I can barely forget this month. It has become one of my most cherished times spent in expanding my comfort zones. And I have come to incessantly grow within myself. And I am loving it a helluva lot. The first thing which attracted me to attend this program is its entire structure; the entire ideology on which it is built. I fell in love with the concepts of social business and social entrepreneurship. I always wanted to be full of knowledge pertaining to social entrepreneurship, as also grasping the over-all nitty-gritty of this trend. I came to love the exposure it gives. I saw it as an excellent platform wherein I can put in practice, the things I have learnt at the Law School. I also loved the fact that I would be getting to meet people from the total opposite of the Hemisphere - not only the Earth's but also the Mind's. I now realise that it was indeed worth all the efforts..!
The first day, I walked into the Deshpande Centre and I see a whole bunch of students from the Northeastern University sitting in a file, busy pressing hard on their laptops. They seemed unabashedly oblivious of the world around them, drowned into the worlds their laptops showed them. I introduced myself to Ms. Denise, assuming she was one of the students, but later complimented her on her deceptive looks...:) The day did not go as it had ought to go, since few Indian peers turned up.
The real program started off the next day and I felt grateful I was a part of it. The ice-breaker broke the ice with great alacrity. My interactions with the American peers was getting a slow take-off. It felt good to be away from the Law School to attend such a cozy program.
Some days later, we were divided into groups, with which we had to work for the rest of the program. We first chose child marriage to be our issue but later changed it to the use of organic farming methods as this led to healthier aquatic life, though indirectly. Today was the first day on which all of us went together to Gamanagatti for the field research and I learnt a lot of lessons.
The first lesson I learnt was that of discipline as regards to time management. Secondly, I discovered the sheer lack of awareness, complacency and obliviousness inherent in an average Indian farmer. His life seems to me a paradox [All our lives are paradoxes of some sorts.:)]. For example, today, when we interviewed a farmer about various farming techniques, he quipped with answers which highlighted the fact that though he knows what is good and what is bad, he is forced - by the forces of poverty and destitution - to choose the bad, because it seems to him to be economical. What an oxymoron India is living in..!!
This simple observation stares at us shamelessly yelling at us that our proud announcements of advancements and developments are mere illusions and delusions. Real India is still lingering around the littered fields of lack of awareness. An average Indian farmer, seems to be living under a vicious net which society throws upon him, and in which he thinks he 'ought' to get caught and suffer, because it seems inevitable to him. A very simple analogy to this is, the farmer we interviewed today, uses a particular brand of chemical fertilizer - without knowing its relative effectiveness and/or efficiency - just because most of the farmers in the village use it.
As if to counter this, Nature has bestowed very many blessings on the Indian social fabric. Though real India is ignorant and complacent, it is certainly not oblivious of the values of humanity and humility. Real India still believes in the saying "Atithi Devo Bhavah". Real India still believes in "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam". Real India very happily goes the extra mile in making sure that people feel at home, while with it. Real India is large hearted. Real India is really Indian..!!
P.S.- Attending this Program has made me realize and treasure the value of my Motherland's culture, tradition and values. It has made me hold my head higher up in the air - with great tendency to bow before the Truth with humility, though - with a sense of content and serenity. It has given me the opportunity to get exposed to not only world-class pedagogy and classroom atmosphere, but also to the starkest of the real Indian problems, and made me sensitive enough to respond responsibly to the growing needs of growing India..!! It has made me reflect upon myself and has immensely helped me know what I want to be, in future. I must say though, that India does not lack such opportunities. The only thing which is found wanting is the enthusiasm and the zest to work towards the goal which one dreams of. Actually, no one really knows what he/she wants. The only thing he/she knows is, what he 'got' to want. I tend to deduce that this is the very reason for the existing complacency and inertia. The very fact that people do not know and they do not want to know has weaved a lustrous cobweb of imagined societal pressure which is in turn seeming to be the individual perception of the society.
Thanks to the Global Corps Program Team for the opportunity to gain such practical insights into the world I live in. I am bound to use it, sooner or later.