Bharata Mata students take elders on a city tour

Ten students from, Kochi, had ventured on a field trip to the village of Udayamperoor in late July, as part of, to investigate waste management. During their time there, the students were able to forge a relationship with the villagers that ended in a fun day in the city recently.

The students of the social work department took the elderly of the town on a tour of the Metro, a shopping center in Edappally and a church, among other places. We refer the experience to young people.

Sneha Thampy, a student, says that during a visit to the town, the elders expressed their desire to see the popular places of the city. “We took about 15 women, two men and a younger woman. Most of them were women who have spent most of their lives within the four walls of their homes. We left Udayamperoor at 9 am, after an inaugural function with President Panchayat. We planted a young tree and from there, we went to the subway at Thykoodam and arrived at the mall.

She adds that after taking them to the church of Edappally, everyone shared a pothichoru that they carried. “Organizing the trip required a lot of work. We managed to find a sponsor to cover travel and food expenses. We finish the trip around 8 pm, after taking them to the Vallarpadam church and watching the sunset on Puthuvype beach.

Sheena Rajan Philip, director of the department of social work and project officer, says they have adopted the villages Udayamperoor, Vadakkekara, Puthanvelikara and Kuttampuzha. “The initiative was part of the student's field work. Faculty member Tony M Tom and Akhil Kuriakose, program coordinator, contributed a lot to the initiative and helped the students with their contributions, ”she says.

She adds that when it comes to programs and community involvement, it is important to find the right resources, and proudly says that students were able to accomplish this. “A community program, like this one, allows students to touch the life of the common man. In addition, students said the trip to the village was very different from any tour they usually embark on. They said they returned with changed perspectives and ideologies. I am glad that students are already aware of the need to carry out such programs effectively.

It has given them a good start on how to connect with the community and channel their work, she says. We have plans to take it to other places, with Chellanam among the first options.

Praison Alias, who was coordinator of the initiative, says that although there were money limitations, they somehow managed to find a good sponsor. Remember how a woman's reaction left them delighted. “She said we have done something that her children could not do. They had asked their children to take them to the Metro two years ago. The wide smile on their faces and the joy without limits were enough rewards for us, ”he says.

The experience will always be engraved in their hearts, he adds. Doing this just a few weeks in our regular classes in our first year as social work students has excited us a lot, he says.

Amrita Ajay, another student, says that the mobilization of resources for the trip was carried out within the panchayat itself. She concludes: This has boosted the spirit of social work students and has given us clarity on how to move things forward.