E Week Yatra Stories
A Taste of Rural India
Garware College of Commerce, Pune
Feb 7, 3.00 pm
I have been a city animal all my life, but a part of me yearns for the simple, idyllic charms of village life. This dream was brought true by students of Garware College of Commerce who took to me to Asde, a beautiful small village on a hillock located an hour’s drive from Pune.
I rode on a bullock cart pulled by two rather moody bullocks (and a very frightened passenger – me); I cooked food using firewood and ate the simple food of farmers – hurda roti (corn bread), brinjal gravy and more.
The NEN E Cell of Garware College is exploring opportunities in agriculture and agri-tourism this E Week. Students are organizing ‘hurda parties’ for urban folks like me, who come to these small villages to get a taste of rural India.
The difference that these students have made in this small village of Asde is remarkable. The villagers grow rice for four months in a year. For the rest of the months, they depend on growing potatoes and vegetables. Farmer Shivaji Ganpat Bharam is now planning to grow hurda, bajra and jawar for six months. “It’s strange, we never thought we could grow these too,” he says. School teacher Borade Vasant has volunteered to support agri-tourism in the village, and his wife Alka even wants to teach visitors how to cook traditional Maharashtrian food. “The village will become prosperous when people from the cities come here. We see hope,” says Vasant.
It’s the right move, feels NEN E Leader Sagar Muluk. “Our next plan is to take three-four families in a mini bus to other villages where agri-tourism is working. This will encourage them to implement the same in their own village. agri-tourism will flourish only when the local villagers participate actively in it, and our E Cell wants to facilitate this.”