We had been debating pros and cons of getting students work away from home.
- It makes them connect and work with new environments and cultures, against it increases the responsibility of faculty members for students wellbeing.
- It makes them independent versus how do we enforce discipline?
So when the opportunity presented to accompany the Olin colleges ADE (Affordable Design and Entrepreneurship) team at their “cycle-rickshaw project” site we happily grabbed it. Prafullbhai, the then VC of the Ahmedabad University was very upbeat about learning from the experts and gave us all necessary support. I am glad we did, because the experience was amazing.
One cold winter morning, I found myself waiting at the airport for one of the team members, the chirpy and irrepressible Radhika, after I picked her up, chatting about books from Rand to Tolstoy, we draw down to one of the tiny streets of the old city in Ahmedabad, an area I had never visited before to pick-up axels, flanked by several curious urchins and one or two well-dressed goats (in the winter someone had the bright idea of dressing up their goats in discarded cloths).
I could visit the team on-site only for four days due to other engagements but was impressed by the teams discipline and the buzz of activities. We shared all mealtimes, laughter, anecdotes and work-notes.