Around 40 MA Political Science second-year students and research scholars visited Lakshmi Kalva village, Mothkur Mandal, Nalgonda, and Telangana as a part of the Rural Development course. The village is around 170 KM from the University of Hyderabad. Dr. D. Veerababu, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, has made the village visit one of the important components of the Rural Development course apart from the theoretical and academic readings. The village visit is also part of connecting the University with local communities and exploring possible policy suggestions for effective implementation of the public policies at the village level. The study tour was conducted to familiarize the students with the practical aspects of the rural society in India in general and villages in particular. The study aimed to make the students understand and comprehend rural society at the grassroots level. Although, they are theoretically informed with the scholarly articles and books on the Indian rural society and various policy programmes initiated by the Governments since independence, there seems to be a lack of practical knowledge of how the rural society is structured around the caste system, the political economy of caste and class in a rural setup and impact of the social welfare schemes.
Before undertaking the assigned topics for the study, the students interacted with the local administrative functionaries in the Laxmidevi Kalva Gram Panchayat. The Mandal Parishad Development Officer (MPDO), Chandramouli, Tahasildar, Ramakrishna, Assistant Project Officer for welfare schemes (APO), Ravinder, MPO (Mandal Panchayat Officer), Agriculture Extension Officer (AEO), Gram Panchayat Secretary along with Village President (Sarpanch), Naragoni Anjaiah Goud, Ward members, Asha worker, SHG leader, and Anganwadi Teacher. In addition to the government officers, the people of the village also took part in this interaction at the introductory level.
The students were given the topics of their interest in the village to conduct the fieldwork and the field findings, along with the policy suggestions. The students studied issues of Public Distribution System (PDS), poverty alleviation programmes, health, education, community assets, library, sanitation and hygiene, minor irrigation, land development, small scale industries, local governance, rural electrification, development of weaker sections such as Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Women and child development, family welfare, impact of the liquor on the family system, and transportation and communication system in the village.
The students actively participated and interacted with villagers on various topics. Students were asked to submit the assignments on various topics along with their observations and suggestions. The village Sarpanch has provided hospitality to the students with traditional dishes for lunch, and the students returned to the University with a great learning experience.