Back in 2004, Our Founder and President Mr. Mrinal Kanti Bhanja noticed a very common problem: “About how the youth of our country are ignorant of the social problems that exist in our country”. He identified two major bottlenecks about why youth lacked social commitment:
Firstly, the social problems aren’t portrayed well in the bookish knowledge which people gain through the curriculum and hence are generally unaware of the real scenario at the grass-root level. It can only be understood by real-life experiences by encountering these problems.
Secondly, even if they are well aware of the real-world scenarios there was a lack of platform or proper guidance & a team of like-minded people to execute their ideas regarding existing social problems. This gap could only be filled through early exposure to these social problems. We have to motivate the youth of our country to consider these bottlenecks in our country’s progress as their own problems and provide them with a platform to execute their solutions and develop problem-solving skills. The zeal to fill this gap became the cause of the birth of the Gopali Youth Welfare Society.
A total student-run organization started back in 2004, We are now managing a school for underprivliged children of their own, providing quality education to more than 250 underprivileged students from the areas in and around Kharagpur. We also conduct skill development programs like tailoring, computer training, etc, and have many other small initiatives with an annual budget of around 30+ Lakhs managed solely by a group of students from IIT Kharagpur.
After the success of strategies and plans of the Gopali Youth Welfare Society (GYWS) near the area of IIT Kharagpur ,the society planned to reciprocate similar models of social upliftment throughout the nation so as to create a greater impact by spreading knowledge and experience gained through such long journey of social service and hence came up with the initiative named LIGHT to reach to masses all over India.
We aim to build a network of autonomous student-run centers across India, to provide them with a platform for ensuring the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goals for the weaker sections of the Society.
LiGHT exist to deliver Gopali Youth Welfare Society's learnings, expertise & experience to involve Youth in social problem solving to the youth throughout the nation.
Gopali Youth Welfare Society was founded with a sole vision to involve the educated youth in social work. The idea was to make them aware of the situation in their surroundings and motivate them to work for it. Back in the 2000s, I used to notice how the students after getting education start aiming for lucrative jobs and work for Multi-National companies. I used to ask myself whether they actually know about what is going on in their surroundings, How one section of the society is still suffering while others are enjoying the luxury which life has to offer. I started the Gopali Youth Welfare Society with an aim to make them aware of these situations which are a bottleneck to the country's progress and help them use their creative brains for solving the nation's problems at the ground level.
We have been successful in motivating a pool of students from IIT Kharagpur & GYWS is a prime example of the untapped potential in the youth of the country. Through LiGHT, we aim to provide a similar platform to everybody across the country.
Gopali Youth Welfare Society has acted as a prime example of how involving the youth of the country into social work can not only help us solve the nation's social problem but also help us provide life-skills to the members involved. I personally am a product of this platform, and closely understands how providing a platform can change someone's life.
We at LiGHT are working very hard to deliver a similar platform to the future leaders of the country to come forward and carve the path to the Nation's Development. We are trying to achieve this by explicitly providing them with the skills required to solve these problems followed by an opportunity to get a flavor of social problem-solving at the grass-root level by getting involved with our initiatives or identify their own and work for it.
Our aim is to form a network of student-run centers like ours across the country so that whenever any student has an amazing idea about solving a problem, he or she should know exactly how to execute those.