Having never strayed far from London, the chance to travel to India with the uni was an exciting prospect. I had been volunteering with the social enterprise – Once Upon A Doug – that works in partnership with Pearson College for the months leading up to the trip; so being able to see that our fundraising efforts and business concepts to make the project more sustainable could actually make a difference was incredible.
Arriving in India
We first travelled to Mumbai, which was busily beautiful, and a treat to sight-see and discover the Indian culture that is so bright and welcoming. It amazed me that such a large country with an emerging economy could have the most expensive building in the world standing tall right within the slums of the city. Here we planned our team update of our work to present to the Indian team.
After a couple of days exploring the city life, it was time to get down to work and travel to Nagpur – a more rural setting – where we would meet the team and discuss product development as well as financial considerations. The project aims to empower women, and working alongside women who have struggled, have little in their life but work so hard to improve was inspiring to say the least.
We learned why sustainable/natural farming matters, how to work through language barriers and drank a lot of tea (no really loads!), but my favourite part throughout was being immersed in a wonderfully unique culture that embraced us all. A very different experience from the comforts of London, but a very rewarding and inspiring opportunity.
Back in London we are now able to apply what we have learned from the trip and, making sure that all the ideas we came up with in India are carried out.