Hello! My name is Swathi Raman and I am a rising junior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Health and Societies and looking to go on to medical school. I am from Glen Mills, PA, a cute little suburb outside of Philly, and have somehow always stayed close to home during my summers and college life (not at all due to my lovely mother!). Therefore, I cannot wait to spend my summer abroad (for the first time a little more than a car ride away) in the lovely state of Himachal Pradesh.
This summer, I will be interning with the Chinmaya Organisation for Rural Development (CORD)-Sidhbari partnership and will be exploring how this organization uses self-empowerment and participatory initiatives to further sustainable, integrated development. CORD has been addressing important public health issues, such as education, rehabilitation, and economic empowerment for women, for over 20 years and has been teaching people through self-help groups. Personally, I have always been interested in researching the non-medical determinants of health, including the social and cultural aspects, and cannot wait to see how CORD works toward social justice and proper healthcare access.
Having the opportunity to explore these issues in my motherland is especially exciting. For years, I have been a tourist and have had the opportunity to take away so much from this dynamic, breathtaking country. However, now I am super excited to finally give back and learn from extraordinary people who have been striving to make a difference at the foothills of the Himalayas and beyond.
As the days till departure dwindle, I am filled with anticipation and curiosity as to what the next 10 weeks will hold. I look forward to learning the new language, getting to know the CORD and CASI families, hiking through the beautiful Himalayan hills, and finally living simply yet fully!