Describe your most significant achievement. Tell us about how you planned and executed this task and how did this achievement impact you. (300 words max) It wasn’t till the third year of college that this ‘soccer playing ghissu’ decided to change his appellation to ‘a leader’ by contesting in the elections for the post of Councillor in the Student Affairs Council.
The challenges: first, winning the elections; and second, performing the roles and shouldering the responsibilities of a senator.
I was contesting from the infamous Constituency-1 of Cautley Bhawan, alongside Prashant, a junior in a department that composed one-third of my constituency, Aditya, an architecture student from my year, and Siddharth, a senior. The competition was stiff. Each contestant had his own agenda. So, from passionate canvassing to meticulous campaigning, from regionalism to departmental politics, from fending off back-stabs to forging awkward alliances, I did it all.
Two hurdles remained: it was imperative to gain the votes of the MTech and PhD students because they had nineteen odd votes to offer but no candidate; and, Prashant still posed a serious threat. The solutions were to win over the MTech and PhD students, and to convince Aditya and Siddharth to give me their vote banks as I had a larger base count and we couldn’t win individually. They agreed. I won by an over-whelming margin.
As a senator, I introduced several new reforms. We regulated rickshaw rates on campus, introduced new departments in the campus hospital, organized the first inter-hostel cultural event ‘Nav-Umang’, provided high-speed internet to students by replacing Wi-Fi with LAN, provided Inter-IIT 2011 (Kharagpur) participants air travel to Kolkata rather than sleeper-class train transportation, and convinced the college authorities to construct an office building for the NSS on campus. We even passed a proposal for a new, state of the art, multi-activity centre.
This experience has taught me...
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