Mangaluru, Feb 23: The post graduate students of Business Administration, AIMIT, St Aloysius College (Autonomous) visited Raichur, Hangal, Nesargi and Mungod in January as part of the annual weeklong Rural Immersion Programme. A week before the commencing of the rural immersion programme, Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ, Rector, Aloysian Institutions addressed the students on ‘Social Analysis’ and educated them on the Social Tree Analysis. This was followed by orientations conducted by the faculty members and the senior students. The students received a briefing on the report/ journal that had to be maintained during the stay based on Subject, Object, Property and Event (SOPE) and Resource Based View (RBV) guidelines.
The journey begun with short prayer led by director AIMIT, Fr Denzil Lobo and was followed by a brief orientation.
On reaching the respective destinations, the students were briefed by the directors at the respective places. They laid emphasis on capturing the unique experience during the stay in the villages. They motivated and inspired the student fraternity to develop business ideas which will benefit the rural dwellers. At the end of the orientation, students were allocated to the villages with the consent of the faculty coordinator.
The day activities included visits to panchayat offices, Post Offices and other local bodies in the villages. The students interacted with the PDO [Panchayat Development Officer] to collect some data and interact with him on the challenges faced by the villagers. The students visited the government library and gathered information about books, journals and dailies that were subscribed by the village library. A visit to the post office enabled students to understand that in the
absence of any formal banking institution in the villages, the people would deposit their earnings in the post office savings account or deposit accounts. The officer also provided the details about special insurance scheme provided by the Indian Posts to the people residing in the villages.
The visits to the schools were an overwhelming experience. The students conducted sessions on importance of education in one’s life, sanitation and hygiene. They also conducted few games, dance and singing sessions for the children. They also visited clinics in the village. At some villages there was only one doctor who would visit the village once or twice a week.
In the evenings the students conducted activities for the villagers stressing upon education, sanitation and hygiene. The villagers arranged for a special dinner for the students on the last day.
On the last day of rural immersion programme, they left the families and villages with heavy hearts. Feedback sessions were conducted and the students bid farewell to the villagers with a strong motivation to improve the condition of the villagers and were determined to be responsible and empathetic managers and leaders.
As Reeshal put it, “I must say I was quite apprehensive about spending a week in the village, but I must admit, the experience was more than overwhelming. I just did not want to return.”
Ashwil stated, “I was completely bowled over by the hospitality of the villagers. I truly have learnt a lot from them.”
Sayesha said, “I come from the city and I was not very eager about the camp. But I have undergone a life changing experience. They smile despite having such little while we grumble even though we have so much. Life for me will never be the same again.”
Various activities undertaken by students in the village:
1. Anganvadi and School visits and interaction with the children.
2. Street play and different games conducted for the kids and elderly people.
3. Students visited agricultural society, banks, gram panchayat etc.
4. Students engaged themselves in basic research pertaining to political, social, religious, and economic conditions of the village.
5. Some students joined their hands in the daily works of the people in the field.
6. Students tried to emphasise on the importance of education in the village.
7. Some groups presented theme-based programmes in the village focusing on health and hygiene, small savings, religious harmony etc.
Common findings from these villages
1. No proper infrastructure facilities in the schools and kids are irregular to school.
2. No enough teachers and classrooms hence the quality of education is very poor.
3. There is no sanitation facility in the schools.
4. There is no high-school or college near-by for further studies thus there are high drop outs.
5. Poor transportation and medical facilities in the villages.
6. No proper career guidance to encourage youth for greater opportunities.
7. Party politics is bit strong hence developmental schemes are interrupted.
8. Some villages are divided on the basis of caste and religion.
9. Negligence of parental duty towards their children.