Commentary and opinion on national and regional politics by Seema Malhotra

Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Dishaa experience

The sound of crickets outside in the evening, fresh coconut water available from the street stalls and an amazing group of 40 "leaders" from UK and India coming together in Pune bodes well for a stimulating and challenging week networking with people minded to social change. It's the first round of the Dishaa and a few hours in I'm already feeling humbled by the achievements and drive of those I'm meeting. Journalists, consultants, social entrepreneurs, corporate financiers, industrialists - just sharing stories of who we are and what we are doing is itself truly inspirational. Over dinner we talked about life as an Asian in London, tackling poverty in Bihar and how Bihar is a next great unfolding story of Indian progress, innovative vocational education programmes being run by Lend-a-Hand India in rural schools, textile industry across the world and legacy of decline of UK textile base, infrastructure bonds and their use in India and potential applicability to UK. And the week hasn't even yet formally begun.