Clean Beaches and Leadership Training


One hundred and thirty school and college students from across Odisha had a whale of a time as they absorbed the various leadership skills imparted at the RYLA programme at ­Gopalpur-on-sea, 16 km from Berhampur, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. The three-day programme was hosted by RC ­Berhampur, RI District 3262. The curriculum, a ­balanced mix of activities and training sessions, was designed by the faculties of KIIT School of Management, Odisha.

The participants learnt group dynamics and leadership challenges through activities such as furniture-making using raw bamboos and sand art competition. Yoga on the beach and trekking emphasised the concept of physical fitness and its positive effect on mental health. Cultural performances gave a boost to their confidence and ignited their interest in extra-curricular activities.

The beach cleaning activity, Swachh Bharat Challenge and the joys, exposed the participants to the challenges of keeping our environment clean. The team collected around 500 kg of garbage at the beach! They would think twice before littering the beach any time they visit one and this hands-on participation would inspire the youngsters to discourage others from doing so too. It was a lesson in Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat — Clean India, Healthy India!

“Hats off to Rotary! RYLA has transformed us so much. We have re-­invented ourselves in these three days of high energy and learning and more than anything, the ‘team work.’ We now go back with such fond memories and friends for a life time,” commented a participant to a question about his RYLA experience.

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