For the very first time in the history of Delhi University (DU), a group of girl students from across 32 colleges has embarked on a cross-country journey across central and western India.
The university has hired a trans-national educational train — Gyanodaya Express — to carry 940 girls from different colleges of the university along with 60 teachers.
The train was flagged off on Sunday morning from the Safdarjung Railway Station by university vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh. It will make its first stop in Ahmedabad and conclude its journey 12 days later at Wardha, near Nagpur.
“Such an experiment should have been conducted during my student days as well. I have been preparing for months together for this trip. For these students, this trip will be a wonderful and enlightening experience as they will have a chance to understand what they are studying in college about their country. Hopefully, they will come back thoroughly enriched,” said Singh.
The vice-chancellor also announced that several competitions will be conducted throughout the journey and the winner will be given a Shatabdi cross-country package by the Railways.
While the Gyanodaya Express will make its stop at a number of historically and culturally important destinations such as Sabarmati, Mumbai Naval Base, Madgaon, ISRO and Wardha, the trip does not spell leisure for the travellers. The students will have to accurately study their surroundings for their project report.
“The students are expected to observe and study aspects such as geography, agriculture, language, literature and ethnicity of people from different regions they visit. Based on their interest, they will finally have to submit a project report at the end of the journey,” Singh added.
DU officials added that the university made several tie-ups with a number of institutions regarding the availability of the train and ironed out other modalities."The train has been hired for R1.85 crore. However, the response has not been as glowing from across the university due to the ongoing holidays. So we have taken students from only 32 colleges," said a senior DU official.