Learning in the real world

Rural Visit

Learning in the real world

Theoretical learning in the classroom is one thing, but most management students agree that this knowledge is enhanced only through first-hand experience. Keeping this in mind, many institutes in the City have started to organise field trips for their students with the aim of showing them exactly how their classroom learning can be implemented in the real world.

Recently, the students of Sambhram School of Management went on a similar trip. As a follow up to a seminar which was previously held in the college — which touched upon issues of inclusive growth and micro-finance access — the students visited Bheemankupee, a village near the City, where these concepts are actually in practice.

“When we were first informed of this trip, most of us were sceptical. We believed that even if attempts to implement certain policies in rural areas are being made, we wouldn’t learn much from it,” admits Mahendra, one of the students.

However, he’s quick to concede that he couldn’t have been more wrong. “After we saw the kind of procedures in place there, we were very impressed. I don’t think that this level of organisation exists in the urban set-up,” he says. The students were briefed on the financial inclusion policy of the Reserve Bank of India, which is currently being implemented in Bheemankupee — something which most of them admit was informative and insightful. “According to the policy, a business correspondent (BC) is chosen for each village. The BC acts as a representative of the village and gives the villagers information regarding various schemes, as well as the benefits they will get through them. And there are several benefits — for instance, the minimum deposit that any account holder has to make, as per this scheme, is Rs 10. In urban set-ups, its obviously much higher,” says Mahendra, adding that transactions also take place on a much smaller and much more convenient scale.

Along with understanding more about their curriculum, the students also got the
opportunity to experience village life.

They spent time under a large banyan tree, sampled the local produce and on the whole, had a great time.

 They interacted at length with the BC of the bank, asking a variety of questions to clear their doubts in the field.

“In my opinion, the biggest take-away from this trip isn’t the financial knowledge we got,” says Mahendra. “As an urban student, I had limited knowledge — I always assumed our set-ups were superior to those that existed in villages. But after visiting Bheemankupee and interacting with the villagers there, I realised I was wrong. The hunger for knowledge that they have is definitely something we can learn from,” he concludes.

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