With the earth turning muddy beneath my feet, I realized that the landscape has changed. The pocked and uneven roads had engulfed the 3 Scorpios in dust and hue, and in the uneven line of barren and unkempt fields of the villages in Shahdol district, they were no more visible.
IIM Indore is a very special place to be. It is one of the elite institutions which offers a unique exposure to the heart of India: its villages. Through the ‘Rural Immersion Program’ or R.I.P. (Believe me there was no Resting; in Peace or otherwise), in coordination with Madhya Pradesh Mantralaya, the students @IIMI get an opportunity to visit various blocks in an M.P. district, where they get to study numerous schemes of the state government and their implementation. This unique week long experience improves their perspective towards Rural India, helping them draw insights, realize the execution gaps as well as apply classroom learning in real time, make recommendations, and strive towards alleviating problems which the villagers confront. Something similar happened to us, when our R.I.P. group of 14 adventurous and industrious folks set out to Shahdol District, and were introduced to a variety of schemes: Mid Day Meal, SSSM, Indira Awaas Yojana, Total Sanitation Campaign etc. The trip involved field visits to distant villages to understand how the schemes were implemented in areas under the Shahdol district; and the roles government officials and the beneficiaries play in its success.