The Social Service League (SSL) of St Xavier’s College was founded by Fr. M.M. Balaguer in 1951. It is a voluntary organization made up of student members concerned about socially relevant issues. There is no formal registration. Those interested join in spontaneously and involve themselves in the many projects organized by the League. There is generally a core group of about 40 members. Others, because of time constraints or other commitments, join in for one or other of the projects. This number may cross 100, as happens in Project Care.
The SSL is run by the Principal as Chairperson, the Director and a committee of four student members – General Secretary, Asst.-General Secretary (2) and a Treasurer. Each of the projects has two project secretaries who see to the running of that particular project under the help and guidance of the executive committee. For all these posts applications are invited and appointments are made based in interviews held.
The SSL has a small but homely office on the ground floor under the staircase near the basketball court. The office is well situated and students passing up and down may be drawn into the office itself or get information about the SSL projects from the SSL noticeboard nearby.
Funds for the activities of the SSL are mainly collected through sponsorship drives organized by the SSL members themselves.
The activities and projects of the SSL include the following:
- An Orientation Day: A mini-exhibition of the SSL and all its projects. Posters are put on display and the activities are explained to those coming to the exhibition.
- Team Building Camp: A group of about fifty SSL members are taken to the villa in Khandala for a three-day camp on team-building and leadership. More detailed information is also given about the SSL and its projects. It is expected that these fifty members will all the more involve themselves in the activities of the SSL on their return to Mumbai.
- Cheshire Home Visits: Contact is kept with Cheshire Home through visits. On special occasions (Diwali… Christmas...) a party is organized (lunch… gifts… entertainment) for the inmates.
- Blood Donation drives: Twice a year blood donation drives are organized in the college.
- Annual Exhibition : Every year, a two day poster exhibition is held in the hall on a selected theme ( Environment, Old Age..etc.). Research is done and information is collected on the theme. This is then attractively presented on posters for the exhibition. During the exhibition there may also be a sale of articles made by social organizations
- Project Care : A special two-day camp is held in the month of December for about 100 socially disadvantaged children from selected institutions. Prior to the camp, volunteers visit these institutions and interact with the children. The camp itself consists of outings, games, creative exercises, song and dance and a special Christmas party for the children. Meals, snacks and gifts are given to the children. The children and volunteers relate on a one-to-one basis for the two days of the camp.
- Rural Camp (Manual Work): During the Diwali vacations, a ten-day camp is held in one of the villages in Ashagad. Manual work is the main activity of the camp. Depending on the need of the place, the work may be levelling of fields, building of bunds, digging foundations for a new school building or something similar. Other activities of the camp include interaction with the villagers, putting up some entertainment programme with them or organizing a “mela” or fair for the children of the village.
As and when required there may be other activities that the SSL may get involved in (Cleanliness drives, peace marches, etc.).