IIM Indore is the only institute among the premium B-schools of India that offers a Rural Immersion Programme (RIP). The programme was introduced in the curriculum of PGP-1 in 2008. It involves week-long trip to various rural districts of Madhya Pradesh.
The main aim of this program is to give the students an exposure to the rural areas. Many participants come from urban background and may not have seen or experienced a rural area. Through this, they are sensitized towards social issues prevalent in the region, which broadens their perspective. They get to observe the rural economy, understand the challenges and opportunities for business, and develop an overall understanding of the rural society.
Also, the participants get to know the various schemes undertaken by Government in villages and to study and analyze the execution and effectiveness of these schemes.
As future managers, the students are expected to provide insights on the various dimensions of district level administration, focusing primarily on the policy administration and the execution gaps, to analyze the challenges faced by the government and come up with suggestions for improvement.
Each year, this program is redesigned to meet the new requirements of the rural areas.
In the past year literacy reforms was the main agenda and students interacted with the locals and submitted reports based on their experience. The zilla parishad and the panchayats took note of the inputs by the students and many changes were implemented.
The RIP, this year, had specific project structured and designed for some specific districts in the state called “MAL YUDH” in collaboration with the UNICEF on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
MAL YUDH is a part of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) which was re-launched in the name of Nirman Bharat Abhiyan in MP in April 2012.
The programme was spread over a week (Nov 30 to Dec 5, 2015). Participants were divided into groups of 4-5 and are sent to districts Participants visit the specific districts of Madhya Pradesh.
The Gram panchayats (GP) in the villages of these districts were declared Open Defecation free (ODF).
Each group had to survey 2 GPs in six days. A structured Questionnaire provided by UNICEF, was given to each group and they had to survey the households, schools and Anganwadi in each GP. They had to vigil the movements of the Villagers towards Open Defecation and understand the problems in the system if OD was still prevalent.
The major focus was on community involvement in sanitation practices so as to monitor potable water availability, improved hand washing practice, safe child excreta disposal, improved better hygiene practice in pre nursery group children.
The groups surveyed the GPs, took interviews of the Panchayat Raj and a consolidated final report was sent to Mantralaya and UNICEF.
The RIP was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the students. It was an immense learning experience and a best week spent in the suburbs with friends.
All the districts were located in the proximity of river Narmada which gave the students many exciting places to visit.
This article is written by Shruti Suman of PGP Batch of 2015-17.