Rahul Garg

Rahul Garg

Research Associate | VIF

Change Agents’ Retreat 2018 | VIF

Being a part of Change Agents’ Retreat 2018 has been a rollercoaster ride, in its literal sense, for me. On March 28, traveling from a relatively monotonous work-life to a get together so full of diversity, energy, enthusiasm, teamwork, planning and wisdom was very overwhelming. There was an ongoing feeling of being blessed to be a part of the CAR 2018.

Reaching the Retreat location and the first two days

The Retreat location, Ekal Vidyalay (Ekalavy Swavlamban Trust), Palghar was around 120kms from Mumbai city. It is a tribal area which gave me, for most time, mobile/internet free four days to be with myself and the “Change Agents”.

The first two days (March 28-29), planned only for new fellows of Vision India Foundation to get to know each other and the people in the tribal area, gave very unique experiences to me. Fellows coming from different backgrounds, their individual life experiences, moments when they decided to become Change Agents, to talks with the villagers helped me learn new things about “life”.

I think our life experiences stay with us and shape us who we are today. 

We visited hamlets (padas) and villages in and around Palghar, sat in village community halls and talked to the residents and sarpanch. Getting to know about their everyday lives, sources of income, facilities available like water, karyana stores, dawakhana, schools, etc, their problems, their expectations, their idea of Bharat, how safe women feel in the area, how gram panchayats work and many other things gave an idea of how grass-root level Bharat is today. We were welcomed in houses and offered surprisingly tasty black tea made by women in the houses.

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