A Commanding Comeback

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The SOI alliance which made a
major comeback in PUCSC elections now plans to consolidate its base further,
writes Ishpreet
The Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) elections, in 2014 saw the re-launch of the Student Organisation of India (SOI). The SOI was initially launched in the year 2006 as the student wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal. In 2013, this organization contested Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) elections, for the first time and lost by a narrow margin. This year, the SOI in alliance with Himachal Pradesh Student Union (HIMSU), National Students’ Organisation (NSO), and Indian National Students’ Organisation (INSO) , won all the four seats with a record margin. The organization owes its strong comeback to Bikram Singh Majithia, Punjab Cabinet Minister.

Vicky Middukhera and Rashpal Hakuwala share how their organization succeeded in winning the trust of the students and ultimately the elections.
What was your success mantra for winning the elections?
Trust is the foundation step in building any relationship. Therefore, to build a strong relationship with the students, our topmost priority was to earn their trust. Today, the students have faith in our party and we will make sure that we don’t let them down, shares Vicky.

Who is your role model?
Our role model has always been Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab. We are deeply motivated by the efforts that he is putting in for the betterment of Punjab as a whole and the youth in particular. He is our mentor as he guides and supports us at every step.

Which student organization is your biggest competitor?
No one! Our work speaks for us. Our motto is to ensure the welfare of the students and we have and will make sure that all their demands and requirements are fulfilled. We are striving to make SOI stronger with each passing day.

What are your achievements so far?
Students always have a lot of expectations from their leaders and it’s the duty of the leader to satisfy them all. When we came to power, we distributed feedback forms among the students to know their expectations. With the help of these forms, we became aware of the needs of the students.

SOI, with the help of the Punjab Government, has installed solar plants in the hostels. The whole project cost around Rs 3.5 crore, which was entirely funded by the government.

A world class gym has been set up on the campus for girls. A shuttle bus service has been started wherein two busses have been kept. Washing machines were provided in all the hostels. Efforts are being made to bring infrastructural changes as much as possible like the old fans in classrooms are being replaced by new ones. Cleanliness and hygiene is being ensured in messes and canteens.

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Today’s youth undergo a lot of stress, depression, anxiety etc. To help them cope with all this counselors visit the varsity on Saturdays and Sundays where the students are free to discuss their problems and seek guidance from experts.

We have made council funds online and transparent.

UIET has always been a game changer. Do you think Rashpal was able to capture UIET in the best possible way?
University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) holds a majority of votes. The combined efforts of Rashpal and Peeyush Nand Bawa paved the way for victory. To convince the UIETians to have faith in us, a lot of campaigning was done and all their demands were met. Ultimately, we were able to gain their trust and support. Our victory has proved that Rashpal and Bawa did a commendable job in gaining the support of the UIETians.

Do you want to convey any message to the students?
We strictly advise the students not to involve themselves in unfair activities. Students should focus on academics and sports. They should entirely concentrate on building their career rather than indulging in drugs, clashes and other such things.

What is your vision for Panjab University?
We want to see Panjab University growing in every aspect. The varsity has a huge scope of growth and improvement and we want to assure the students that it will touch new heights both in terms of education and infrastructure.

How did you deal with clashes during elections?
We kept our egos aside and kept working towards welfare of the students. We softened our stand on certain issues to avoid clashes and argumentation during elections.

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