Getting the ball rolling…
October 22, 2008
I arrived in Dehli last Thursday and it’s been an interesting adjustment thus far. Trevor is clearly the Indian veteran here with over 2 weeks under his belt. But the prevalence of English speakers and their willingness to help has made the transition a bit easier.
I’ll get another entry out about my thoughts and observations on India; this will just be a quick update describing our progress thus far in regards to our objectives.
Outside of the solar lighting company, D.Light Design, we have two contacts that are facilitating our deployment of lanterns to the villages in Orissa. Pranjal is a director of some sort at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram (An ashram, from my own observation, is a place to study, meditate, and learn how to live simply. Though some of them are religious in nature, this one is not.) His exact title is unknown, but Trevor and I have given him the unofficial role of “Guru,” owing to the extraordinarily calming influence on everyone around him…as well as a small harem that continually follows him around. He also is the only Indian person I have seen that wears shorts.
The other is Joe, the executive director of Gram Vikas, a well established NGO that has already worked on numerous development projects throughout the area. Joe is somewhat of a big-wig, as foreign governments are flying him to speak at big conferences on sustainable development. But he’s extremely down-to-earth and quite a jokester.
So on Thursday the 23rd, we’ll be flying with 48 solar lanterns (they come in boxes of 12) to Orissa to deploy in Pranjal’s village. Seven to ten days later, 96 units should be arriving at the Gram Vikas headquarters and we’ll head up there to start distributing those. Personally, I’m extremely excited to get out of the city and into the villages so we can start putting into place what we’ve set out to do all along.