These programs are designed with the local rural agricultural school students, in mind. They are meant to provide opportunities for these students, to get hands-on experience working on a real farm.
The ideal group size would be eight students and a guide. It is required that they all come with lots of enthusiasm and willingness to work hard. The guide will be responsible for ensuring proper group discipline, behavior and making sure that all the planned activities are done meticulously.
Three weeks would be minimum while one month would be ideal. The month of November is recommended. Other months may also be considered for the Practice School programs. However, currently, we are not able to host this program in the non-winter months.
A nominal fee of Rs. 100/- per day will be charged per student. The Farmer, at his discretion and depending on the group's performance may waive this partly or entirely.
Rustic accommodation in shared tent cottages is provided. Students have to bring their own bedding or sleeping bags. Please note that the winter month temperatures can dip quite a bit. So please bring warm bedding during the months of November to March.
The students have to manage their own food and cooking. A temporary kitchen with gobar gas connection will be set up for them during the duration of the stay. The kitchen supplies will need to be purchased from the nearby town of Vidyanagar. Each student can take 1/2 liter of Milk from the Dairy every day (after the evening milking only). Also depending on the availability, farm fresh vegetables (reasonable amount), wheat and rice will be made available. A cook can accompany them if required.
All the students will take turns cleaning the common areas like the toilets. They will need to keep the gobar gas operational using the cow dung produced in the Heifer housing in the Gurukul. There will be other season specific tasks like collecting and feeding the wood to the Gujarat boiler for the hot water, burning the Neem leaves in the evenings to control the mosquitoes in the summer etc. The tents and the surroundings need to be kept clean.
Boisterous partying, smoking, drinking and drugs are strictly prohibited. The local cultural sensitivities are always to be respected. The guide will need to ensure this at all times.
Boisterous partying, smoking, drinking and drugs are strictly prohibited. The local cultural sensitivities are always to be respected.
The students are expected to put in a minimum of six hours of hard labor everyday on the farm. They also need to spend about an hour everyday updating their diary, recording their observations, making notes of the work done and planning for the next day. The farmer takes a walk around the farm every morning and this is something not to be missed because you will learn a lot from the farmer's observations and comments. Tuesdays are off but sometimes you may have to take some other day off instead. The farm timings are different for the Dairy and the non-Dairy activities and different in Summer and Winter. The start and close of each session is heralded by the sounding of the farm bell. The timings are as follows -
Morning 3:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.
Evening 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Morning 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Evening 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Morning 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Evening 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Students are advised not to come with any valuable items. No responsibility will be taken for loss of any item.
Just imagine that you are landing in a place where all you have are tents to stay in, common toilets and a kitchen with a stove, powered by Gobar gas, for cooking. There will be a electric point only in the kitchen. Electric lighting is only in the kitchen, toilets and outside the tents. You will need to get everything else that you need.
Here is a recommended list of things to get -