University of Bristol Trans-Continental Expedition 1960-61

'A DREAM COME TRUE' A letter from D.N Jadhav presented at the Reunion 2000 in Pusegaon

This letter addressed to the people of Pusegaon in heartfelt thanks for their support for the Reunion. It was read by D.N Jadhav at the closing ceremony of the Reunion when Peter Krinks, Tony Morrison, Roger Tutt and their wives received Honorary Citizenship of the town... Editor 2009

Dear Friends,

As an young student of IX standard in Satara and visiting Pusegaon on the week ends I had watched on three/four occasions the young students from U.K. for a short while. I was too shy and young (13 years) to have any interface with them and observed them taking a photograph or two and once had read the map on the hood of their vehicle showing the road from Bristol, UK to Maharashtra and Pusegaon by which they had travelled by their Land Rover vehicle.

Their visit was in the early sixties and was for six months was what I had thought earlier. It was my impression that time that they were travelling from Satara daily. This viist had been faint in my memory. I was deeply impressed by the informality and dedication of all these six students. They were dressed in Khaki or Khaki like trousers and invariably had colourful T-shirts on them. They were unmindful of heat and dust while catching impressive photographs of the village life. The village that time was a real village, more or less sleepy, with few streaks development. It was, however, a central place for bazaar for its neighbourhood.

It was around 1995 or 1996, while telling my son about the tremendous transformation the village had undergone over the last few decades that it occurred to me that passing of such knowledge or information out of memory would fade one day with the people of the older generation. The new generation with active life habits would no longer be interested in knowing about the past. So I thought of having some documents as archives about the earlier village life. It occurred to me that this 'Study Team' of the Bristol University students would be of tremendous help in my quest for the literature or documents and photographs on the village life. Photography was almost non-existant at that time in the village and many people lived long life without having been photographed even once! Thus began my search for our distinguished guests. I distinctly recollect having read in the newspapers at that time about the sponsorship of this visit by the Gokhale Institute, Pune. After having tried with the Institute and not being able to get anything substantial because of time lapse of over 40 years, I decided to approach the Registrar, Bristol University. My efforts bore fruit and finally contact was established with the group (in particular with Mr. Tony Morrison), on 1st April 1999. I felt I had found a treasure trove and then there was no looking back. I am getting information about the village notes, photographs etc. in a trickle from the group and this trickle would become a torrent once they arrive in our village shortly.

It was with this specific purpose that I had started my search of this wonderful people and we are going to have them amongst us for three days very shortly. I was impressed by them in 1960. I was very happy to know in 1999 that they are all fairly health and are in touch with each other. I was thrilled to know that they are seriously planning to make a revisit to Puesegaon and delighted by the fact that even their lady-wives have thought it fit to visit our small place. We all in the village in general and I myself in particular are delighted and excited about the revisit. There is tremendous enthusiasm, curiosity, voluntary participation in terms of time and money. The visit has brought the entire village together and has united them cutting across differences. Cleanliness has been given great importance. Spirit of unity and cleanliness are two most commendable achievement of this visit. I am sure the visit would be highly beneficial to all of us in establishing more meaningful, more warm and more regular contacts between the "Team" and the villagers of Pusegaon.

I will be failing in my duty if I do not mention about the tremendous help which I got from hundreds, literally hundreds, of people from the village including the elected representatives, the government officers, the teaching community, the students, my friends, relatives and family members, police officers and staff and officers and staff of the MSEB and from many others whom I am not mentioning in this brief note. I am intentionally not mentioning the names or designations of anybody in particular because it will be too formal for me to do so and I would like to be indebted to them and be under their kind obligation on me than be formal by thanking them. I am sure the burden of this obligation on me is going to increase both qualitatively and quantitatively as the visit approaches and passes through successfully (I have no doubt about the success of the visit and people's enthusiasm for the same). A special mention must be made about the press especially at Pune, Kolhapur, Satara and Pusegaon proper, which gave so much of coverage and importance to this unique visit - the "Reunion-2000". This visit would definitely help us understand each other and enable to build communication channels between the Team, the University and our villages for the future.

Wishing all the best for the occasion and thanking everybody once again.

Yours sincerely,


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