Telangana Travel Diaries
After the 3-day orientation at TISS Mumbai, I got back to Hyderabad on Dec 23rd 2015. The orientation equipped me with an understanding of the expectations of CLIx DASTAAN initiative and the way to go about it. With all excitement, I went ahead and designed my study, the required tools for it. The feedback for these tools from the CLIx team has helped me improvise them and enhance my understanding of DASTAAN.
Finally, the day has come to visit the field…the most awaited phase of the DASTAAN fellowship. I have interacted with the implementation partners in Hyderabad, Mr Prem and Mr Yadagiri, who have been helpful in sharing the data related to the prospective schools for research. I happened to visit CLIx school in Ameerpet along with Mr Yadagiri and got a chance to interact with the school head. However, I dropped the idea of considering this school for research as it was quite away from where I live. I discussed this with the implementation partners and they helped me figure out CLIx schools in and around a 5 kilometre radius from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Rajendra Nagar, Hyderabad. I have selected one school in rural Telangana, in Warangal which is about 160 Kms from Hyderabad. The following are the schools that I have shortlisted to consider for my study.
Govt Zilla Parishad High School – Rajendra Nagar
Govt Zilla Parishad High School – Shivarampally
Govt High School – Krishna Colony
My first field visit was to ZPHS Shivarampally. It was quite a good experience interacting with the Principal about the school, background of the students and school calendar. The Principal was quite supportive and encouraging about my study intervention at the school. He shared the school calendar and helped me arrive at slots to visit the school, interact with the students and observe the classrooms. I observed the English classes that day and interacted with some students; students have been very enthusiastic and excited about my visit. They were such curious learners that they started bombarding me with so many questions about my visit and how they can be a part of my work. Spending time in the school premises, talking to people there helped me gain a basic understanding of the school functions. The school has a huge building with playground, however, I could not find many meaningful wall paintings in the school and also the ground was not student-sports-friendly. Some of the pictures that I have taken…
I observed that students, both boys and girls were excited about playing Kabaddi, the state sport of Telangana. Another interesting thing was about the students watering the plants during their break times. They did not need orders from anyone to take up such work, they voluntarily engaged in such activities and this proactive participation was a visual treat to me.
I now have a plan of what is to be done at this school. I regret that my coursework at TISS keeps me so occupied leaving little space to engage with the field on an everyday basis. So, I have planned a scattered visit to these schools. During my next visits, I plan to administer the survey to 10 students and conduct interviews of the Principal, teachers and students. As these schools are in the semi urban areas, capturing the pictures about the community practices was not feasible, but, I await my visit to Warangal, where I am hopeful to find some interesting pictures depicting the community culture. My interactions with the other research fellows have been quite good, listening to their experiences and sharing my experiences builds the spirit of the work we are all into. I am glad we now have weekly calls with the CLIx team as this gives an opportunity to share the work and seek any clarifications and guidance to do more meaningful research.
I look forward to engage with the students and my visit to the rural areas of Telangana…
By Rekha Kendyala