International Summer School Fieldwork in Jhalawar, Rajasthan – Day 1 to 5 (14 July to 18 July)

It’s been an exciting first few days for 18 students from the International Summer School, (ISS) New Delhi! Two taxi rides and two trains later, students arrived in Jhalawar, Rajasthan on 15 July; having cheerfully battled humidity, as well as the legendary crowds at the railway stations. The group was greeted by splendid, overcast skies and greenery, completely debunking the standard image of a desert landscape which Rajasthan is primarily known for.

ISS students have been engaged in a series of activities all of this week. Each day commenced with volunteer work in different schools (both government and private) where ISS students conducted a host of different activities. Some taught English vocabulary through flash cards or Japanese for beginners, while others took classes on local architecture. Learning through sports/games and art also seemed to be important focus areas for the volunteers. Motivation sessions, career counselling, and theatre were also on the agenda.

ISS students also conducted detailed interviews with parents, teachers, students, and other community members as part of their case studies. A more informed and first-hand understanding of the history, culture, and society in Jhalawar was made possible through interactions with Mr. Lalit Sharma, an eminent historian, the Sarpanch at Kolana, and the District Collector of Jhalawar, among many others. The evenings were reserved for visits to places of interest such as the Gagron fort, Weaponry Museum, Music School, Khadi Udyog, and Kota Mines Growth Centre.