Monday, 25 March 2019


Anna Hazare with Mass Communication students of Symbiosis


Ralegan Siddi is a model village developed by great social activist Anna Hazare some 80 kilometers from Pune. Students of Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication, IInd year, accompanied by the Faculty for Development Communication, Vidyabhushan Arya, visited the village on a weekend trip to experience life at the grass root level and know firsthand the need for  rural development.

On a day pregnant with the promise of rain, they set off to meet the great Socialist leader Anna Hazare, who has built India’s rural development dream around Ralegan Siddhi. Despite the early morning drill, the students arrived untired by their two and a half hour ride to the village, eager to meet Anna, as he is fondly known and understand firsthand the various concepts and facets of Rural development.

Always happy to be surrounded by youth, Anna Hazare came up to meet the awe struck group of students and interacted with them for over an hour. During his talk he helped students understand the need for public participation which helps expedite the development process. Students were taken to see the Watershed Management sites, Anna’s Museum and also the Village Auditorium where all public functions are held including community marriages. They also visited the Hind Swaraj Trust which is responsible for planning out the Octogenarian Anna Hazare’s national level activities.

“I have but one bed to sleep in, one plate to eat in—I have not earned wealth in millions but in the respect and love shown to me by the people,” said Anna, Addressing the students. “People do not celebrate the anniversaries of millionaires. They revere people who have given their lives to the cause of the nation. For me service of the nation is greater than self-service, for me, my nation is everything,” the leader added.

“I had goose bumps when Anna appeared before us in person,” says SCMC student Madhavi Jain, “That one moment will stay with me forever,” she added. “We have all heard about Anna Hazare, but to actually see him in person, interact with the man hailed as the modern Mahatma Gandhi of our time, was an unforgettable experience, revealed Amar Kate,

another student from the group. “I was very impressed with his work, his ethics and simple living,” he averred. The interaction proved to be very educative and students felt privileged to meet Anna.

Says faculty member, Mr. Arya “It is an annual feature for me to take students on a trip to Ralegan Siddhi. The route to Anna’s village is by now etched in my memory. But as always, the aura of Anna Hazare, the interaction with students and his impact on the students never fails to impress. For us this is like an annual pilgrimage to meet one of India’s last living legends.

Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication is the top ranked Mass Communication College in India.

Dr. Shirin Abbas is the Bureau Chief "TheIndiaObserver.Com". She is a world-renowned journalist, winner of several national and international awards for her contribution to Media Research.The first recipient of the prestigious British Chevening Scholarship for Print Journalism in 1999 from her state of Uttar Pradesh. Under the same, she studied at the School of Media, Communication, and Design at the University Of Westminster, London and interned with The Irish Times, Dublin. She has been a journalist for over three decades, working at several national English dailies in North India. She completed her PhD. in Mass Communication in 2016.

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