Jaipur, Jan 28 (IANS) The Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), the largest free literary festival in the world, has made it to the classrooms of the Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities (JSLH).
The annual literary conglomeration of the finest writers has been inducted as a course which offers two credits to students who pursue the event in Jaipur and follow it up with classes at their Sonipat, Haryana, campus.
The idea was conceptualised when O.P. Jindal Global University (JDU) had participated at the JLF last year. It was then that Arjun Puri from JSLH began conceptualising a course on the literature festival.
“I thought of this course as JLF is considered to be among the top literary festivals in the world and is one of the biggest in Asia. It also hosts some of the best writers from across the globe. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Vice Chancellor C. Raj Kumar and the dean of the university,” Puri told IANS.
Puri believes that constricting education within the four walls of the classroom will be detrimental to intellectual growth.
“Classes must have practical use and that is precisely what this course seeks to accomplish. Volunteering is not part of any curriculum. I feel that it works as an incentive for students and provide them organisational skills too,” he felt.
Of the 34 students who undertook the course, seven managed to earn three points for interning with the organisers of the event, Teamwork Arts.
The seven students who worked for a fortnight with the organisers also handled JLF’s social media, while the rest handled verticals like logistics, blogging and volunteering.
“The students were in-charge of various responsibilities within the festival. The healthy mix of working at the festival, reading and writing is what will make this course different. They are also expected to create videos and write-ups of the festival now,” Puri added.
For second-year student Tejaswini Rao, JLF was a life-time experience. It was a dream came true for Rao to meet with her favourite authors Ruskin Bond, Booker winner Marlon James and Shashi Tharoor. “If not for the course, I would have participated in the festival like any other delegate. This was a real challenge for us and I got a first-hand experience of reporting,” she said.
For first-year student Harjot Singh, the take away was more than just an experience to broaden his perspective.
“JLF opened me to books and made them more exciting in a time of social and visual media overkill. Where in the world will you see such range of discussions and diversity of audience? And internship with the team gave me an understanding of how the festival operates,” he said.
Puri feels that the experience has transformed students into matured individuals and other universities should follow suit. “It was a real experience for students. I can see more camaraderie and they have become more mature,” said Puri.