Hey, my name is Karishma and I’m a rising Sophomore, majoring in Finance and Political Science. I am currently interning in India for the summer with 11 other great kids, 5 of who are ND students!
After arriving in India, it was a bit of a culture shock, considering I’d never lived in a city with so many people, traffic, and language barriers. However, when I signed up for this, I knew that part of the experience would be living on my own in a place far, far away from home. There are plenty of people, cows, and stray dogs around to make you feel on edge, but as long as you travel with boys and keep to yourself you’re able to get around with ease. In India, there is so much to do, so much to explore and we’ve been lucky enough to travel to some great places around the country. Recently we went to Agra where we go to tour the beautiful Taj Mahal. It was a sizzling 112 degrees out, but we’re up for any challenges. We also did a trip to Mumbai where we visited the majestic Taj Mahal Hotel for tea, Gateway to India, and many beautiful gardens that line this commercial port of India. Though we head out of New Delhi for the weekends, we’ve also toured some places around the city like the Lotus Temple, India Gate, the Red Fort, and plenty of markets. The cultural experience is wonderful and rewarding, however, all this play does come with some work..
I currently intern at a wonderful NGO (non-profit) called Care India (http://www.careindia.org). Care India is focused on bringing aid, education, and support to very poor, rural villages around India. They focus on educating the children, teaching the elders how to become self sufficient, and controlling the spread of disease. Care India’s staff are some of the kindest and warm people I’ve met in India. Everyone here is here for a purpose to help others and it’s very clear that India needs people like us. When you visit a village, it’s worse than anything comparable in the United States. Women and girls are neglected, uneducated, and most usually in unsafe areas. With Care India, they provide extra care and education to females, in order to empower them to take leave the village for better opportunities in the future. With the recent flooding in the north of India, Care India has been sending teams out for rescue and support. Working here, I’m currently working in their Finance department. I’m working with the team members to gather research and revamp their business plans so that they may get more funding from the government and contributors.
Living in India is no cake walk, we’ve seen and heard things that would scare most foreigners away. However, part of the experience is making it through and I’m definitely glad that I’m bringing a positive impact while here in India. I’m very, very thankful for Frank Potenziani for making this all happen for me. This experience so far has been very fruitful and eye-opening. It has definitely educated me on the roles non-profits play in the world and truly helped me understand how the others live far from the safety and comfort of the United States.
Team ND at the Taj: Carter Perrin, Karishma Patel, Kathryn Bush, Christine Song, & Blake Prunsky