Formerly known as the Manchester of India, Gujarat has a rich history of enterprise, culture and arts and has been one of the first states to embrace the path of economic progress. The Humanities unit on Urbanization required the students of grade 6 to learn about the process of change, causality and sustainability of human habitations. The trip to Gujarat has beautifully aided this learning.
After walking through the old city of Gujarat, visiting the Amul factory in Anand, see- ing the salt pan workers’ struggle for existence in the Rann of Kutch and being witness to rare and highly revered forms of art in the heritage village of Nirona, we saw the emergence of some deep reflective questions from the students.
What do we take away as principal learning from the visionary leaders of Gujarat?
If Amul can establish such a successful cooperative model for the dairy farmers, why can’t the Agariya’s follow the same model for salt-pans?
If the artisans of Nirona village are so gifted and their art so popular, why is their village still underprivileged?
If the Sabarmati riverfront involved displacing the poor away from the city, is development only for the privileged? What is then the true definition of development?
The students were seen pondering over these questions and trying to look into facts and events critically. It has left us feeling contented that the purpose of the trip was well served. They have come back with ‘ignited minds’.