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Activities of SIGMA-oikos - The social committee of XLRI

  • XLRI is the only Indian Business School in India (and among the first 100 in the world) which is a signatory of UN Global Compact's PRME - Principles of Responsible Management Education.
  • Since 2009, XLRI has been hosting the National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship, which is attended by 160-200 development sector professionals, social entrepreneurs, academics and students.
  • All students as a part of their induction to the institute are sent on the Village Exposure trip, where they stay in the interior villages to understand the realities of rural India.
  • XLRI supports viable social venture projects by students by providing them with technical help, network support and seed money through its XLRI Social Entrepreneurship Trust and Fr Aruppe Centre for Ecology and Sustainability.

Social Projects undertaken by SIGMA - oikos

SIGMA-oikos (Social Initiative Group for Managerial Assistance) is committee at XLRI, which undertakes socially relevant projects on a regular basis. Most of these projects are handed down to the subsequent batches, and thus, become part of students' activities. SIGMA tied up with international agency oikos, Switzerland in 2012. This association gives SIGMA a network of like-minded students and practitioners across the world to share ideas and work together for a better tomorrow.

Proud to Ride Cycling Initiative: SIGMA-oikos in association with SAC (Student Affair Council) launched a Campus Cycle Project, with a pilot run of 36 cycles to commute between the old and the new campus. The initiative is a small step towards a greener future, with an aim to reduce the time and effort of students to move between the two campuses. SIGMA hopes to take this initiative forward and add more cycles in phases.

Spot Cleaning: SIGMA-oikos started the Spot Cleaning initiative this year with the 'Khalsa School' in the suburbs of Golmuri. 20-25 XLRI students volunteered for this project and helped the SIGMA members in the cleaning drive. The cleaning drive involves cleaning and beautifying a chosen Spot. Through this, SIGMA hopes to extend the 'Swacch Bharat Abhiyan' into reality as well as make an impact in a way that it serves as an incentive to maintain the area and clean it in future too.

With this into consideration, in addition to cleaning the place, the boundary walls were adored with environmental snippets, hoping to instill a sense of earthly-hood in the budding school kids. Not only were the school dwellers impacted, but the entire area of the Basti, by seeing the students working, were inspired and pledged to take this initiative forward. We believe in not just executing but also passing on the power.

Passing on the knowledge so as to incorporate more and more earth dwellers into this initiative of fixing the work.

The second Spot Cleaning Drive was conducted as a Sanitation awareness drive, part of Hand Wash Behaviour Change Program and another step towards the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'. Around 30 volunteers, from the college walked up to the 'Beldih Basti', where most of our mess workers and cleaning staff live. With brooms and shovels, they set about cleaning the area around their houses, playgrounds and schools making them realize the importance of cleanliness in our surroundings. Its success could be seen in the way the children were seen running around shouting the slogan, "1 2 3 4...Haath Dhoyein Baar Baar".

Basic Computer Literacy Program (BCLP): The Basic Computer Literacy Program was started in 2007 as an outcome of XLRI's Village Exposure Program for all students. This initiative was a result of the desire to fulfil the needs expressed by the youth to have basic computer literacy skills. BCLP is a 15 module course, designed and delivered by the students to a group of 40-50 young people, who come from less-privileged backgrounds, but have an urge to learn. The program uses the Computer Lab facilities of XLRI and is delivered over weekends - and is now a regular student-managed activity at the institute.

Daan-Utsav: Jamshedpur JoyFest: Since 2009, when the Daan-Utsav (earlier known as Joy of Giving Week) was launched as a nation-wide "festival of philanthropy", XLRI has been anchoring it for the entire city of Jamshedpur. During the last five years, by involving and mobilizing support from the local community (corporate, schools, civil society organizations, etc.), SIGMA-oikos anchored and facilitated the Joy of Giving festival in Jamshedpur as "Jamshedpur JoyFest". During the week, the XLRI students engaged in a variety of events involving volunteerism and giving.

  • VastraSamman & Ann Daan (Donation of clothes and dry ration): Students visited faculty and staff residences during the entire JoG Week and collected the items. Collection bins had also been put in the hostels. The collection drive was facilitated across the city of Jamshedpur with schools as collection point. SIGMA also collaborated with the Auto Association of Jamshedpur to spread awareness about the event.
  • The Gift of Time- Visit to NirmalHryuday: NirmalHryuday is an Old Age Home and Orphanage in Baridih, Jamshedpur, meant for those who have been abandoned by the society or their families. It is run by the Missionaries of Charity. During the Joy of Giving Week, students of XLRI visited them, took sweets, provisions for a month along with love and affection and spent time with more than 100 residents of NirmalHryuday.
  • Donation and Distribution of Un-used but Usable Medicines: An initiative to collect unused but usable medicines was rolled out in association with a city-based NGO, Cause for Change. The medicines collected were sorted and distributed to charitable clinics and health camps organized by NGOs and some civil society bodies.
  • Kehkaha Day:  We facilitated a talent show for the children of XLRI workers and 70 children from an orphanage in Jamshedpur called Somaya Children Memorial School on XLRI campus. Students of XLRI acted as Secret Santa for the kids and gifted them with school bags and pencil boxes
  • Wish Tree: The students of XLRI fulfilled the wishes of the kids from the orphanage & the elderly of the Old Age Home through a Wish Tree which was kept at various locations on campus and had the wishes.
  • Serving Those Who Serve Us: The students of XLRI felicitated the workers of XLRI by celebrating 'Serving Those Who Server Us Day' and playing a football match with the workers. It was also an opportunity for us to give back to the workers of XLRI as we organized breakfast and lunch for them.

Blood Donation Camps:
Two blood-donation camps were organized by SIGMA-oikos in the month of July & December in 2014, in association with the Red Cross Society of Jamshedpur, the Government Hospital of Jamshedpur and HDFC. These camps are the annual feature at XLRI, and blood donated by the students at these camps goes to the cancer patients' hospital or the government hospital where people of extremely modest means from nearby villages come for treatment. In all, more than 200 units of blood are normally collected during these camps.

XAT training: SIGMA-oikos conducted specialized classes for quant, data interpretation, English and GK to support XITE students in their preparation for XAT and other MBA exams. These classes were focused on enhancing the problem solving skills. These sessions were conducted in a manner that ensured individual attention to each student. Students who topped the XAT exam conducted these sessions to ensure maximum benefit to the aspiring.

Mentor Mentee: Counseling for Students of class 9th and 10th: Mentor-Mentee is a counseling initiative launched by SIGMA-oikos in collaboration with Kasidih High School and Kerala Samajam Model School. In this initiative, XLRI students volunteered to mentor school children belonging to financially disadvantaged background. 'Mentor-Mentee' is a holistic programme that covers all aspects of counseling that a child may require such as moral counselling, coping with parental or familial issues, career counseling etc

Manthan- The Case Study Competition: Sigma in association with team Ensemble organized "Manthan", a case study competition as part of Ensemble 2015. The competition allowed participants to work on a real-time problem related to the operations of 'Okhai', a CSR initiative of Tata Chemicals Ltd. Their recently opened Jamshedpur store, called 'Okhai-Karigar', was not making sales to its potential, and this was floated as a LIVE case study. 6 shortlisted teams came down to XLRI campus for the final round, where they were given 20 hours to get down the brass tacks and come up with innovative, practicable, and cost-effective solutions. The presentations encompassed an analysis of the current scenario, understanding the operations of the store, a strategic business plan and finally, recommendations and Implementation plan. The success of the event was a shot in the arm for promoting the local culture and artifacts through the Okhai Store.

Unified Sports Event: SIGMA-oikos in association with 'Jeevika', held a Unified Sports Event in November. Jeevika is a local NGO that runs a training centre for children with special needs. It uses sports as a means to instill self confidence in the kids and improve their overall well being. Students of XLRI volunteered to play with the students of Jeevika and encourage them in their efforts. The Event was a success and brought a smile to every single participant. In addition, we also assisted Jeevika in setting up a Diwali stall in campus for students, staff and faculty, equipped with beautiful artifacts made by the children of the NGO.

Rakhi Stall: This year, before Rakhi SIGMA-oikos assisted in setting up a stall to sell products such as rakhis, greeting cards, mats, aprons and dusters which were prepared by differently abled kids from 'School of Hope', a local NGO.

The products are manufactured as a part of the vocational training program at School of Hope in order to enable and empower differently abled kids to integrate into the main stream society as fully as possible. The products were made available at the stall at nominal rates for students, faculty and staff. Members from SIGMA helped in manning the stall and ensuring maximum sales for the NGO.

SIGMAtoons: An initiative by SIGMA, SIGMAtoons aspires to influence students of XLRI about day to day activities with socially relevant messages. It includes cartoon strips with small but impactful messages like saving electricity, food and water. SIGMAtoons is published on the facebook page of SIGMA-oikos once every 2 weeks. It is one of the important initiatives of SIGMA to influence sustainable living in the campus.

Collection of Paper & Utilities from seniors: Every year SIGMA collects the photocopies/handouts/books from the batch and the ones which are printed on one side are sent for making notebooks & the two sided ones are shredded and used for recycling. The academic year ends with collection of utilities from seniors who graduate and leave behind a lot of usable utilities. The same is donated to local NGOs in Jamshedpur.

National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship: SIGMA-oikos organised the 8th annual National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship in January, 2015. The theme of this year's conference was Social Innovations: Changing Lives and Society. The conference attracted the leading minds and practitioners working in the country's social sector. The 3 day conference provided the participants an ideal platform for networking and knowledge sharing.