Soroptimist International Bombay Chembur

Soroptimist International Bombay Chembur was formed to inspire, motivate and guide women to lead their lives with dignity and pride through affirmative action and networking. It has a vision to bring about a positive change in the lives of women and girls through education, empowerment and development of their skills and abilities. The Bombay Chembur Club was founded in 1995, chartered in 1997 and currently has 21 dedicated members who have a common goal of working towards the upliftment of women and the girl child.

The name Soroptimist was coined from the Latin soror meaning sister, and optima meaning best. Soroptimist is perhaps best interpreted as ‘the best for women’. From the founding of the first Soroptimist Club in Oakland, California, in 1921, through to the present day where over 3000 clubs are flourishing throughout the world, Soroptimists have continued to strive to achieve ‘the best for women’ in every sphere of their lives.

PCER in Association with SIBC

Many of the PCER faculty members are active Soroptimists members. They organize and participate in most of the activities undertaken by SIBC. They also hold important posts in the club.

PCER students are also actively involved in many events organized with the SIBC. This instills the value of sharing and caring among the young students. It also gives students opportunity to volunteer and serve for the underprivileged section of the society. This develops empathy, sensitivity, problem solving ability among the students as well as faculty members.

The following table shows the year wise posts held by the PCER faculty members.

2014-16Dr. Sunita WadikarNational Association Soroptimist International Extension Officersunitawadikar
2014-16Dr. Reni FrancisSIBC Presidentrenifrancis
2014-16Ms. Swasti DharSIBC Extension Officerswastidhar
2012-14Ms. Sunita JainSIBC Secretarysunitajain
Fistful of Grains

On the occasion of the *International Day for the Eradication of Poverty* MES’s PCER, Chembur in collaboration with the Soroptimist Welfare Association (SIBC) organised the Project – Fistful of Grains in the month of November, 2020 to donate food items to the marginalized sections of the society. The items are placed in the Amazon Registry.

The total quantity of items purchased; Rice- 51 Kg worth INR- 31,462/-, Oil- 51 Litres worth INR- 6150/-, Tea powder- 23Kgs worth INR- 5980/-, wheat flour- 300kg, worth INR- 12,744/-, Rawa- 22kg worth INR- 726/-, Poha- 51 kg worth INR- 2091/-, Green Gram- 40 kg worth INR- 4800/-Chickpeas-31kg, worth INR- 3410/-, Sugar-20 kg, worth INR- 836/-, Split pigeon peas- 54 kg worth INR-6318/-, Orange Lentils-33 kgs worth INR- 3300/-, Salt- 53 kgs worth INR- 954/-. There were 4 gift cards worth INR- 20000/-. Through fistfull of grain project we collected INR- 81,155/- These food grains were distributed among Navjeevan Centre Kalyan, Prerana Naunihal Children’s Home, Kharghar, Sisters Adorers, Marol and Manav Jeevan Seva Trust Ghatkopar.

The Project – Fistful of Grains was tuned to the SDGs# 1 Eliminate Poverty.

The Link to buy through Amazon Registry was

‘Digital Stree Shakti- Webinar on Online safety of Girls’

On account of International Day of the Girl Child and World Mental Health Day, ‘Digital Stree Shakti-Webinar on Online Safety of Girls’ was held on 10th October by MES’s Pillai College of Education and Research, Chembur in collaboration with Maharashtra State Commission for Women and Responsible Netism along with Soroptimist Welfare Association (SIBC). The webinar focused on the online safety of girls prioritizing security measures, online protection and cyber wellness.

There were 120 female participants both from B.Ed and D.Ed batch of student teachers who had registered and attended the program wholeheartedly. The Session was in sync with SDG 5: Gender Equality and SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals.

The speakers for the webinar were –

  1. Ms. Sonali Patankar, founder of Responsible Netism and President of Ahaan Foundation, who has 25 years of experience in the field of social work and mental health.
  2. Mr. Unmesh Joshi, co-founder of Responsible Netism, who specializes in the field of cyber law.

The above session can be viewed by clicking the link below:

Yoga : Wellness for Women

Soroptimist welfare Association (SIBC) in association with MES’s Pillai College of Education and Research, Chembur launched its 21 days Yoga: Wellness for Women programme on 1st June, 2020. In this initiative, the Yoga sessions is broadcasted on YouTube everyday and later a quiz on basic understanding of Yoga is also shared with the participants in the form of a Google Form. This enabled the participants to practice Yoga at their time and space and gain basic knowledge of Yoga. This initiative aimed at Wellness for Women and Girls especially during this period of Lockdown and staying at Home, with busy work and home schedule a personal time for fitness, mediation and relaxation is often neglected. These sessions helped them to bounce back to rejuvenate and revitalise themselves.

These 21-day sessions culminated on 21stJune 2020 to commemorate International Yoga Day proposed proclaimed by the United Nations. The session was broadcasted as a Live Chat with Yoga practitioners Mr. Anup Thomas and Ms. SnehaPandey discussing on the importance of Yoga in our daily life. Follow us in You Tube PCER Chembur to watch the sessions.

Beneficiaries: 280 participants

SDG # 3- Good Health and Well- Being

Flavours from your Homes

Soroptimist Welfare Association in collaboration with MES’s Pillai College of Education & Research, Chembur organised Flavours from your Homes, a recipe contest for a Social Cause.

Dr. Daphne Pillai and Dr. Reni Francis articulated the impactful event with perfection. The event was launched live on PCER Chembur You Tube channel on 3rd May, 2020. This helped the audience to be acquainted with the purpose and objectives of the event.

In the course of a week’s time, the event had 71 registration and collected a robust amount of Rs 61,224/-. The recipe contest had around 40 entries out of which 28 contestants were validated for the final round. There were two categories: Traditional and Fusion. Mr. Rohit Kankariya, owner of Rossh Company, sponsored the prizesfor three winners in each category.

The grand finale was broadcasted on the eve of Mother’s Day on 10th May, 2020. The eminent judges Ms. Nimisha Dugar, Managing Director, Morsel &Tissane and Chef Raghu Ramaswamy, The Goodfood Guys congratulated all the winners as well as the contestants, shared their expertise and the criteria on which they selected the winners.

The money collected were generously donated to Milaap Foundation, who has taken the initiative to feed more than 5000 people from the marginalised group like migrant workers, jobless and homeless people every day.

All the audience and participants applauded the event, as it is the need of the hour to lend our hand and support people in need, during this tough phase of Covid-19 pandemic crisis.

SDG # 2- Zero Hunger

Newspaper Drive

MES’s Pillai College of Education and Research, Chembur in association with Soroptimist International Bombay Chembur conducted the Newspaper Drive. The proceeds of the same of Rs. 5,000/- was handed over to SIBC.

Fistful of Grain

SIBC in association with Pillai College of Education & Research, Chembur on the occasion of the Joy of Giving Week conducted the project ‘Fistful of Grain’ on 4th October, 2018. The project aimed at collecting and providing food grains such as rice, moong dal, sugar and glucose biscuits to the underprivileged. The students of the college offered fistful of grains which were then made in packets of 250 gms each and was distributed among 60 families living in the slums and street at the Amar Mahal Junction, Chembur.

Another objective of this project was to imbibe among the students the act of sharing, the joy of giving and the feeling of empathy for others, especially the deprived sections in our society. The students were thoroughly moved when they were distributing the items to the beneficiaries. Around 75 students participated in this initiative.

The event was coordinated by Dr. Sunita Wadikar, Dr. Reni Francis, Dr. Sunita Jain and Dr. Swasti Dhar.

Fistful of Grain

With a pledge to reduce poverty and extend a hand towards this cause, SIBC in collaboration with Pillai College of Education & Research (PCER), Chembur organised the event of Fistful of Grain. The students of B. Ed. have collected half a kilogram of rice and lentils from each student and this will be donated to four nomadic group of families (already identified) who are residing near:

  • GTB railway station
  • Kurla railway station
  • Matunga Road station
  • Sion railway station

The event helped sensitise the students towards the problem of hunger and also how, little acts of charity can go a long way to bring a smile on someone’s lips.

Adult Literacy Drive

Literacy is very important for the socio-economic progress and empowerment. To spread this message Pillai College of Education and Research in association with Soroptimist International Bombay Chembur conducted sessions which covered Conversational English, basic Literacy (Reading, Writing, Maths) and skill development programmes.

B.Ed. students also created awareness on Environment conservation, educating girl child through street plays.

Aids Awareness

WDC organized AIDS Awareness workshop on 8th December, 2016. The workshop was organized to create a sense of awareness among the students and also to sensitize them on the alarmingly increasing cases of AIDS in the world and our duties and responsibilities as global citizens to spread awareness to the masses on the same.

A short film was screened for students on AIDS to sensitize them and create awareness about the signs and symptoms, modes of transmission etc., followed by a round of discussion and sharing of knowledge and experiences from the students.

Our guest speaker, Dr. Shankar Chawla, (Practicing Homeopath) gave insights about Aids.

Various competitions were held like the Poster competition, Slogan competition, Campaign, Skits, and Speech etc to sensitize students on AIDS and nurture creativity in them.

Fistful of Grain

Fistful of Grain project was scheduled on 10th October, 2016. It aimed in providing grains such as (rice and dal) to the underprivileged section in our society. The beneficiaries of this project were the inmates of an NGO – Access Life in Deonar, who were undergoing treatment for cancer, so the grains collected have been able to provide for their meals for more than a week.

Joy of Giving Week

Pillai College of Education and Research, Chembur organized Jumble Sale at the Pillai Campus at Chembur from 15th to 17th October, 2015 to celebrate the Joy of Giving Week.

There was a great sense of satisfaction among the participants having participated in the true spirit of the “Joy of Giving”.

This event was co-ordinated by Dr. Sunita Wadikar and the PCER team.

Fistful of Grain

MES’s Pillai College of Education and Research (PCER), Chembur initiated the project Fistful of Grain in collaboration with Soroptimist International Bombay Chembur on 14th October, 2015.

The Fistful of Grain signifies how the small contribution of every member can collectively contribute largely to eradicate hunger. Dr. Wadikar explained how SIBC had identified the NGO Access Life as the beneficiary for the contribution. Access Life is an NGO which provides free housing, food and travel to and fro to Tata Memorial Hospital to eight children below the age of 10, who are suffering from cancer. This facility is also extended to their parents and thus, at a time, twenty four people are housed with Access Life.

The programme ended with everyone putting a fistful of grain into a jute bag to signify their pledge to end hunger.

Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine

Pillai College of Education and Research, Chembur in collaboration with SIBC installed a sanitary napkin vending machine for school and college studying in the Chembur campus of Mahatma Education Society. Dr. Daphne Pillai, founder president SIBC, inaugurated the installation of the vending machine. This project was done keeping in mind the accessibility of health and hygiene for women and especially underprivileged girls studying in the Chembur campus. Girls are finding it very useful and handy for them in times of need.


Joy of Giving Week

Pillai College of Education and Research, Chembur in association with Soroptimist International Bombay Chembur organized Jumble Sale from 7th to 9th October, 2014 to celebrate Joy of Giving week.

The faculty, students of PCER and SIBC members collected used clothes, shoes, jewellery, curtains and other household articles and put it up for sale ata very marginal prices of Rs. 10 to Rs. 100 per item. More than 500 people from the nearby poor localities visited the campus and took maximum benefit from this sale.

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International Linkages

The project ‘Adult Literacy Drive ‘was nomin\\\d for the best project award at 80th SIGBI Federation Conference. Prof Reni Francis and Prof. Sunita Jain, faculty of PCER and Soroptimist members, got an opportunity to represent Soroptimist International Bombay Chembur club at Harrogate, London, UK at the conference.

The members also got an opportunity to visit St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School. This gave an insight of how Public schools functions in UK. The infrastructure, curriculum, teachers and students were carefully analyzed which provided good learning.

The visit to Cambridge University was also very enriching. The members met the head of the curriculum coordinators of Cambridge University. This exchange of ideas and views were also very productive.

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Adult Literacy Drive

Adult-Literacy-Drive-2013-14Soroptimist International Bombay Chembur in association with Pillai College of Education and Research, Chembur empowered economically weaker women sections of nearby area through Adult Literacy Drive. The beneficiaries of the drive were women who were working as domestic help in nearby localities like Chembur, Mankhurd and Gowandi. Dr. Sunita Wadikar spearheaded the nine months program with a team of diligent workers.

The drive was divided in four modules:

  • Functional Literacy Skills
  • Numerical Skills
  • Job Oriented Skills
  • Soft Skills