrepreneurs in Project Asbah wherein they tirelessly provide clean drinking water with every day or our integral third party stakeholders.
Each of us has a sense of pride whenever we talk about our projects, the pride in bringing change in people’s lives for the betterment, pride in turning our ideas into realities and feelings of gratitude for each other we work with.
This entire experience made us realise the happiness present in small little things. It developed us overall which will help us for our professional lives as well as personal lives, striving to make oneself a better person each day. One of the many things Enactus has done for all of us is that it has changed everyone for their good.
In the process of impacting our communities, Enactus has left a far greater impact on all of us, imprinting its ideals and values on our minds.
Lastly, we all live by the principle of – ’We rise by lifting others’.
As when we talk about leadership we have a whole team with us. How do you persuade others to accept your ideas/ways?
Being in enactus has taught us a lot of things but what really makes it worth it is the team.
The ability to persuade others has always been a top leadership and communication skill. But, right from the first day, every student who gets to be a part of our team has a priority of building trust and respect for each other. It creates an environment of healthy learning and growing. It is only then that each member has full confidence in putting across his/her views and ideas and at the same time develops a welcoming and approachable attitude for what other members in the team has to say.
The working atmosphere that we have is based on taking initiatives and even a single individual can put forward his/her ideas and the entire team is there to support and guide while doing it.
Being in Enactus allowed us to be less ordinary. It made our lives less about ours and more about all the other people involved in it.
What is the message to students, aspiring to the same or a similar role to do?
“We seek, we strive, we create, we empower”. This is the motto that inspires us every day. We at Enactus SRCC believe that positive action, no matter how small, is a step towards positive change.
Building a sustainable social enterprise is probably one of the biggest challenges one will ever face, but given enough time and experience, it’s not impossible to succeed. If one has the willingness, passion and determination to bring a change then one can indeed do anything.
So keep these factors in mind when you get the chance to take your idea out of the drawing board. Always believe in your cause, and give it your best shot!
How can we (Friends, Family, YI Fraternity) encourage young students such as yourself to engage with co-curricular or extra-curricular activities?
We would always motivate young students to pursue what they want and if they are passionate about something, then that is what it takes someone to engage in co-curricular activities.
Academics is surely very important, however, co-curricular act as complements to academics and enhance a student’s learning experience.
With the right passion, willingness and ardent desire to learn something we are sure that young minds engaging themselves in co-curricular can make a difference.
We at Young Influx would take this opportunity to thank Enactus SRCC’s committed team for taking a leap of faith and sharing their impeccable story. We are humbled and grateful, your efforts mean a lot for the youth seeking growth and development.
And hello, dear readers, we welcome you to explore the platform with an open mind. Help yourself gain the most out of the experiences and opportunities listed here.
And before you bid us adieu, we would like you to know that you can read more such student stories here.