Outreach – Pimplegaon Malin Village

 MOUNT CARMEL JUNIOR COLLEGE, LULLANAGAR, PUNE, shares the pain of the poor farmers. Students of Mount Carmel Junior college, who were deeply touched by the famer suicides in drought affected areas of Maharashtra decided to visit an affected village in Ahmednagar district.  Prior to the visit, resources were galvanized: social awareness was created in the students and food grains, money etc collected. On 6th October 2015, after having made initial contacts with local activists and  obtaining necessary permissions the students of XII Science together with our principal Sr Prescilla Lobo A.C and two teachers visited the Pimpalgaon  Malin village in Ahmednagar district. On reaching the village they were warmly welcomed by the Sarpanch and other officials and led to the village school where the students interacted with the children of the school which has only six classrooms with about thirty students in each class. During the interaction of our principal with the school head, a need for a computer was expressed, and also help them to build a canal to bring water to the village.  As the students shared sweets and also  gave some food grains to supplement the midday meals  which the  school  provides, they encountered a small boy whose young father in desperation due to the failed monsoons and a  no way to repay a loan he had  taken had committed suicide a month ago. The group then ventured further into the village by foot, to visit that particular bereaved family and also get a firsthand look into the life situations of the villagers. Through this contact the students came face to face with the complex realities of life and were exposed to the profound day to day problems and issues confronted by the villagers. This encounter left the group shaken up; yet in a positive way, they were transformed for life. They were not the same as before…………….. they realized that in spite of having been blest with so many resources and opportunities they grumble so much and are not grateful. This trip was not just a moment to feel happy about having done a little to alleviate the pains of suffering humanity and go back home in peace, but it was a powerful, eye opener to change attitudes, grow in social responsibility and  do something concrete on a regular basis and there itself the seeds of a  collective social endeavour were  planted in the hearts, minds and souls of the students. On the way back the idea of the college adopting the village took shape and it was decided that, right through the year different classes will visit the village and interact with the villagers, especially the Children of Pimpalgaon Malin. The group felt that indeed they themselves had received much more than what they had actually shared with the villagers. In conclusion , one can say that a little empathy, going out of oneself, sensitivity, creative thinking,  planning ,  joining  forces, building bridges has given shape to this project, which though in its initial stage we are hopeful will continue and bear much fruit by God’s grace.