Village Patnership  

Report: Day 1

We started from Mumbai at 7:30am from school and took a refreshment break at Kamath restaurant, Nagothane. After we reached school, we first briefed the students about the details of the day. Then the school Principal and teachers welcomed us, during the program they conveyed their gratitude for coming to the school and apologized for not welcoming us with flowers as they were observing a day of mourning due to the martyrdom of our brave soldiers. After this formal welcome, we had lunch offered by the school. As per the groups formed earlier by our students, the first activity of floor painting was conducted with most of the ABWA students participating in it. After the lunch break  the girls of our school went to the classroom for the awareness of menstruation. Then our student groups were briefed about Open defacation information and how the awareness drive needs to be done, in which most of the students participated and in their best possible manner conveyed the needs of hygiene and sanitation. Later on, we moved to the hotel and checked in at around 6:15pm, after a briefing and room allocation, they went to freshen and at 7:30pm we took them for dinner arranged by the Swades people in their office. We gave them free time till 9:30pm and send them back to rooms with the expectation that they will sleep. We teachers took rounds every half and hour to ensure that all are asleep and in their allotted rooms. 
Day 2
The day started at 6am with wake up calls to all and by 7:15am after checking out from the hotel we reached the school at 8am, had breakfast, but only few ate as they did not want to have the local breakfast, so immediately biscuits were arranged and also extra food that they had carried. From 8:30-10:45am the groups actively participated in the tasks and completed it as planned. Then groups went for the ODF awareness to another village. On returning all had lunch and we set off on our journey back home.

After a refreshment break , snack and water-drink purchase at Kamath, Nagothane we continued. Reached school at 5 pm. 

Report by: Sparsh Dak-9B
Report On Village Partnership

Before the sun rose on the morning of the 15th of February, the students of grade 9 at the Aditya Birla World Academy were up and ready, filled with excitement for their Village Partnership trip. We were asked to reach school no later than 7 a.m., and we departed for Raigad, the village we were going to volunteer at. After a treacherous four and a half hours’ bus journey, we arrived at the venue. Our first stop was the school, where we ate our mid-day meals.

Soon after, we split into our activity groups, as the boys went on to initiate floor-painting and the girls raised menstruation awareness. However, neither of the activities were very successful, as the floors were immediately stained by the constantly flying dust and the girls from the village were too shy to talk about sanitation and hygiene, due to menstrual taboos in their localities.

Once we had completed our individual activities, we split into our groups and went around the community, for ODF (Open Defecation Free). 

Unfortunately, this activity wasn’t advantageous, as every house we visited either already had a washroom, or had applied for one. In fact, some upset villagers retaliated and even expressed their distaste, as they thought we looked down on them, just because they came from a different background from us.

After summing up our activities for the day, we departed the venue and began our hour-long journey to the hotel. We ate our dinners, after being allocated to our rooms, at one of the nearby ‘Swades’ Offices. We were given some free time, before having our room checked, and bedtime.
The Next day, we stirred as the rays of sunshine fell on our faces and woke us from our slumbers. We went to the school soon and started our teaching activities after a delicious tea-and-breakfast prepared by the local women. Some of the groups were able to get their message across, such as the Counselling group, whereas some other activities weren’t as successful, as language barriers turned out to supersede any of our other dilemmas.

Next, we began our last activity, ODF, with another village. The same story was repeated here as all houses were already equipped with hygienic sanitation. After our activity and lunch, we took our final group photo and bid farewell to the kids, with heavy hearts. We then commenced our journey back home. Once we arrived at school, the students embraced their parents and thanked our teachers for their support and guidance throughout. 

Thank you.