Outreach is the activity of providing services to any population that might not otherwise have access to those services. Outreach activities are meant to engage a large audience and to bring knowledge and expertise on a particular topic to the general public.
A key component of outreach is that the group providing it is not stationary, but mobile; in other words, it involves meeting someone in need of an outreach service at the location where they are. Compared with traditional service providers, outreach services are provided closer to where people may reside, efforts are very often voluntary, and have fewer if any, enforceable obligations. In addition to delivering services, outreach has an educational role, raising the awareness of existing services. It includes identification of under-served populations and service referrals and the use of outreach tools like leaflets, newsletters, advertising stalls, and displays, and dedicated events to make real changes on the ground where they are needed. Outreach is often meant to fill in the gap in the services provided by mainstream (often governmental) services and is often carried out by non-profit, non-governmental organizations.
Outreach implies an interaction between the sender and the receiver of the message, there is an engagement and two-way communication between the institute and the public. Faculties have core responsibilities for teaching, research, creative work, and service on campus. Outreach and engagement activities are important and valued aspects of these responsibilities.
At the School of Management Sciences, Varanasi, we are of the view that social responsibility must not only be part of educational institution internal documents in the form of long-term plans but should also be part of its real-life and it should manifest itself by way of real, qualitative as well as quantifiable improvements in people’s lives.