Login/Sign up

World Association of International Studies

PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post India (Gurgaon) Report
Created by John Eipper on 04/23/13 1:25 PM

Previous posts in this discussion:

Post

India (Gurgaon) Report (Evelyn Aleman, USA, 04/23/13 1:25 pm)

India: A World Historical Site that Must be Preserved

India is a country that shocks and stimulates one's senses immediately upon arrival--with sounds, smells, colors, spices and more. Its beautiful architectural wonders like the Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar Minaret, the Red Fort, Jami Masjid Mosque in Old Delhi, and hundreds of beautiful temples, are a testament to its rich historical and cultural past, while its evolving modernity offers travelers western comforts. It offers the visitor a look at an ancient civilization just as it is being transformed through and by globalization.

I visited India for the first time in 2005. It was a Rotary exchange between the Woodland Hills Rotary Club in California and the Gurgaon Club in India. I went back last month, and this time stayed with a Rotarian couple, both doctors, and had an opportunity to experience much more than just the tourist spots.

I stayed in Gurgaon, which is one of the country's most expensive suburbs, and its second largest technology hub. The world's largest multinational companies and banks are located in its center. Downtown Gurgaon is lined with malls, including Ambience--its largest, which boasts an ice skating rink, 32-lane bowling alley, 24-screen cinema with first-class service that includes reclining seats, dinner and more, restaurants, shops from around the world, a brewery, amusement park rides, a gym and golf course. A metro, which now connects Gurgaon to Delhi, will soon provide connectors to each office building, so that commuters can quickly access this new mode of transport, thereby further reducing traffic, which is horrendous. Toll roads are quickly replacing dirt roads with new, more modern highways, while apartments and condominiums are filling open spaces--a process that is giving way to further urbanization and prompting many organizations, like the Rotary Club, to take on environmentally conscientious campaigns such as tree planting.

While in Gurgaon, I also had an opportunity to visit a Rotary-funded school, which provides K-12 education to some 2,200 students from local areas. At the school, upper middle-class and poor children study alongside one another. Thirty percent of students from poor families receive an education free of change. In a society still divided by castes, the school instills moral values and a strong educational foundation. Students wear uniforms to remind that at the school everyone is equal and that what matters is their academic success. The students have an Eco Club, which teaches them about environmental preservation, and are taught music and dance. They are also taught medicine and yoga, with emphasis on key pressure points throughout the body for mental and physical strength and focus.

Throughout India there is great emphasis in science, math, technology and English as core subjects. The success of a student is dependent on a teacher's effectiveness--a far cry from the way our education system works in the US. Teachers at the Rotary school explained that there are also now Abacus or Vedic centers throughout India, which teach children as young as four years old to do mental arithmetic using their fingers and the abacus.

In spite of its infrastructural gains, and technological and economic advances, India's poverty continues to be daunting. The plight of the elderly, the sick, women and children is especially gripping. During my stay, I visited an NGO in Delhi called The Earth Saviors Foundation, which provides food, lodging and care for the elderly poor and destitute, and a school for children from the slums. Its founder, Ravi Kalra, a Rotarian, is a former businessman, who traveled to 40 countries before he started the organization. During the day, Karla and his volunteer corps visit slums and stop at traffic signals to convince parents to allow their children to attend his school. By night, he travels the road looking for abandoned sick, elderly, mentally ill and women who may be in need of care. Karla performs last rites on those who lay dying along the road and ensures that they, and the unidentified bodies he often finds, are properly cremated with the dignity that he says all human beings deserve.

Social activism is strong in India. There is some progress being made in support of women's rights. More and more men and women have taken to the streets in recent months to protest rapes that have made headlines in the country and around the world.

On my visit to Old Delhi, I also met a Rotarian activist who has turned his home into a hotel--for safety reasons. Arshad Ali Fehmi, his wife and 14-year-old son are working toward the preservation of the 17th-century Jami Masjid Mosque, and its surrounding areas. Fehmi's efforts are opposed by the mosque's Imam, who stands to lose financially if it were to be turned over to the government for preservation. Because threats have been made on his life, and his home has been vandalized by a mob, Fehmi is now guarded by a military soldier 24 hours a day, seven days a week. His wife is a well-known activist for the rights of Muslim women. His young son, Omair, hopes to some day become a lawyer.

There is so much more to India than its historical sites, its cultures and people. It is a modern world emerging within an old country--a world historical site that must be preserved. I am curious to see the new changes on my next visit.

JE comments: A most fascinating report from Evelyn Aleman, whose visit to India coincided with my brief trip last month to Guatemala. Perhaps nowhere on earth is the contrast of the ancient and the modern so pronounced as in India--and as I recently remarked to Evelyn off-Forum, WAIS coverage of the world's second-largest nation is quite scanty.

Evelyn included a number of beautiful photographs, three of which I attach here.  Size and e-mail constraints limit the number of images I can send in one go, so I may have to do a follow-up post.

Evelyn Aleman at Holika Festival of Colors, Delhi

 

Gurgaon Business District, with Metro

 

Evelyn Aleman at Red Fort, Delhi


SHARE:
Rate this post
Informational value 
Insight 
Fairness 
Reader Ratings (10)
95%
Informational value98%
Insight96%
Fairness92%

Visits: 34

Comments/Replies

Please login/register to reply or comment: Login/Sign up

Trending Now



All Forums with Published Content (41956 posts)

- Unassigned

Culture & Language

American Indians Art Awards Bestiary of Insults Books Conspiracy Theories Culture Ethics Film Food Futurology Gender Issues Humor Intellectuals Jews Language Literature Media Coverage Movies Music Newspapers Numismatics Philosophy Plagiarism Prisons Racial Issues Sports Tattoos Western Civilization World Communications

Economics

Capitalism Economics International Finance World Bank World Economy

Education

Education Hoover Institution Journal Publications Libraries Universities World Bibliography Series

History

Biographies Conspiracies Crime Decline of West German Holocaust Historical Figures History Holocausts Individuals Japanese Holocaust Leaders Learning Biographies Learning History Russian Holocaust Turkish Holocaust

Nations

Afghanistan Africa Albania Algeria Argentina Asia Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Central America Chechnya Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark East Europe East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Estonia Ethiopia Europe European Union Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guatemala Haiti Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Persia) Iraq Ireland Israel/Palestine Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latin America Liberia Libya Mali Mexico Middle East Mongolia Morocco Namibia Nations Compared Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North America Norway Pacific Islands Pakistan Palestine Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Polombia Portugal Romania Saudi Arabia Scandinavia Scotland Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa South America Southeast Asia Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Syria Thailand The Pacific Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine USA (America) USSR/Russia Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Europe Yemen Yugoslavia Zaire

Politics

Balkanization Communism Constitutions Democracy Dictators Diplomacy Floism Global Issues Hegemony Homeland Security Human Rights Immigration International Events Law Nationalism NATO Organizations Peace Politics Terrorism United Nations US Elections 2008 US Elections 2012 US Elections 2016 Violence War War Crimes Within the US

Religion

Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Liberation Theology Religion

Science & Technology

Alcohol Anthropology Automotives Biological Weapons Design and Architecture Drugs Energy Environment Internet Landmines Mathematics Medicine Natural Disasters Psychology Recycling Research Science and Humanities Sexuality Space Technology World Wide Web (Internet)

Travel

Geography Maps Tourism Transportation

WAIS

1-TRIBUTES TO PROFESSOR HILTON 2001 Conference on Globalizations Academic WAR Forums Ask WAIS Experts Benefactors Chairman General News Member Information Member Nomination PAIS Research News Ronald Hilton Quotes Seasonal Messages Tributes to Prof. Hilton Varia Various Topics WAIS WAIS 2006 Conference WAIS Board Members WAIS History WAIS Interviews WAIS NEWS waisworld.org launch WAR Forums on Media & Research Who's Who