My name is Sarah Kho, and I’m one of two interns at DICCI in Pune, Maharashtra. I am a rising junior in Wharton, studying either Finance or OPIM, and minoring in Computer Science, and I am particularly interested in healthcare and international development.
Although I am currently writing this on my first morning in Pune, I am not sure what I expected my experience in India to be like, nor am I sure what to expect even now. I’ve come to India after a whirlwind of a semester, and didn’t even have time to pause to write this intro before I jumped on the plane to India. Like Penn, Pune (at least my first day here) seems to always be alive, day or night, but the feel of this fast-paced life is quite different; it’s a bustling city full of people – local and tourists – that is always moving, but amidst the chaos, the new city beckons me to slow my own life down and allow the foreign to become familiar. My time in India is sure to prove an experience that will force me to pause and evaluate how I view the world, and I can’t wait to go on this journey with you all!
I’m excited to learn more about the work DICCI is doing in promoting entrepeneurship among the Dalit (or the ‘untouchable’) caste. What is the history of discrimination against the Dalit caste, and how and to what degree does it presently manifest? How can this problem be tackled, and what are the unique social, cultural, political, legal, and personal barriers Dalit entrepeneurs face?
Although the internship will constitute the majority of my time in Pune, I know that the most enriching part of my experience will likely be the chance to immerse myself in a new culture. 10 weeks is a long time, and I can’t wait to familiarize myself with the history, culture (food!), and people of Pune!