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Rural-urban youth exchanges in India
Rural-urban youth exchanges in India

Rural-urban youth exchanges in India


by Manon Michelle Monhemius

Young people from urban and rural areas in India live in different realities. There are few connections between these young people and they know little about how others live.  

The trustbuilding team in India is actively changing that by organising exchanges and meetups between the young people of different regions. Rural children visit the urban areas, stay with a local family, and the other way around.   

School visits to Grampari

'After participating in the rice planting activity yesterday, I realised how much hard work is involved in farming. It is not just the planting but also the weeding and harvesting. There is much hard work involved, and it is not easy.' -Urban student 

Children working in rice fields

The children did several exercises to get to know each other and learn from each other. 

Connect activity

A video impression shows the urban children arriving in Panchgani and follows them and their rural counterparts during their visit. 

Home stay in rural India

An integral part of the exchange is students staying with a local family to experience the way children in other areas live. 

Kalmadi home visit
TOS home visit
School visits to Pune

'I always thought that children from the cities didn’t care about nature, but after hearing about the activities they do (river cleanups, seed balls, flood relief work), I realised that my perception was incorrect.' -Rural student

TOS library

During one of the workshops the children made bags to gift each other. 

Children made bags to gift each other
Home stay in urban India

New friendships were made between students from the different areas during their visits and homestays.

TOS at host family
TOS at host family
Teacher training

The teachers are important in building trust between urban and rural youth, as they play a trustbuilder role in the initiative and after the team has worked with the schools. A two-day residential trustbuilding training was recently held for eleven teachers from urban and rural schools to prepare them for this task. 

Teachers and Grampari team with Profesor Rajmohan Gandhi
Testimonials of students who participated

A few students share what this exchange has meant and how it has influenced their perceptions.