The PGP batch of Indian Institute of Management Udaipur of the session 2018-2020 concluded their week-long project in the tribal and rural regions of Rajasthan. They worked in close proximity with the local NGOs to get a better understanding of the challenges that are faced by rural people.
During the Rural Immersion Program, students undertook various assignments on perilous behaviour in rural areas, assessment of the Ujjwala Yojana by the government and general property resources.
The students took a course on the Indian Social and Political Environment to prepare for this immersion. After the completion of the course, the entire class was divided into teams with five members in each team and then they had to work with an NGO for the span of a week.
IIM Udaipur collaborated with several NGOs like Manjari Foundation, Gandhi Manav Kalyan Society, Jatan Sansthan, Ajeevika Bureau and Seva Mandir for this venture. These organisation of grassroots level hosted the students and worked in cooperation with them. The students conducted group discussions, informal interviews of the villagers and door to door surveys.
The location of IIM Udaipur was ideal for this immersion as that part of Rajasthan is surrounded by many tribal and rural villages. The performance of this region on the human development index is extremely poor. This rural immersion programme made the students more sensitive towards rural issues and the problems these tribal people face. They received experiential training and learning by this initiative.
Akash Singhal, a student who was involved in this program said that the best part of it was getting to know the women self-help groups of the village as they learned a lot from their ethical practices. Another PGP student, Bhini Yadav, added that as future managers they need to understand the impacts their decisions can make on real people and their lives.
The director of IIM Udaipur, Janat Shah, said that the rural immersion course had been a part of their flagship PGP courses since its inception. It shows how committed they are towards creating leaders who are responsible for providing education along with values. In order to be good managers, they must have a proper understanding of the political and social realities of the country.