Village India Program

Village India 2008 students with Professor Glenn Stone

In 2007, Professor Glenn Stone started the Village India Program as a partnership between RDF and the Washington University  of St. Louis Department of Anthropology.

Initially, students stayed at RDF VAPV Junior College for six weeks and divided their time between arts/research projects, exploring Professor Stone’s anthropological research, and teaching classes to the RDF JC students.

The types of classes  taught over the years include photo blogging, website design, creative writing, drawing, journalism, comparative politics, U.S. & Indian Culture, and computer communications.

The 2010 group was led by Professor Ken Botnick (returning for the second time) and consisted of five female students. With the help of Professor Botnick, the five students designed classes to teach to the JC students. When not in class, the WashU students participated in cultural outings and connected with Kalleda School and JC students in a casual setting.

2010 Wash U Village India students

The Wash U students have built their own Youtube channel, with videos that feature different aspects of village life. They are also responsible for Kalleda’s famed photoblog, which continues to be updated today.

Several new cohorts of students have been trained as photo bloggers, first at Kalleda School and then at RDF VAPVJunior College.  They have been taught by Washington University students Emily Hawkins, Alma Carver, and Lane Goodman, Fiona Sloan, and Christine Diepenbrock. Eighteen students at the RDF VAPV Junior College participated in the summer 2012 photo blog class.  There is now a photo blog course at Kalleda School taught by the school’s computer instructor, C. Anil.   Anil was one of the first pupils, and he now instructs 8th and 9th-class students in photography, videography, video editing, and website design. Currently Wash U research scholar, Andrew Flachs, is volunteering at Kalleda School, helping students improve communication skills via the photo blog project. He also assists teachers and students in improving language skills and activities for the Grow by Reading reading program.