Spirit of Self Reliance
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A major portion of the functioning of the Hostel is taken care of by the students and resident staff members. The guiding principles of the Hostel are a simple life coupled with self-reliance. The students do their work with least dependence on external agencies. To inculcate the dignity of labour and respect for work, most functions and departments of the Hostel are run by students under the able guidance of resident faculty. The self-reliance departments include:
  • House Keeping (Maintenance, Electrical, Carpentry, Plumbing, Landscaping, Drinking Water Plant)
  • Academic support (Library, Computer Centre, Photocopying, Tutorials)
  • Health care (Paramedical and First aid assistance, General hygiene, Dietary Services)
  • Entertainment (Multimedia and Audio-visuals for in-house entertainment, Sound engineering and Recording)
  • Support Services (General Stores, Transport services)
  • Culinary (Catering Services, Dietics, Fruits and Snacks, Bakery)
  • Fine Arts (Arts, Crafts, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, Brass Band, Photography)
  • Performing Arts (Dance, Dramatics and Costumes, Theatre, Public Speaking, Quiz)
  • Publications (Books and Newsletters – relating to the education system and interaction with and messages of the Revered Founder Chancellor)
  • Spiritual Activities (Festivals, select Ceremonies and Rituals to encourage the spirit of traditional Indian culture and heritage)
These self-reliance activities enable students to become self-confident and independent, and also contribute to leadership and entrepreneurial development. The distinctive feature of these self-reliance departments is the aspect of continuity, in spite of batches of final year students graduating and passing out of the university every year. This is facilitated through an effective succession planning in the traditional gurukula style; wherein the senior students train their junior successors before graduating.
The involvement of students in self reliance activities, trains them in time management, enhances their skill sets, fuels their latent talents and creativity – channelising them into productive activities. Other benefits include spirit of teamwork, group dynamics, spirit of selfless-service and enhanced sensitivity. Above all it builds, self-confidence and yields self-satisfaction.

Being assessed to be having a ‘pace-setting’ leadership style in my current organisation did not come as a surprise to me after my 7 years stay in the University. All through my stay in the Hostel, I was involved in various activities and notable among them was being the student coordinator of the maintenance team. Even to this day I draw upon the practical lessons that I learnt during those days when I was leading a group of 20-30 students.

Damu Nair, Management Alumnus,
Deloitte Consulting India Pvt. Ltd.
© Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Vidyagiri, Prasanthi Nilayam - 515 134, India.