Interns' Diary: Shruti Sharma

30th June, 2006

Well more adventures to boast about!

Went on a one day field trip to Sehore to get a feel of the place so we would know what to expect on our major field trip and accordingly reorient our strategy. Surely enough all our preconceived notions were sent for a toss and the experience proved to be a great boon. It was my first eye opener to issues concerning villagers of the country...articulated in their own words...

I attended my very first "gram sabha" at about 7 pm in a village deciding to setup a water tank in order to make driniking water available. Money was a problem and it was being debated how the money should be should be collected. When the discussion got a little heated I felt a tug on the back of my shirt....a group of little girls had crept behind me some ten of them pushing around trying to make some place to sit. I had interacted with them prior to the gram sabha and now they wanted to continue the discussion! They insisted that I stay and play with them once the gram sabha got over...a false promise I had to make in order to keep them quiet. but questions kept pouring during the course of the meeting...
The group kept growing bigger as each one told me about her dreams ( madam banna chahti hoon)...who comes first in class, who is the naughtiest and who is the leader...I tried to juggle between the proceedings of the gram sabha and our little discussion in the cleverest possible manner but failed miserably...a lot of heads turned in our direction..some smiles and some frowns...but nothing would stop the girls! And surely enough with a group of such spirited charming angels around me, could anything else possibly be the centre of my universe?

These little girls ensured that I had a great time on my visit...I have never felt soo actually embarassed me immensely by touching my feet! I let her know that it was a gesture that was unacceptable by me. we said goodbye after exchanging tons of hugs and kisses and I was later informed that I had formed my very first fan club!

Its a wonderful thing about the village. The immediate acceptance and oneness one feels after interacting with the locals is hard to find elsewhere...maybe that is why people keep going back.It pains to know that these girls don’t have the opportunity to contiune their education after the 8th standard as there are no high schools in the can only hope that things will change soon...

All I can say is that the experience was unique and is already engraved in my heart...I meant to write more about our project and our mini pilgrimage to Sanchi but i guess that will happen sometime else...time imposes constraints...



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