A life Changing Process- Community Immersion

Ganita, Gandhi Fellow, Batch 10 writes about her experiences during her Community Immersion (CI) at a village in Jhunjhunu. She describes how this process gave her an opportunity to come out of her comfort zone, learn and work for issues that matter.

As a Gandhi Fellow you go through various processes in two years which transform you each day into a transformational leader. Community immersion is one of those processes of the fellowship curriculum which test your perseverance and make you resilient enough to face the hardships of life as a social leader and as a common citizen of the nation as well.
I am a fellow in District Transformation Program, Jhunjhunu which lies in the state of Rajasthan. It was the month of July which is extreme summers in Rajasthan when I went to live in a village named Solana of Chirawa block of Jhunjhunu district. I lived with a joint cum nuclear family. Let me explain this concept of joint cum nuclear family to you. There were five nuclear families living inside the same door in one boundary. They live together but cook in different kitchens. We called the door “Darwaza”.

In community immersion you just don’t live with the community as a guest. You become a part of them. You enjoy it the most when you become one of them. If you live with a farmer, you go to the fields and work. If you live with a daily wage labourer you do the tasks that the family members do on a daily basis. I used to cook everyday in my community immersion. If I am making rotis, my CI mother would make daal and my CI father would make sabzi.

I would like to mention here about my CI family. My community immersion father is a classic example of feminism. He used to contribute equally to the household chores and never showed that he was doing any favour to my CI mother. He considers it his responsibility to participate equally in the work which goes into running a household be it inside the house or outside. These are the examples that we don’t see very often in this country. My CI mother was warm and welcoming. She always made me feel home in Solana. She doesn’t have a daughter and considered it her good fate to have me in her house. Wondering how can people be so warm? My CI brother was very shy and it was only a few times that we communicated.

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