KOZHIKODE:They were surprised to listen to the energetic youth of Centre for Research and Education for Social Transformation (CREST), as they had per-conceived ideas about the children belonging to the backward communities in India and their academic background. During a week’s stay on the campus, four undergraduate students from University of Toronto, Canada, experienced the warmth of Kerala’s hospitality.
“Until the time we landed in Kerala, we had misconceptions about the students of backward communities in India. We thought of learning the socio-economic set-up of the country in an anthropological perspective, as part of our course. But these students surprised us. They are well-informed and communicative. They are able to share their concepts of future and how potentially they could build up a career, after passing out from the institution,” says Sam Tait, one of the students who are doing internship courses here.
He and other friends - Shannon McKechnie, Sara Christensen and Sydney Lang - arrived at CREST a week ago and are interacting with the students here. As part of their internship course, they will also take part in a theatre workshop, along with the students here. Their main aim is to understand how the socially and economically backward students of India make use of the opportunities and the potential available for them in the market and how much the governments are working towards their uplift.
In a week’s time, Sam could travel around the city and taste the ethnic Kozhikoden dishes. “The people around are warm and friendly. They have respect for the outsiders and are always helpful to show you the destinations,” he says. The girl students also gave full marks to the food, though spicy, compared to their Canadian food.
As part of their course here, they will move to interact with the youngsters of model residential schools in northern Kerala. On May 1, classes will be held in Wayanad; on May 10, they will come to Youth Hostel, East Hill, and then move to Sargalaya, Iringal, and visit Kuzhalmandam Model Residential School. Thirty-five students from the school will participate in the classes.