New & Noteworthy
Sensational Visit to Village Balliawas Opens Minds of Ninth Graders
On the twenty-eighth of March, my fellow peers and I left for the urban village directly outside Pathways School, prepared with multiple questions to ask multiple families and individuals about different aspects of development within the village and what factors triggered development. We started with everyone drafting their own question on the same statement of inquiry: Globalization (development) and innovation can change some people’s lives for better while exploiting and adversely affecting other systems. After this, we shortlisted fifteen questions to ask the residents of the urban village. We then translated those questions to Hindi, so that it would be understandable to the inhabitants of the village. We then decided that working in groups would be the fastest and most efficient way to complete the case study; we formed five different groups with four to five people in each group. Each group then decided different roles for each of their teammates. In the class, we had also decided that we would interview different groups of people, the reason for this decision is so that we could gain answers from different perspectives on the same topic and within the same question. After extensive planning, we went to the Village Balliawas to conduct the interviews.
Once returning from the village I read over my notes and reflected on the experience leading to me taking notice of multiple things that occurred during the interview. Firstly, opinion and perspective matter a lot as in multiple questions, different individuals had varying answers, occasionally contradicting one another. Secondly, even though they are developing, the residents of the urban village still use orthodox methods and cling to the traditional ways. For example, multiple people still employ the use of earthen oven and women are required to cover their head when talking to or when in the presence of a man. Thirdly, they value education greatly, as suggested when the answer to the question: “Based on development, what kind of change would you like to bring in your village?” was that they wanted better and greater amounts of education for the residents and the children, as this would allow the urban village to develop much faster. Fourthly, I realized that after becoming an urban village the government helps in further developing the village. This shows that the government first wants to know if the residents of an area are motivated to develop into a city before investing resources in the village. Fifthly, the villagers would like to live in a more rural environment, even though working on the fields would be more difficult, just so that pollution won’t be impacting their lives, causing multiple diseases, such as cancer, etc.
To conclude going to the village was a great learning experience and was extremely fulfilling. This gave us a firsthand view of the lifestyle of villagers, interacting with them further deepened our understanding how we can help the village. It also increased my appreciation of the residents of the urban village, to allow Pathways to build their Gurgaon branch in the village despite the problems that the inhabitants of the village might face.
BY: Mehul Tomar
“Village Balliawas, the Best of Both Worlds”
Reflection of Village Balliawas
What is a village?
A village is community of people situated in a rural area. The population of the area is more than a hamlet and less than a town. However, village Baliawas is not your typical Indian village. Village Baliawas is an urban village. Yet, people have still not forgotten their traditions and heritage. The field trip to Balliawas was not only academically eye opening. But also, personally and globally. The felid trip made me more aware and brought me a step closer to being a truly global citizen.
How was the field- trip academically eye-opening?
The field trip was academically valuable as, it helped me understand the impacts of “globalization, sustainability, scientific and technical innovations” on the village. For instance, Pathways school Gurgaon is situated in Balliawas. This, has increased the HDI of the village as, more parents have started educated their children. On the contrary, the sewage plants in the village are not sustainable resources, they are managed properly. “This has not only increases the pollution in the village. But, also increases diseases such as, cancer.” Said one of the panchayat members. The field trip increased my understanding on globalization and its impacts. It helped me understand how globalization can strengthen or weaken ‘systems’ and ‘processes’. For example, globalization has strengthened the system of education. As more parents want to educate their children, more schools are being formed and the education system is becoming better. However, processes and resources such as, land fertilizers have made the soil of Balliawas infertile. The food produced has also become unhealthier for this reason.
How was the field- trip personally and globally eye-opening?
The felid trip to village Balliawas helped me understand the true essence of being balanced. The village is economically rich; people are happy and the area is globalized. Many individuals, have phones and cars (technologically involved). However, at the same time, the villagers have not forgotten their heritage. Women and men still followed their cultural traditions. For example, the people in the village follow the Hindu calendar instead, of the British calendar. In addition, the field trip made me globally aware as, it broke many of my stereotypes on a village. It opened my eyes to the fact that not all villagers are close minded and conservative. In fact, many of the men and women we meet in the village believed in education and equality.
In conclusion, my biggest learning and observation from the experience was the multiple similarities between villages and cities. We all face the same issues whether they are related to pollution or equality. The only difference, is the level we face them at. Some, issues are more prominent in villages such as Balliawas. While, others are more prominent in cities like Delhi. All and all, the experience was holistic and helped me understand different aspects of the world by using different ATL skills and Learner profiles.