Sri Aurobindo Rural & Village Action & Movement (SARVAM, an initiative of Sri Aurobindo Society) is actively involved in many developmental programmes for the students and one such programme is the English Access Microscholarship Programme through which the students in the village learn English language through varied activities and mediums. This Program is being conducted in association with US Consulate, Regional English Language Office (RELO) and FHI 360 for the village students since 2013. Through Access Program 250 students have already learnt English and are pursuing their higher education in a successful manner. In the current batch, 110 students are learning English through Access Program. Taking the initiative a step further, and as a part of the advancement program for the alumni, the American Councils for International Education had arranged for an All-India Access Camp on the theme ‘Media Literacy’. The Camp was organized from January 9 to 17, 2018, at the International School in Aamby Valley, Pune district, Maharashtra.
Four alumni students from Poothurai village participated in this camp and acquired many new and useful ways of not only learning English but also developing their personalities. The American teachers trained the students about the importance and knowledge of digital media. In addition, students were taught to build upon important life skills such as leadership, teamwork, and individual responsibility. Apart from these, all the students furthered their English language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening).
It was a life-changing experience for these four students as most of them had never even ventured out of their villages, and then they all got the opportunity for the first time to travel by flight to an international-level township and stay at an international school. After interacting with other students from all over India, the SARVAM students have not only polished their English-speaking skills and but also gained more awareness about the culture of other states. The activities, facilities in dormitory, the delicious and variety of food served in the cafeteria, medical facilities, transportation and all the other provisions were very enjoyable and delightful for all the participants. There were fun outdoor activities also arranged on different days for the students. Team-building activities provided the feeling of oneness among all students and it helped them to be united. The self-confidence of each student has increased enormously because of the exposure which was provided to them.
Altogether, the whole camp was a great experience in terms of learning as well as getting to know students from all over the country. Each student was awarded with participation certificate and they were delighted to be a part of such a wonderful camp. Parents of these students are thankful to SARVAM and US Consulate for providing this wonderful opportunity for their children.