The Telegraph
Saturday , February 16 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Get taste of rural life at fair

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 15: Budding managers of Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB), presented all that they had learnt during tours to various parts of the country as part of the ‘Rural Living and Learning Experience’ programme during a daylong fair yesterday.

The learning experiences came to life through maps, models, charts, photographs and short films, through which they tried to portray rural life. Fifty-eight students visited Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and some places in Odisha to learn and understand facts about rural life, renewable energy distribution, rural tourism, inclusive markets, health, sanitation and pre-school education.

Coordinator of the programme Jeevan Arakal said: “The students spent a lot of time in villages, not as tourists but locals. They interacted with the villagers. This provided them a wonderful opportunity to learn by observing them from close quarters.”

Coordinator of rural management programme Niraj Kumar said this trip took students closer to the field where they are expected to contribute after graduation.

“Such experiences teach students to learn by taking part and seeking answers to their questions from the villagers. The opportunity not only helps students learn about actual field situations, but also helps them change many of their preconceived notions about rural India,” he said.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us. It changed my perception about villages and villagers,” said Nilanchala Choudhary, a student.

“The fair gave the students a good opportunity to present what they had learned,” said Aartee Anshu, another student of the institute.

“When students and our teachers ask us questions about the tour, we realise how much we have learnt or if we missed something,” she said.