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Vijeesh Vijayan - Primary Short-listed Nominee - Social Volunteer Awards 2021

I'm Vijeesh Vijayan, a Mechanical Engineering Graduate from Musaliar College of Engineering, Pathanamthitta. Currently working in Kerala Water Authority under Jal Jeevan Mission project. I am serving as the Volunteer Coordinator of DC Volunteers. I have worked with the District Administration Pathanamthitta & National Service Scheme Technical Cell Kerala. I got Punarjjani State Appreciation Award in the year 2017 as Field Officer, NSS Technical Cell of Pathanamthitta district & the NSS N-ACT Appreciation Award in recognition for outstanding contribution in various projects. I also got the Punarjjani 2018 Best Asset Achiever Award under the NSS Technical Cell. Received special appreciation award from the former Pathanamthitta District Collector PB Nooh IAS on behalf of the District Administration for coordinating all the volunteer activities in the district during the tough times like 2018 Kerala Flood, Covid’19 and other activities. Served as Project Manager of SAGY under AICTE.


VOLUNTEERING FOR ME

Realisation of self-worth is the greatest treasure. At one point in my life, I realised that life can be so much more than what we all see every day. We are born to do something worthwhile, and make the world better for future generations too. Volunteering, the word, gives me strength to be selfless, make someone’s life fulfilling and see the reward from their face. It can mould you into a better person, can add-in to your skills and abilities, and it should come out of a passion.


VOLUNTEERING JOURNEY

Being a part of different clubs in school days, I was a part of many social welfare programs. My 12th standard in 2012 laid a path to this journey, from where I Joined National Service Scheme (NSS). To start from this, I am a very proud NSS volunteer. The word is in my blood, and actions are always in my mouth and heart. I prefer doing this because it gives me pleasure and satisfaction. Every day, I am content with what I did yesterday to change someone’s life. And this is my daily inspiration.


VOLUNTEERING STORY

I started my volunteering in 2013, along with those who joined NSS in school. It was my basic learning place from where I learned about communities, people, life, friendship and much more. I met people with challenges, inabilities and difficulties. I realised that we all are born with different skills, and we have to find those areas where we can successfully apply our skills. Along the journey, I started learning about the challenges, thinking about solutions and have got the urge to support the small needs of people who come along my way. This process gradually gave me more happiness. I was volunteering in my college through the same platform and the experience it has given to me as a college going student was splendid. I was a part of many projects there. After completing my regular volunteering hours, I got a chance to work as N-ACT member and Field officer of NSS Technical cell, Kerala. Being in charge of different NSS cells under my leadership, I was able to coordinate and accomplish many government projects. Each project was different, I experienced challenges and faced problems. This was a learning platform where I could implement my skills and decisions too. It built me technically, personally and professionally. Every day, it was teaching me that volunteering will change an ordinary man to an extraordinary one. Our society needs worthwhile changes, and this can be achieved efficiently through volunteers. Another great experience that changed my perspective on life was working in the District Administration on both the crisis situations- Flood 2018 & COVID-19. I was not a skill trained person for crisis management, but all I had to offer was my time & commitment to any work, which was needed enough at that point. When you volunteer, there is no better way to understand and help people in need. I have come to realise how precious my life is and how each day is truly gifted.

PROJECT DC Volunteers


ORGANISATION DC Volunteers


MISSION & VISION

‘Empowering Youth for the Betterment of the Society’ is the main mission of the project. The project aimed to ensure all the underprivileged and vulnerable classes of the society are happy and self-sufficient. There are a lot of things into which our attention can be put and through which the working of the entire system can be made more friendly. DC Volunteers worked with many government institutions, educational institutions and NGOs for making the world a better place to live.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

After the 2018 & 2019 Kerala flood, the idea of starting a voluntary peer group came into the mind. A group of people who are skilled in various fields like technical, non-technical, medical, managerial etc. are required for the smooth functioning of a system. Whenever a calamity or a pandemic hits, these volunteers will be an asset to the society. Initially we started forming a group of volunteers, trained them and made them capable of handling a worst situation very beautifully. After the official announcement of DC Volunteers by former Pathanamthitta District Collector PB Nooh IAS, very unfortunately and unexpectedly the first Covid’19 case was reported in Pathanamthitta district. Very soon upon the request of the district collector, DC Volunteers gathered at the District Collectorate and formed an Emergency Volunteer Covid Cell and still our team is working. We did contact tracing and route map designing of Covid positive patients, managed around 120 institutional quarantine centres with more than 2000 inmates at a time. DC volunteers were actively involved in District Border Thermal Screening, Interstate & International Travellers Quarantine Adherence, Hospital Duties, Sabarimala Pilgrim Screening, Oxygen War Room Management, Vaccination Data Entries and Management and so on. Under DC Volunteers more than 3,000 volunteers were working with the district administration at the time of Covid’19. At the same time we formed a team for Flood Research and Preparedness in light of the devastating flood of 2018. Since 2020, the district administration has been working on the updated Flood Action Plan 2020 prepared by DC Volunteers. Our team constantly monitors the river water levels and rainfall levels to ensure that there is no casualty or emergency. A database was created for the trees in the name “DIGITAL GARDEN : COLLECTORATE, PATHANAMTHITTA” and QR Codes were placed on every tree in the compound giving the entire information regarding that species. A project named Koodorukkam was launched , under which the bird species of the Collectorate compound were observed, captured their photos, framed them and placed on the Collectorate building giving awareness to the public regarding the fauna conservation. 7 anganwadis in the district were identified and did an Anganwadi Renovation Program. This project set an example for how a sombre government building can be converted into an aesthetic one with limited manpower and in a cost efficient way.


LENGTH OF SERVICE

We launched the project officially on February 19, 2020 and still I am are on it. I have spent more than 12,000 hours on this project.


ROLE IN PROJECT

I am serving as the Volunteer Coordinator of DC Volunteers. It was a really big task for managing more than 3000 volunteers neatly and efficiently all across Pathanamthitta District. Since every individual is different, it is common to have problems between the volunteers and between the officials and volunteers. But due to my timely interventions and presence no such problems have been reported yet. Since the formation of the team, I made sure that all the programs and activities were properly documented and were under proper channels. In every project, initially the team was divided into sub-groups and the entire work was uniformly distributed among them. This helped a lot to come with a good output and also timely completion of the activity. Whenever we associated with any government organisations or departments, I always kept a good relationship with the authorities and always made sure that the work progress and status were updated on time. Working with government officials and many eminent persons made me more focused and polished. Working with the District Administration Pathanamthitta was really a learning process for me. This wholesome experience helped me a lot to perform well in front of the interview board of Kerala Water Authority when I seeked for a job under Jal Jeevan Mission. My experience was good enough for them to hire me for their project.


IMPACT OF PROJECT

While working with the Pathanamthitta District Administration during the time of Covid’19, we could help a lot of people in the midst of a first time experiencing pandemic. We could feed a lot of people with food and medicines. Our timely interventions played a major role in controlling the spread of Coronavirus. By preparing an updated flood action plan for the district, we could avoid a flooding situation as of 2018 and 2019. By constantly examining rainfall and river water level, we could alert the common people on time and avoid emergencies. By launching projects related to environment and flora-fauna conservation, we could educate the public regarding the importance of biological eco balance which helps a lot to check the occurrence of more natural disasters. Anganwadi Renovation Projects and all helped to bring a new phase to those old government buildings. Anganwadis are the primary place where little budding stars of the future are getting trained and nurtured. If those places become good, it will automatically reflect the growth of these children. and also by making this project a success, it becomes a model for the administration and government to make the whole anganwadis to this level in a cost effective and beautiful way. We are looking forward to expanding the team to the whole district of kerala and to give attention to all other fields.


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

  • GOAL 1: No Poverty

  • GOAL 2: Zero Hunger

  • GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

  • GOAL 4: Quality Education

  • GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

  • GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • GOAL 15: Life on Land

  • GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

  • GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal


ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Awarded for Disaster Management, Lifesaving & Basic Scuba diving training conducted by Government of Kerala State Youth Welfare Board at National Adventure Academy.

  • Coordinated many state and district level camps of NSS Technical Cell Kerala - Played a key role in conducting different government projects initiated by NSS Technical Cell Kerala.

  • Project Manager of SAGY under AICTE. - SAGY (Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana)- a project under Central Government & AICTE for a rural development programme broadly focusing upon the development in villages. Responsible for effective coordination and adoption of village development programmes in Pathanamthitta district.

  • Punarjjani 2018 Best Asset Achiever Award- A project under the NSS Technical Cell to rebuild, renovate and rejuvenate the government assets in various government institutions. Instrumental role in restoration and reinstallation of fixed assets worth more than Ten Crores through the successful implementation of 'Punarjjani' 2017-18.

  • Received Punarjjani State Appreciation Award in 2017 as Field Officer, NSS Technical Cell of Pathanamthitta district & the NSS N-ACT appreciation award in recognition for outstanding contribution in various projects.

  • Got appreciation award from Pathanamthitta District Collector PB NOOH IAS for the courageous and sincere volunteering during the Kerala Flood 2018.

  • Received special appreciation award from district administration for coordinating all the activities involved during Covid'19 pandemic situation.

  • Appreciation for volunteering in SVEEP Activities on behalf of General Assembly Election of Kerala Legislative Assembly 2021 under the District Administration and District Election Office Pathanamthitta.


FUTURE PLANS

My future plan is to expand the team DC Volunteers all across Kerala. In the next two years, we will be a large community working in all sectors of society for the welfare and betterment of people, especially the vulnerables and underprivileged. A series of programs are under planning for the upliftment of Tribal communities and improving their educational status. I will be working to bring DC Volunteers to its next level by inviting more socially relevant projects and ideas from the public, giving assistance to growing peer groups focusing on social welfare. The world is not only a space for humans, but also for other living organisms. So we are planning to put more attention to environmental related problems and its solutions and also for the conservation of flora and fauna. I hope The Gulmohar Foundation and Institute of Social Volunteering can support us in our future endeavours. Associating with such a big team will always be a privilege for me and my team in this growing stage.


REFERENCE: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1t7BGRywMH7bkCSbcOU-RqUVRhJIfv2Cf?usp=sharing


Are you an aspiring volunteer, put your ideas into action at

National Volunteers Hackathon 2021

www.socialsolutionsindia.in/national-volunteers-hackathon-2021



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