“Never has there been a place with more challenges, nor has there been a place with more opportunities. India.” That was a quote from one of the leaders of the “Hub” in Mombai yesterday. The Hub is an incubator for Social Entrepreneurship.
The World Young Leader’s Forum by the BMW,Quant Foundation continues to expand my brain. I swear I can feel it. Today’s topics focused on building social cohesion from a institutional level and from a growth perspective. Can one build equality without the other. India has staggering numbers – in 1950 the population was 350 million, today it is 1.2 billion. 72% of the population survives on $1/day. Last month they signed up 16million new cell phone users. In major cities the caste systems and barriers to success are breaking down rapidly but there is more poverty and the living conditions are worse for these people than in the rural areas. Water and sanitation are huge problems but on the other hand a group in a rural area literally stopped a train with bows and arrows to prevent a company from staring to mine and ruin their natural resources and forests.
Continuing on the contrasts, this morning, CK who I met on the plane gave me a ride from the hotel to the city center. He, his sister and I had an interesting conversation for the 45 minute ride. The driver dropped them off and took me onto an area for shopping. I was enjoying my 1st glimpse of the colonial architecture, and we drove by a huge cricket field where there were some tests going on a I was taking note of the different ways to wear saris when an Indian guy about 20 walked by wearing …. A Team New Zealand T-shirt!
Final Thanksgiving note
The hotel had ‘turkey picatta’ for lunch which I ate next to my tandoori chicken and unbelievable Dhal. Who would have thought that lentils could taste that good!
The Taj Hotel Where the Main Attack Took Place 1 Yr. Ago Today
Today is the one year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. 26/11 and the world’s largest democracy renewed their commitments to fight terrorism, while remembering the 130 victims.
There is a lot to be thankful for and I am so glad that I am able to delve into this country and the opportunities here and at home. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.