Gram Darshan – A Day With The Soul Of India – FMS Embraces The Spirit Of Social Responsibility

Diversity defines India. It paints the country into two major shades- the urban India and the true India i.e. the rural India. “The future of the country lies in villages”- Carrying forward this Gandhian philosophy, the students of FMS sensed a need to go to the grass-roots and understand the deep rooted problems of the real India.

“Gram Darshan” was a concept conceived by Vihaan, the Social Service Cell of FMS to sensitize the students to the ground-level realities in our country. It aimed at providing the students a comprehensive understanding of the life, problems and opportunities for development in a rural setting. The two-way sharing of ideas for mutual development between the villagers and the students of FMS was the expected outcome from this exercise. Aided by the phenomenal support from Reckitt Benckiser (RB) and Mrs. Jasjit Kaur (I.A.S.; CDO, Bulandshahar), the initiative was undertaken on July 6th in three villages in Bulandshahar district (UP) – Dadupur Neela, Ghazipur and Shirondhan.

The contingent set out to the villages by 7 AM after a briefing session and breakfast. The group halted at the Block Division Office, where the ADO and other authorities gave a brief about the three villages to the students. Students were then distributed in 3 groups and each group was sent to one of the villages, which were at close proximity to each other. Within each group, students were further divided into smaller teams and they undertook various activities in a time frame of 12 hours. Each team was assigned a mentor from the senior batch to assist and communicate with the Vihaan team members on site to ensure the safety and well-being of the students.

The teams along with the mentors set out on foot to discover the villages where they performed activities like Resource Mapping of the allotted village, undertaking a survey on rural marketing, understanding social issues of the village, designing a smart village plan to develop the villages, and getting to know the villagers on a personal basis.  The students interacted with the villagers, learnt about their lifestyle, their strengths and shortcomings, their woes and hopes. They discovered the various issues faced by the villagers, and analysed them to figure out sustainable solutions to these problems. The teams visited every house in the three villages and prepared a report on the aspects of sanitation, water usage, education etc.

The entire batch then returned to Ghazipur primary school, where the venue was set up for them to demonstrate the outcomes of the exercise. Select teams from the groups performed Nukkad Natak before the villagers on issues such as the sanitation, importance of farming, and women empowerment. Later, in front of the esteemed village manch presided over by the BDO of Sikandrabad, the shortlisted teams presented their solutions to the issues faced by the villagers and ideas for development of the villages. The students came up with fresh insights to drive the villages to a self-sustaining smart entity. The issues that may be encountered during implementation and steps to improve the plans were deeply deliberated upon during the course in the discussion. The exercise ensured the amalgamation of the practical wisdom of the villagers and the management knowledge of the students which lead to mutual development of both the entities.

When the entire program came to an end by 7 in the evening, it left behind lots of insights and promises. It asserted the fact that going deep into the soul of the society and understanding the issues on a personal level is the most important tool to bring about a positive change. The refreshing sight when liberal thoughts and fresh ideas, bonded by the experiential understandings give birth to productive solutions is always a promise for a better future.