Effective community engagement possible only through creating awareness

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STAFF REPORT KHI: Believing in the potential of developing the community strength towards various civic management skills in a modern society, experts at a workshop called for spending significant resources on developing community dynamics and said that the scope of participation by locals and student community should get widened to improve social fabrics.


The workshop was organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Karachi by taking into consideration the formative role of engineers and local community in recent successful SIGHT pilot project in Mithi, Sindh.


Under this initiative, the IEEE has taken another step forward to widen the scope of civic participation by raising awareness about the possible strategies to develop initiatives that engages university, high school students and community social workers in improving a society where every member functions as a social changing agent.


The motive of the workshop was to involve the elements working in the local humanitarian, disaster management, health and education areas where IEEE Karachi plans to expand its activities.


The IEEE initiatives of SIGHT, EPICS in IEEE and TISP were the core programmes that engaged non-profits, educational activists, social workers and entrepreneurs and bloggers. Feedback from these more experienced social change-makers elicited a highly positive response the hosts had hoped for: outlining the possible problems in extending these initiatives and how their involvement can help overcome those barriers, with volunteers from IEEE Karachi Section.


The event was divided in two sessions, and in the first part IEEE Karachi Section SIGHT volunteers presented on IEEE SIGHT, TISP and EPICS. Parkash Lohana, IEEE Karachi Section Chair 2014, introduced the audience to IEEE and their activities in Karachi, and also acquainted them with Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS in IEEE) and the plans of Karachi Section of developing possible alliances of IEEE Student Branches with high schools.


On the occasion, Hassaan Idrees, Section SAC Chair, took the audience through the interesting Teacher In-Service Programme (TISP), stimulating thoughts on greater interest in STEM subjects.


Newly appointed Section Student Representative, Muhammad Hannan Daudpota, presented the success stories of IEEE SIGHT Chapters around the world in general and that of Karachi in particular.


Invited participants hailing from various organizations, including Dr. Nazir Vaid, a social entrepreneur and founder of E-Health Kits Pakistan; Farhana Iqbal, Director of Education Foundation; Tayyiba Khanam, Academic Coordinator of Schools of Karachi City District Government; Abdul Rauf from Pakistan Science Club and Vajesh Partab from Sat-Guru Naval Foundation were some of the more recognizable names, apart from the IEEE Karachi Section senior and student members.


The second phase of the workshop was more interactive, where every participant was given a chance to question, share, discuss or give any suggestion to the forum. The discussion continued long and everybody presented his/her strategies on making these ventures successful.


Interestingly, all the participants gave their consent to be a working partner in future initiatives of IEEE Karachi Section, as they considered an effective option to ensure community as well as students participation in various social initiatives.


The event had the privilege of having Om Perkash Batra, IEEE R10 SAC Coordinator, as the chief guest. An added feature of this event was the live radio broadcasting from the hotel by the local radio partner FM 105 Pakistan Network, which aired highlights of the workshop to its audience throughout the country.


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Short Link: http://www.technologytimes.pk/?p=11224