Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Visit to Patna

From 15th April to 18th April:

I am visiting Patna after more than 5 years. The one thing which strikes me most is the amount of construction work which is going on. You can see it everywhere be it near railway station, housing complexes or nalas. Every place is experiencing the wind of change. I suddenly can vision what it will be 10-15 years down the line if the same pace of development goes on. Bihar will become unrecognizable. Who knows it may start giving many European countries a competition in terms of development!

Still things which disturb me are the poor people on the streets, paddling rickshaws, running roadside dirty shops. Can we ever change this country? Yes! We can. But only government will never be able to do the whole work. The community will have to take the responsibility as well. Be it labor or small amount of monetary contribution people will have to come forward. They will have to start caring. As many feel in Indian society we have stopped caring or why just Indian society I could experience it abroad as well. Yet the student communities abroad are sensitized enough for the need. Indian students still have a long way to go. Hopefully ‘Jagriti’ will be able to bring some change.

The Purpose:

My purpose of visit was mainly to present the pilot proposal related to small chain of food kiosks. The Women Development Corporation (WDC) head wasn’t present. Her place was taken by Erina Sinha. A quite professional looking lady and always asking questions. Later I came to know that she holds an MBA degree from Xavier’s. I had small interaction with her after the presentation and I was impressed by her enthusiasm & forthcoming nature. Women’s development seems to be in right hands.

Visiting the city:

Patna or erstwhile Patliputra doesn’t have the reminiscent of the old glory that it saw at the time of Ashoka or Chandragupta. The glorious past has been overshadowed by corrupt governments and the abysmally bad condition of almost ‘everything’. During the day in the newspaper I read Rabri Devi asking for forgiveness from the voters of her home constituency, Gopalganj, and asking them to vote her again into power. Stupid! Even after sucking the state for so long they didn’t realize that such situation might arise. Changing colors of a politician!

Traveling in the city I could see future. I could find myself comparing it with Europe. The one thing which struck me in Europe was activities around water bodies. The water bodies, which have been meeting points for scholars & places for interaction among groups as well as families, build lot of cohesion. I remember having philosophical conversation with one of my very good friends and group member at ESSEC. It was quite instantaneous for me. I miss that in India. Though the days are not far when India can also experience things like these e.g. Sabarmati River front project. I could see the changed landscape and what it can do to the people. I am hopeful. I always have been. Change is inevitable. It is just a matter of time. As Buddha says “….nothing is static. All the things are in the state of constant flux…” .Bihar, derived from ‘Vihar’ & birthplace of Buddhism, a place having glorious past will rise and so will India.


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