With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic bringing the country to an unprecedented standstill, many schools and alumni associations are stepping forward in their efforts to give back to the society. Rahul Kohli, president of the Doon School Old Boys Society, told The Daily Guardian, “We have supplied 2.5 million meals in Meerut alone in the last month. About 8,500 sanitiser bottles, 10,000 masks, and 6,500 biscuit packets for the police have also been given. We have done similar things in Dehradun as well. These are all free supplies given to us by old boys who want to help and give back to society.”
For school children, the earlier routine of putting on a school uniform, packing bags and attending classes has undergone a tremendous shift. With most schools opting for online classes through video applications like ‘Zoom’ and ‘Google Classrooms’, it can be difficult for children to get accustomed to such methods in face of looming uncertainty regarding the return of normalcy.
These alumni associations are also helping these children adapt to these new methods of teaching. “We are reaching out to alumni and having zoom sessions with them in an endeavour to inspire everyone to do something in this situation. Online classes started happening a week after the kids reached home. The need is to help students and new alumni going forth, because it’s a whole new world. They may have plans for XYZ job but that may not exist in the future. Mentorship is very important,” says Parneet Bubber, vice-president, Old Sanawarian Society.
Vineet Sarin, president, Modern School Old Students Association, said: “This is our centenary. The moment this crisis hit, the association decided to contribute Rs 5 lakh from its savings. We are currently in the process of tapping our entire network across the globe.” It’s not just one school, the alumni of many other schools have come together to help those in need.
“We are providing food for thousands of people here. These meals are made at the school campus in the kitchen. I have been involved in two roles. First is managing the school with the help of the principal; second is alumni. The first point is the safety of the children. We ensured that all children reached their parents and were safe,” says Devraj Singh Badgers, V-P, Board of Governors, Daly College. It’s also a particularly difficult time for those who would graduate this year, but their seniors are ensuring that they have an elder to guide them in these unprecedented times. “They will require a lot of handholding, input and help.
Alumni will have to get together and dip into their resources as to what new ways and situations can be generated for them to be professionals. We are taught at school to pay back to society. If we have the faculty to generate jobs, then we are able to pay back society in many ways. It isn’t necessary to just give scholarships,” says vice-president, Mayo College Old Boys Society. Just like Mayo, the Welham Girls Alumni Association says it is working to create a network for its juniors who pass out this year. “There’s a whole new world out there.
We no longer need to be stuck in a box. We’ve had time to evaluate what is important. The boarding schools on this panel have created a sub-society where we are trying to create a platform for charitable work but also providing networking for our children when they exit the school,” says Shivani Anand, Welham Girls Alumni Association. From reaching out to their juniors to helping the unprivileged at large, the alumni are doing all they can to help the country in this time of crisis.