December 13, 2013
I must admit that initially I wasn’t thrilled about the rural exposure camp organized by St Aloysius College, Mangalore. Not because I did not wish to attend such camps but it turned to ashes all my vacation plans. However, it turned out to be one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had.
We, a band of ten students were sent to a village named Katri Koppa which is situated about 10 to 12 km away from Hunegal. Our group consisted of students doing different streams of PG courses in the college.
I could not help but ask what my friends’ peak experiences were during the camp. Inslita Teles, a student of MCMS says, "The rural exposure was a great experience to learn the living of hardworking people whose monthly income is Rs 200 only. It taught me the value of money, food and water and to be content with the little things we possess."
Raveena Mascarenhas of first year MA English says, “It was an exposure to the real life."
"Rural exposure was a sort of invasion into the darker side of the moon that portrays the real India; being immersed in the comforts of urban life, the native dwelling was a curious phenomenon as well as a sense of solidarity with the poor and the marginalized. It was an opportunity to imbibe the rustic spirit and to assimilate the rich and beautiful culture and customs,” says my classmate Arvind Kispotta.
Aren’t these experiences tremendous and highly inspirational? It won’t be an exaggeration if I, being a part of rural exposure, express my sentiments in this fashion:
With a dash of excitement and a pinch of anxiety
Deep within my heart
I placed my foot to face the reality
Fascinated by the chirping of the birds,
Grandeur of nature, spectacular view of sunset
And amidst the bizarre look of people
There I entered first
Getting rid of my rural life’s conception, I went to interact with people to go into deep
So expensive I thought myself but
Was so cheap.
Virtue of honesty, respect for elders, love for one another, unity and what not
Possessed they within themselves
Scattered was I reviewing my life there
Huge lake of suffering they pass by to sustain their lives
Still magnanimous to stranger like me
So difficult it is for them to make their ends meet
Yet, they carry their heavy crosses of daily life
Content and without much complaint
Terrible pain of poverty shatters their dreams, and hopes torn
Will they be able to acquire quality education, and superior life to play their parts?
Comforts they do not know and riches obscure
Graces they have received, may be to accept Divine plan.
Teachers of life they were; I never expected them to be
Humility, contentment, profound love, and sincerity they imparted.
I now realize their strengths and desires are put in me
That one day I would assist needy to cherish a better future.
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