volunteers generally work with villages, slums and voluntary agencies to
complete 120 hours of regular activities during an academic year. As per the fundamental principles of National Service Scheme, a
volunteer is expected to remain in constant touch with the community. Hence, it
is of vital importance that a particular village/slum is selected for
implementation of NSS programmes. As the NSS volunte4er is to live with the
members of the community and learn from their experience during his/her tenure
in NSS, the village/slum should be carefully selected for adoption by NSS unit.
1. Adoption of Villages
1.1 Adoption of a village and area is a very
meaningful programme in NSS. It is far better to concentrate attention on one
village and take up the task for development perspective, than to fritter away
energy in many locations involving too many activities which may not be
completed at all or where the follow up action may not be possible. From this
point of view, village adoption programme should ensure continuity of work
vis-a-vis sustained action, evaluation and follow up work.
Contacting Village/Area Leaders
1.2 As a first step in this programme, it is necessary to establish
contact with more than one village which would help to select a village where
'Leadership' is well established. In other words, selecting a village with
proper leadership is very important as the sustained follow up action and
evaluation is ensured in such places. To start with, the NSS unit can take the
help of the Block Authorities, District Panchayat Officer, District Tribal
Welfare Officer, District Medical Officer, Extension Officer of Agriculture,
Irrigation and Education Departments for the selection of the village. It is to
be noted that the selected villages should be within a short distance from the
college so that constant contact can easily be made.
of the Village/Area
1.3 Before drawing up the plan of action, it is absolutely
necessary to conduct a comprehensive survey of few villages situated at a short
distance from the college. The assistance from the teachers and students of
agriculture, economics, commerce, geography, statistics, home science, social
work, medicine, psychology and education etc. have to be sought for the
purpose. Conducting socio-economic survey can be an interesting field activity
which has direct bearing on the curriculum of economics, commerce, statistics,
psychology, health education etc. The report of such a survey will provide
up-to-date information about the problems and potentials of the village and
help in programme planning for village development. The applied field work will
help the students to increase their analytical ability and deepen their
thinking. Further, this will help them to identify the problems which have been
left unnoticed. The survey work can also be accomplished with the help of PRA
exercises (Participatory Rural Appraisal)
1.4 It is on the basis of
this need assessment that projects/programmes are to be formulated. The
programme officers should use their discretion and should identify the projects
which can be completed by seeking assistance from the communities/other
1.5 As the aim of adoption of
village or area is to give new ideas of development to the villagers which
would improve their living conditions. Once the trust of the communities is won,
they start cooperating with the NSS volunteers and approach them for solution
of their problems. One of the important services that can be rendered by NSS
volunteers is disseminating information about the latest developments in
agriculture, watershed management, wastelands development, non-conventional
energy, low cost housing, sanitation, nutrition and personal hygiene, schemes
for skill development, income generation, government schemes, legal aid,
consumer protection and allied field. A liaison between government and other
development agencies like Banks, IRDP, ICDS, NREP, DWCRA, JRY etc. can also be
1.6 The Programme Officers (PO) should motivate the communities to
involve themselves with NSS for the community development work undertaken by the
NSS unit. Further he or she will have to seek the help of various government
departments and agencies for technical advice and financial assistance.
Therefore, he/she must establish lathes good rapport with the government
officials and development agencies. For this, it is better if the
administration is taken into confidence by prior consultations.
Completion of Projects
1.7 As already stated, the
Programme Officer must select the projects very carefully as the image of NSS
depends upon the successful completion of such projects. Successful completion
of the projects can win appreciation and credit of the community'
Evaluation of Project
1.8 Every project should be evaluated after its completion by
involving members of the community, Government officials and Panchayat
officials. The NSS unit should learn from the lapses in the execution of the
project and plan for the next project keeping in view the bottlenecks and
constraints faced by them during the earlier project.
2. Adoption of Slums
the colleges and universities are usually located in the urban areas. Due to
long distance between the college campuses and the villages, the visits
adopted villages by the NSS volunteers may become expensive and time consuming.
In view of this, it is desirable to adopt slum especially by colleges located
in urban areas.
of the Slum
2.1 For adoption of a slum, there should be
composite survey team consisting of students drawn from faculties like, Arts,
Science, Engineering, Medicine, Home Science and Social Work etc. The selected
areas should be compact and should be easily accessible for students. Areas
with acute political conflicts may be avoided.
2.2 The issues pertaining to the identification
of problems, project planning, interaction and coordination with the various
departmental agencies, execution and completion of projects shall be undertaken
on the same basis/lines as discussed earlier in the part 'Adoption of
Villages'. The progress of projects should also be reviewed frequently.
Services in Slums
slum, tenements, Jhuggis and Jhoupris can be adopted by the NSS units with the
aim of slum improvement and check its spread. Under this, activities like
providing water, water logging, sanitation, electricity, drainage, health and
welfare services, life and living conditions, can be undertaken.
volunteers for Slum Work
2.4 Taking into account the living conditions & status
of slum dwellers of the slums, only highly motivated, adaptable, mature
and skilled students should, be selected for slum development.
2.5 Following are the tasks which the students can undertake in
Community Investigators: They can
prepare brief community profile on various slums in the city or town covering
different amenities, services, and living conditions etc.
As Community Workers: They can identify local leaders and in cooperation with
them discuss local problems on which cooperative action can be initiated.
As Programme Aides: Students can help
the local communities' in launching a number of programmes like setting up a
free milk distribution centre, sanitation drive, recreation, adult lad primary
education, health projects like immunization. first aid centre, child care,
nutrition classes, and free legal aid centres etc. They can also help in
forming youth clubs, children's groups, mahila mandals etc.
(d) As Community Organizers: NSS students, after establishing rapport
with the slum dwellers, can form community association to tackle local problems
on a group basis with reliance on local resources, self help and mutual aid and
with some minimum external assistance.
2.6 Some suggestions for
Selection of slums
There should be a socio-economic survey of the slum by a
team of volunteers drawn from different faculties;
The selected area should be compact. There should not be
more than 300 residents in an adopted slum;
The community people should be receptive to the ideas of
improving their living standard. They should also be ready to coordinate and
involve in the projects undertaken by the NSS for their upliftment;
The areas where political conflicts are likely to arise
should be avoided by the NSS units;
The area should be easily accessible to the NSS volunteers
to undertake frequent visits to slums;
The working in the slum needs commitment and hard work.
Only sensitive and highly motivated NSS volunteers can find easy to serve in
with Voluntary Organizations
It may be noted that the NSS unit has no financial
resource to implement any programme in the adopted villages or slum on its own.
Therefore, a successful unit has to closely coordinate with the government
agencies and voluntary organisations working in this field.
3.1 After identification of the needs of the community and the
selection of projects, the programme officer should look for the Government
agency or a voluntary organisation who can assist in the completion of a
particular project. The different departments of the Government like forest,
agriculture, adult education, health, child and family welfare, can render very
useful assistance to the project pertaining to community work. Voluntary
organisations can also help in forming public opinion in favour of NSS
projects. Adult education samitis, Nasha Bandi Boards, Yuva Mandals and Manila
Mandals can provide additional assistance to the NSs units. Similarly voluntary
land statutory welfare agencies such as Community Centres, Residential
Institutions for children/women, the Aged and Institutions for physically
handicapped and disabled can provide a wide scope of the choice of service to
the NSS volunteers. NSS volunteers can be placed with these agencies
considering the inherent aptitudes and inclinations of NSS volunteers. NSS
volunteers must be told to develop a sense of belonging and respect for the
people with whom they are working. Working in close collaboration with these
agencies will help the NSS volunteers in understanding the problems of a
vulnerable section of the society. The work opportunities in the welfare
institutions may be enumerated as under-
adoption of welfare institutions and helping the inmates
and staff by arranging outings, fund collection drives, reading and writing
letters for those who are unable to do so;
propagation of the message of small family norms, health
education, small savings drives etc;
working for improvement of physical environment;
of non-formal education and general literacy classes;
organisation of economic development activities;
of hobby centres and
in the rehabilitation work of the disabled, destitute etc.
addition, NSS units and welfare agencies can take up joint community development
projects and other programmes of community welfare land awareness depending on
the local needs.
3.2 The NSS Programme Officers should plan activities in the
adopted village or slum in such a way that the leisure time of the NSS
volunteers can be utilized in the service of adopted village or slum. Week-end
visits to the adopted areas provide suitable opportunities to live with the
community and know their problems and make an earnest effort to do something
for them. Similarly efforts should be made to follow up the work done in the
areas earlier. Such sustained efforts will flower into friendship between the
NSS unit and the community. These activities can be arranged through one day
camps and frequent visits under regular activities.