Unlike previous years, students of the Indian Institute of Management Indore won’t go to villages this year but ring villagers up to know the impact of Covid- 19 on the health and hygiene in the rural areas of Madhya Pradesh.
As part of their Rural Engagement Programme (previously known as Rural Immersion Programme), IIM Indore students every year would stay in villages for some days to know problems faced by villagers and check the effectiveness of government schemes on the ground.
Because of the Covid-19 crisis, the elite B-school this year decided not to send students to villages. Rather, students will do telephonic interviews with the villagers.
The students would study the impact on health and hygiene after Covid-19 in the rural areas of Madhya Pradesh, based on the Covid guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
The orientation of the REP-2021 was held at IIM Indore on Monday in hybrid mode.
During his address, IIM Indore director Prof Himanshu Rai shared the journey of the transformation of the former RIP to the REP.
“With a realisation that the brightest minds in the nation are proficient of doing much more, especially in line with IIM Indore’s vision to take every step in contributing to the nation-building, we decided to amend the RIP to REP, and hence, the participants now live in the villages to understand the problems of the rural areas. They also provide solutions to resolve the issues and submit a report,” he said.
Mentioning that over 833 million people residing in the rural areas of India do not have access to elementary facilities like access to clean drinking water, electricity, education, or the internet, Rai said that its time to understand that the people in the rural areas have a completely different set of problems.
“Most of the things we take for granted are a huge privilege for them. We should stop deciding the priorities for other people and instead understand their issues,” he said.
“REP is an imperative programme since it not only aids the students to understand ground realities but also enhances their social consciousness, sensitivity and managerial and decision-making skills,” he added.
Rai invigorated the students saying that the one-week journey of REP will help them create memories and understand the problems in the rural areas, but more importantly, the sensitivity they will gain through this programme will remain with them throughout their lives.
“If you can make a difference in even a single person’s life during this programme, you will be doing a great job as a compassionate human being,” he concluded.
A total of 648 participants from the first year of PGP and PGPHRM and the fourth year of IPM will communicate telephonically with over 30,000 villagers from 52 districts in Madhya Pradesh.
Two teams of 6 students will study one district and work on a database of 600-700 citizens from each district. They will conduct phone interviews to understand the present situation of Covid-19 appropriate behaviour in the area. This includes the adherence to Covid-19 guidelines by the citizens, understanding the constraints faced and the reasons behind the same and coming up with recommendations to address the constraints. The students would submit the report on November 3.
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