Holistic education is all about learning, observing, experiencing and opining. Students seldom are learning at such an all inclusive level. The conventional Indian syllabus is mostly programmed to cater to the potential vocational needs of children. But in the process of this rank-driven education system , practical learning, exposure and development of social intelligence seem to get ignored. Languages and cultural studies cannot be restricted to books for their real understanding. Dr.Savita Kelkar, the woman of positive convictions and astute vision, has not only spearheaded Indo-German cultural exchange programmes but also initiated study tours throughtout Europe with a view to extend the cultural horizons of the students. The genesis of this stint dates back to 1996 when she embarked the exuberant mission of bridging the cross-country divides and successfully the growth of these projects has blossomed till the present day. Every year saw some new value-adding features, new learning experiences and more opportunities. The Indo-German exchange programmes and study tours have evolved to a stage where they are an inclusive opportunity for students to look at the world with a radically different angle, know the various nations just like how a citizen of that country would know and experience the real essence of a socio-cultural rendezvous.
The primary objective of these programmes is developing a cultural understanding between nations through the most powerful national medium, which is today’s youth. The mode of operation is through facilitating these study tours and exchange programmes and embracing global identities. What make these ventures so matchless are the features like the preparation which the students undergo before boarding the actual journey, the way in which they are groomed for this experience and the emphasis on making a written record of their experiences and happenings to retain it in the long run. The outstanding highlight is the chance to actually visit and stay with a German family in Germany is what makes it so worthwhile and enriching in terms of direct cultural cohabitation. On returning back to India , a compilation of the different experiences of participants is published giving this programme a lasting conclusion. Besides these tangible benefits, there is a lot more than students can gain and learn in terms of personality development and inter-personal skills.
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