Nafisa Bakkar went on the "Digital India" cultural immersion study placement last year. She talks about why she chose to go to India, and why you should to.
My father is Indian. My Mother is Indian. I am Indian.
I have been to India over 10 times and each time I fell in love with it a little more. But, when asked if I would ever live in India, without a second thought my answer was always no way. There was nothing in India for me. It wasn’t liveable for someone who was born and bought up in the west.
Then I came to India for two weeks sponsored by the British Council and delivered by IndoGenius. Expecting to just leave with some instagram shots, a few insights and maybe some contacts.
How wrong was I.
I leave India more confident, hopeful and excited about life. I leave having made lifelong friendships. I leave with clarity on my start-up. I leave with a wealth of contacts. I leave having had the best experience of my life. I leave with new insights and perspectives. I leave with the intention to come back and live here. I leave mind blown.
From those in the slums to those at IIT Bombay, the work ethic and drive of Indian people is admirable and contagious. There is no such thing as feeling sorry for yourself in India. There is no right time. There is no waiting around. The philosophy is get up, show up and make it happen. The desire to constantly develop, progress and improve your situation is one that you will see at the heart of each person.
There are no limitations only barriers to be broken down.
So why India? Because you will leave here limitless.
Though India is a developing country, this trip has shown how insanely progressive it is from all angles. Whether it’s innovation, social change, closing the gender gap, education or technology there is a lot the rest of the world can learn from India.
So why India? Because you will find the answers to the world's most pressing problems here.
I have received business advice countless times in the UK. But the advice I got here in India from your everyday student, staff or founder, had the ability to fundamentally change my thinking. Those in India come from a different context, a context that allows them to have a different perspective which means that they give you advice that you are seldom to hear back in the UK. I have developed my startup idea more in these two weeks than the last two years.
So why India? Because this is where the magic happens.