SASTRA has also been sensitive and responsive to societal needs. Every year, SASTRA donates 5 kg rice, ½ kg toor dhal and 1 kg jaggery to about 1800 families of neighbouring five villages (Tirumalaisamudram, Vallampudur, Nattani, Munnaiyampatti & Kuruvadipatti) for Makara Sankaranthi.
Apart from this, SASTRA also lends help during natural calamities such as earthquake, tsunami, floods, etc.
The Management, Staff and Students contributed a sum of Rs. 1,24,80,800.00 towards the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for resurrecting various parts of Tamil Nadu that were affected by the THANE CYCLONE during December 2011. Out of the total contribution to the Relief Fund, the Management contributed Rs. 1 Crore, all teaching and non–teaching staff, by way of one day salary, Rs. 11,91,800.00 and all students of SASTRA University Rs.12,89,000.00.
Tsunami relief work
SASTRA constructed 39 community shelters, provided safe drinking water, distributed fibre–glass boats to fishermen and Kalam Calipers to 177 physically challenged children as part of tsunami relief work.
Kumbakonam school fire tragedy
In the fire tragedy that took place in a noon–meal school at Kumbakonam, 91 children lost their lives. SASTRA provides complete financial support for the education of one sibling in each of the families of the 91 victims.
SASTRA SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES
SASTRA University launched a free one-year skill development programme in CNC Machining, Forging & Welding on February 23, 2012. This programme was launched by Shri S.Ramadorai, Advisor to Prime Minister of India, National Council on Skill Development.This programme was conceptualised and designed after obtaining inputs over a one-year period from many stakeholders. 39 students are currently attending this programme at the production centre. These students come from various challenged socio-economic backgrounds. A monthly stipend of Rs.5,000 is given to each student to meet the cost of learning, travel and food. On successful completion of the programme, the students will benefit by securing employment in nearby industries or be encouraged by SASTRA with some handholding facilities to start their own business. The University is also issuing a certificate for each successful student and is also taking appropriate steps with the Government of India to grant ITI equivalence to this certificate to enable the students to integrate into mainstream formal higher education. Many discussions have been held with the Prime Minister’s Advisor and necessary steps have been initiated.
Seven units of 100 student volunteers each lead by a faculty member are functioning in the University. The service activities include –
Conducting free medical, dental and veterinary camps
Blood donation camps
SASTRA has been awarded the best blood donation camp organizer by the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society for having donated 927 units of blood in a single year.
SASTRA Community Out Reach Programme (SCORE)
SCORE was formally inaugurated by the former President of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam during the SASTRA Silver Jubilee inauguration on 2nd October 2008. This initiative was started with a view to sensitize the youth towards various social issues, especially to understand the problems of the rural poor and to inculcate the spirit of social service and humanism.
In this programme, interested students are encouraged to engage themselves in socially relevant projects and submit reports. This is an optional one–credit course for the students. Under this programme, 1200 students were divided into 120 groups and carried out social engineering projects on Health and Sanitation, Literacy awareness, Computer Awareness, Energy Conservation, Legal Awareness, Water quality testing, Awareness about various central and state government schemes, Environmental management and Women’s rights in six neighbouring villages.
Campaign on Road Safety
A massive road safety awareness campaign was launched on June 19, 2009 in which material regarding road safety and the importance of wearing helmet to more than 5000 two–wheeler riders at five strategic locations in Trichy. City police commissioner, Mr. Karuna Sagar, IPS, inaugurated the programme.
The Green SASTRA project was launched on 17th August 2009 by Mr. M. B. Nirmal, Founder Chairman, EXONARA International and 120 tree saplings were planted by the students.
Under the aegis of NMEICT, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and SASTRA, have jointly taken up a project of preparing spoken tutorials for the rural and under–privileged people of this country by using ICT tools and knowledge. Students prepared a 10–minute spoken tutorial on useful topics like safety, nutrition, farming, business, computer literacy, employment, etc to rural youth, children, traders, farmers, etc. So far 100 such turorials have been prepared and the number will increase every year.
Village Development Programme
SASTRA has adopted the neighbouring Tirumalaisamudram village with a goal to transform it into a model village with 100% sanitation, education, employment, housing, etc.
School Development Programme (SDP)
Coaching classes on English, Science and Mathematics were conducted for the XI and XII standard students of Boys Higher Secondary School, Vallam. Similarly, a motivational camp was conducted at Girls Higher Secondary School, Vallam. Books on Motivation and Higher Education were donated to the school library.
A student social initiative to support needy village schools by providing assistance through classes for primary school students along with other cultural classes like dancing, singing, etc. Fianncial assiatcne is also given to support library, driniking water facilities in schools, etc