February 21, 2017 by

“Winter School 3.0” sounds boring, right??

What if I tell you Winter School 3.0 at one the best management institute in India,

IIM-Ahmedabad?

 

Well it doesn’t end here!! Learning new things on education and policies from the best professors of India, who are the official policy makers for the government of India. Am I grabbing your attention, “Very Well” There is lot more to this experience than only learning new things on policies. I got selected for Winter School 3.0 along with three other lovely people from my university. I was always involved into social welfare and wanted to bring out a change in the way people think, which would act as an impetus in the development of education system in India. I took an evening flight from Madurai. I had a changeover of flight in Chennai. Alas!! My flight got delayed by 2hrs. I reached Ahmedabad Airport at 10:30 pm and waited for two other participants at the airport, with whom I had to go to the IIM hostel. After one hour of conversations with them, I realized I had made friends who were like me and will certainly be there for lifetime. Excitement was at its peak when we were nearing IIM-A in Uber Cab and “there it comes”, yelled Yashwant, an IT student from IIIT, Hyderabad. A huge IIM Gate opened and we entered into a hub of professionals who had a different and an innovative thinking for everything. The way they interacted, the way they handled themselves in different situations certainly spoke and verified the fact that IIM-A certainly produces one of the best professionals in the industry. I was allotted a room in advance and the best part was, all three of us were roommates. We couldn’t be allotted IIM Hostels as they were under renovation. We were therefore, sent to the empty faculty houses. After reaching there, we found that we had 6 other roommates. We stood transfixed at the entrance wondering how will we manage to stay in a small flat along with 7 others. It was just two hours after which we were there, taking a forward stride together as we set off on IIM-A sightseeing journey at 2 am. It was indeed challenge walking in IIM campus where every time pigeon shit falls just like raindrops. We had the best tea of IIM from Ramesh Da, who happens to be the famous chai waala of IIM-A. As the sun rose and birds started to chirp, our red eyes forced us to sleep for one hour, well that was the time we had before our event began. It was the most difficult effort for all of us to wake up that day. Our event began sharp at 9 am. Initially we had thought that it is going to be nothing short of the bombardment of lectures but indeed it was a blessing. The professors who came to talk to us were so experienced and the way they interacted with us was so motivational that we didn’t even move an inch as we sat there, learning about the changes with need to be brought up in social policies which would benefit the poor and improve the literacy rate. Classes continued to 7 in the evening with different professors giving us an insight on the social changes and Education system of India. These classes along with many activities were conducted during this event for the next 5 days. After classes, each day, we used to go on the city exploring mission. This was certainly one of the best experience for me. There was a lot more to learn, other than the social arena. There were participants from different parts of India. Participants happened to be students, teachers, NGO heads with age group ranging from 20 to 60. Imagine the diversity in thinking! There were interactive sessions happening, where we clearly saw the innovative thoughts and ideas flowing by. I made many friends over there and learn many things about their cultures and professions. We were told to do a slum survey one day where we had to go to a slum where there were people, who were forcefully shifted from the river front 15 years ago, where their primary way of earning money was fishing. After being shifted they were also forced to work in a waste management industry where waste was burnt. This industry happened to be at a walking distance from the slum. The foul smell, adding to the fact that the water which was being supplied to the household was of terrible quality and also the sanitation system was poor, we were the only ones complaining about all these things. It seemed as if the voices had given up. After having a conversation with them, I realized that all they wanted was the support of the people and nothing else. They did not except monetary support or anything of its kind. They wanted us to support them and speak on their behalf for their lost rights. I met a 100-year-old lady, who danced with joy when I started to click her photo. I imagined, we, modern generation, expect more out of everything and there lies an old lady, who stays alone, being happy and contented with what she has. I literally froze when one lady, despite knowing that I had come for slum survey and couldn’t do much for them, came and told me, “Beta, tum ache se padai karna. Mera beta ko mein pada nhi pai. Padai aaj kal sabse jaada mehetvapurna he aur aap humare bete jaise ho aur mera aashirwad humesha aapke saath rahega”. The lady meant that she couldn’t teach her son due to financial and personal reasons but education is the most important thing and I am like her son and her blessing are always with me. That whole day, after returning from the slum, the lady’s words reverberated in my ears as I stood there helpless despite knowing their sufferings.

 

“BE HAPPY AND CONTENTED WITH WHAT YOU HAVE AND ALWAYS WISH GOOD FOR OTHERS” is what I learnt from a lady who knew much more than me and became my motivator. From making friends, to the wonderful lectures by the IIM Professors and a wonderful organizing committee consisting of IIM Students, From Travelling Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar to having street food at Manek Chowk and the best delicacies at the mess of this eye-catching institute, From learning more about education systems and policies to get the basic life lessons from individuals , Every minute thing I did in IIM-A can be elaborated as I can proudly say I got an opportunity which was totally worth it and was the best experience I ever had where I learnt to become a responsible individual before anything else.Share such stories on eChutti travel blogs