KOCHI: How many of us are fortunate enough to be selected as part of a youth exchange programme? Gayathri S Mohan sure is. The third-year Law student from the Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram, was chosen for an eight-day visit to China as part of the programme organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs. A total of 176 students were part of the visit, Gayathri being the sole one to be selected from the city.
The group visited Beijing, Dunhuang and Lanzhou. “Dunhuang is connected to the silk route. Buddhism is said to have spread to India from Dunhuang. The Buddhist philosophy is preserved in their museum and caves,” says Gayathri, adding that the city was her favourite.
One thing that caught her eye was the discipline among people. “They strictly follow rules and regulations. Shops in Beijing function on time,” she says.
In Beijing, the group interacted with the students of the China Youth Development Foundation, a governmental organisation that aimed at developing social commitment among Chinese youth and creating employment opportunities for them. “Volunteers from the foundation travelled with us to three cities. The were also the ones who translated the native language,” says Gayathri. Lanzhou was the last city that Gayathri visited.
The group also visited heritage sites such as the Summer Palace and the Great Wall of China. An ardent NSS volunteer, her excellent performance in academics, cultural activities and sports helped her find a spot in the programme. She is also a rank-holder at the University Institute of Technology, West Bengal.