Archive for April, 2009

April 30, 2009

InSPIREd to explore India

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Tickets booked! I am going to India this summer from June 3rd – August 12th to participate in a program called InSPIRE (India Summer Program Inspiring Reflective Exploration). I heard about this program a few years ago and have been wanting to do it ever since but the timing never worked out. I have finally decided to just go and I couldn’t be happier with this decision. I am extremely sad to be leaving SAALT (South Asian Americans Leading Together), especially since the Summit really energized me and showed me both how far our community has come and how far we have to go. I feel so grateful to have been part of this movement for even such a short time. I hope to come back into it somewhere down the line with a more solid set of skills and renewed sense of purpose. I could go on and on about SAALT but I’ll spare you for now. 🙂

So, what is InSPIRE anyway? I think the description on the website describes it best: InSPIRE is a 5-week long summer immersion program in India that aims to facilitate the process of both internal and external exploration for young Indians/South Asians drawn to the land of their heritage. The external exploration of India will be a catalyst for the understanding of our interrelations with the world around us, our aspirations, and our assumptions.

This was the itinerary from last year and this year’s will be pretty similar. Every time I look at this I get so excited…more thoughts to come later!

Ahmedabad, Gujarat 
Introductions of participants and of the program. Orientation. Expectations. Cultural context. Meeting Indian-Americans who are involved with work in India. Introduction to ‘education’ in India. Introduction to ‘Gandhian’ thought. Experiencing the reality of the slums of Ahmedabad. Experiencing the ‘spirit’ of service being lived and feeling the power of relationships, love, and positive thought. Becoming inspired. We will be staying at the Environmental Sanitation Institute (ESI) campus, where most of our meals will be provided as well. We will be working with ESI and Manav Sadhna.
Baroda, Gujarat 
Agriculture and farmer issues in India. Organic farming. Potential of naturopathic treatment. We will be staying at the Vinoba Ashram where our meals will be provided. We will be staying at the Vinoba Ashram where our meals will be provided. We will be working with Jatan Trust and Nisargopachar Kendra, the nature cure center.

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