Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Hello sir, can you give a short introduction about yourself?
Hi, I am Divyanshu Bujethia, General Secretary for the Board of Hostel Management. I am currently in my fourth year in the Civil Engineering Branch, and I am a resident of Nilgiri Hostel.
Can you give us a quick overview of your first three years in your college, other than your BHM affiliations?
In my first year, I was quite an introverted kid initially. After spending some time in college, I took part in some extracurricular activities and started interacting with other students. I got to know more about the institute and explored campus life. My first involvements were in Cultural and Sports activities. I was a part of the hockey team of my hostel, and I was pretty active in Dramatics in my first year. Even when Covid came along in my second year, I continued to participate in Dramatics. Presently, I am associated with BHM only and not involved anywhere else.
You have been part of BHM for two years now. Can you tell us about your journey through the Board and some of your most memorable experiences?
Yes, I have been a part of the Board since my second year. I was the BHM representative for my hostel, followed by the position of Maintenance Secretary and now the General Secretary. It has been a fascinating journey. My tenure as the BHM rep started in the online semester; I got my first project under the Board for Covid workers- ever since, I have been learning something new in the Board, and it has been two years at this point. Post-pandemic, there have been many changes in the board's operations as we are doing it all offline now compared to working for the board online.
What is the action plan to shift back to a completely offline mode?
As I said, there had been a lot of alterations in the last year itself, but we, the Board, have not fully recovered from Covid yet. All the messes have just started going functional this semester. The budget is expected to significantly increase post Covid- we are overlooking the budget allocation process too. No one has seen BHM night for three years now, so we also plan to conduct some offline events this semester.
As a part of BHM, you have to interact with many people from outside campus. Any incident, negotiation or discussion that struck you as particularly interesting?
There have been a lot of interactions and negotiations with vendors and companies. Last year, I interacted with Nestle; we are on the verge of cracking a deal with them. There will be updates once we run trials. It was an exciting opportunity to talk to them and get them on board, and it was a fascinating experience overall. Once this plan is implemented, there will be QR-linked automated coffee distribution machines on campus. The maintenance and service of the machine will be outsourced to third-party vendors. It could be a huge thing once it starts running.
What are some valuable skills that you have learnt during your tenure?
Talking about skills I have learnt, the most important of them is time management- we have to give time to the Board while simultaneously managing academics and extracurricular activities. As a GSec, you have to work on many activities- there is a team of 52 people under you and all the hostels. Other than that, teamwork and knowledge of administrative functions have helped me greatly.
Your manifesto mentions the creation of online portals for BHM. How do you plan to work on that?
The thing about online portals is that people have been trying to work on them for a long time now. It is more or less the same idea that everyone has - the creation of online portals where the students can directly file problems, and we are primarily focused on that. I know it is hard for even CSC to dispense such a system accessible to all of IIT Delhi. So we plan to add one layer over the portal that caretakers already use and make it available to the students. The students could file a report, but the caretakers had the power to refute that. However, with this service available to the students, they can file complaints directly. We executed some mechanical implementations a while ago and made a physical model instead of a digital one. Even if we cannot work it out technically, we will implement that mechanical model with the help of secretaries from each hostel.
What are your ideas regarding increasing the outreach of BHM to students and beyond?
We are already working on increasing the outreach of the facilities of BHM to all students. For example- for the PG students who are not getting accommodation on campus, we are trying to help them by providing information on suitable nearby facilities. Students themselves are choosing these facilities; BSW is also looking into it. We are preparing a list and suggesting them to the PG students so they can access BHM help even outside campus.
As someone who has to constantly deal with a lot of fire from the administration, the students and third parties, how do you deal with the load and the stress?
I agree that the stress is indeed a lot to bear, especially now. For the first time in my life, after three years on campus, I had to switch off the read receipts on my phone. To deal with this, I try to manage my time effectively. I give a fixed amount of time to BHM work. After my classes, there is a specified time that I go to the office, interact with the Dean and the administration, look into ongoing projects, interact with the team and take updates. I believe the work and stress are manageable if you fix your time.
That was fun! That’s it from my side. Any parting advice that you would like to share with students?
For freshers, I would like to suggest that when you are coming into IITD, the following four years would be the best four years of your life. In your first year, work on your skills and explore everything in college, including PORs and extracurricular activities, that will also be highly constructive in your life.
Interview by: Amogh Sharma
Design by: Prisha Jain, Shivam Jhanwar