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Faculty & Executive Social Benefit Immersion Trip to India: Part 1

Thursday, Mar. 1, 2012
Since its founding the Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS) has promoted the use of science and technology to benefit underserved communities around the world. The Center continues to work with diverse social entrepreneurs who are using innovation and entrepreneurship to build appropriate and sustainable organizations that directly impact underserved populations. Our expertise and network enabled us to create a trip for Santa Clara University faculty and Executives to facilitate in-depth experiences with communities at the forefront of innovation in India. 
 
Sunday, February 19
 
All 12 of our Santa Clara University delegation arrived in Kolkata by today, via Dubai, Frankfurt, or Bangkok. 

The afternoon is devoted to immersion in the City of Joy, with visits to the Victoria Memorial; St. John’s Church; an obelisk commemorating the black hole of Kolkata, as described in Dipak Basu’s A Flight of Green Parrots; and the Mother Teresa Center, where Fr. Reites takes communion.  

At the Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

At the Victoria Memorial, Kolkata. From left: Fr. Jim Reites, S.J.; Thane Kreiner; Ashley Kim; Silvia Figueria; Susan and Bill Carter; Suki Singh; Larry Hambly; Sherrill Dale; Ruth Davis; Hohyun Lee.
 
Larry Hambly asks our guide questions along the Ganges in Kolkata.
Larry Hambly asks our guide questions along the Ganges in Kolkata.
 
Thane, Hohyun, and Fr. Reites outside Mother Teresa Center in Kolkata.
Thane, Hohyun, and Fr. Reites outside Mother Teresa Center in Kolkata.
 
The largest Communist rally in several years attracts fewer participants than organizers expect, minimally affecting traffic but affording us some great photo ops.
 
Communist rally in Kolkata
Communist rally in Kolkata.
 
A welcome reception is followed by dinner is at a terrific Bengali restaurant, Aaheli; Fulbright Fellow Preeta Banerjee of Brandeis joins us this evening and through the day on Monday.
 

The Carters celebrate with a birthday/anniversary cake at Aaheli; it is neither their anniversary nor either of their birthdays!
 
Monday, February 20
 
We visit Metiabruz, an Anudip (GSBI '04) MERIT Center in a minority Muslim community. Many of the young women are delighted that we have returned. They pepper the School of Engineering faculty and our Advisory Board members with questions, and demonstrate a strong working knowledge of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.
 
On the bus to Metiabruz, with Preeta Banerjee, Fulbright Scholar from Brandeis.
On the bus to Metiabruz, with Preeta Banerjee, Fulbright Scholar from Brandeis.
 
Anudip team and SCU delegation at Metiabruz MERIT Center
Anudip team and SCU delegation at Metiabruz MERIT Center with the prestigious NASSCOM Social Innovation Prize recently won by Anudip.
 
Several hours later and picking up Madukhar Shukla of XLRI, we arrive at a rural MAST (Market Aligned Skills Training) Center in Gocharan, where we are warmly greeted by faculty and students; they shower us with handmade gifts. Anudip’s partner at this Center is Alor Pathe.
 

Dipak Basu at Anudip’s Gocharan MAST Center in partnership with Alor Pathe. 
 
Driving back into Kolkata, we visit GSBI 2011 alum Piyush Jaju of ONergy, which focuses on last mile distribution of solar home systems and other solar products. A demonstration is followed by wonderful homemade appetizers prepared by Mrs. Jaju, who also opens her fabric shop to our fruitful attentions. 
 

ONergy demonstration site in Kolkata; Piyush Jaju, Co-Founder is in the doorway, and Madukar Shukla is in the front. 
 
Preeta, Madukhar, and Fr. Xavier of Xavier University join us for a Thai dinner at the hotel. 
 
Tuesday, February 21
 
Departing early, we fly to Patna, the capital of Bihar, one of the poorest states in India. A heavy lunch fortifies us for the 4+ hour drive to cover approximately 115 km to a Husk Power Systems (GSBI '09, Tech Awards '10) site in time to see the village light up. The villagers remember Thane and Sherrill from 2011. 
 
fr. Reites atop the rice husk feeding tower
Fr. Reites atop the rice husk feeding tower. 
 
Husk Power Systems site visit.
Husk Power Systems site visit. 
 
Jim Reites, Silvia Figueria, Ashley Kim, and Ruth Davis at Husk Power Systems in Bihar.
Jim Reites, Silvia Figueria, Ashley Kim, and Ruth Davis at Husk Power Systems in Bihar. 
 
We drive back arriving at the hotel quite late.                                    
 
The journey continues next week in part 2 of this blog series!
 

Tags: GSBI, Immersion Trip

 


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