The end is nearing…
Last Thursday (November 3rd) the group met up with some Alumni at an event hosted by Mr. Vaibhav Vohra a ’08 graduate. We were able to discuss the surface level business environment in India, potential economic and business opportunities for the country, as well as individuals starting a business in India.
On Friday we were given an open day in which we could start our ritual assignment; in essence to go to a religious temple or worship place, sit down, and just observe (politely) the coming and going of the worshipers, administrators and visitors. Towards the end of the day we gathered back at our study location in Delhi, and then ventured as a group to view the religious ceremony of a particular Sufi practicing group. Following this event we were “Released” as we had our first 2 day break in over a month.
Usually due to scheduling and time requirements we have about 1 free day every 9 days or so. However, this weekend the BRIC group had 2 free days, and being based in Delhi a large portion of the group members decided to take advantage of this situation, and use the weekend to go explore areas around Delhi including Rajasthan, Jaipur, and Corbett. These excursions included visiting friends and/or family of friends from Babson and elsewhere or going on a short safari/cabin excursion. Some students who stayed back in Delhi managed their way through the ticket stands in order to watch a cricket match (India vs. West Indies). Everyone returned from the weekend either well rested, or relaxed: just what those normal 2 day weekends are meant for (We can only dream of returning back to Babson’s 3 day weekends).
Returning from the weekend we all hit the books. Over the past 2 weeks we had been exploring the different religions more prominent in the general regions of modern day India: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, and Baha’i. We consolidated this information to reflect, and of course to prepare for the final exam which we all took on Wednesday. However, being in an area that has experienced such a large flux of religious expression has really opened our eyes to the different religions as well as some of the cultural implications that can have on the regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, as well as many other countries to where these religions have spread.
Today we are preparing to go on a 4 day trip to Rajasthan to Bal Ashram in Rajasthan. This Ashram helps release child slaves from their illegal forced labor, help them recover from their experiences, and prepare them for higher education and vocational training, as well as providing them with opportunities and skills to avoid being forced back into the labor that they previously experience. To see more of Bal Ashram and the program they work through (Bachpan Bachao Andolan: Save the child) you can visit these two websites: http://www.bba.org.in/balashram/ (Bal Ashram), http://www.bba.org.in/ (BBA). As part of our class in India we will be required to follow up with recommendations for Bal Ashram as to how they can improve the management of the Ashram, as well as for future BRIC groups as to how we can have a positive lasting effect through future visits to Bal Ashram.
That’s all for now, just one week left and the BRIC group gets to encounter some well earned rest in the respective states and countries.
Signing off, week 13 of BRIC 2011