Introduction

Hi, my name is Parth. I’m a rising junior double majoring in Biochemistry and Economics. I’ll be spending the next 10 weeks with a company called MMTC-PAMP in Haryana, India, a state located right next to Delhi. MMTC-PAMP is a joint venture between Indian MMTC and Swiss PAMP. MMTC-PAMP refines and mints gold and silver. They also give back to their surrounding communities. They have made giving back a part of their mission statement. They have installed clean water facilities at several schools located in industrially backwards areas where access to clean water is most essential but not adequately met. I will be working to help expand their efforts. One of the things that attracts me to working with MMTC-PAMP is that they are a well-established company with a good understanding of the local population. As a respected local organization, they are particularly well suited to address the needs of the community.

I write this as I’m sitting in gate A5, most definitely the loudest and most crowded gate at John F Kennedy airport, waiting to board my flight to India. Well first to London. And then to Kuwait. And finally to Delhi. Over the next 10 weeks, this blog will serve to document my reflections on my work and travel.

I have only ever gone abroad as a tourist, sheltered by my family who always go to such great lengths to make my stays comfortable. I am excited to explore a new part of India, on my own. I am excited to take on the challenge of communicating with coworkers, waiters, and auto rickshaw drivers, practicing the language and adapting to the culture and climate. And I am excited to write about my experiences through this blog.

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Taken in January 2015 in Songadh, a popular Jain community in Gujarat, India

Growing up in a Jain household, I would hear several  stories: stories of Mahavir’s perfect practice of nonviolence, stories of Jain monks in their intense scriptural studies, and stories of affluent Jain businessmen, dominating diamond and other industries, and in their old age, donating all of their wealth to charity. Wealth was something to be given to those in need, unconditionally, rather than accumulated and enjoyed. Traditionally, Jains in India occupied the Vaishya caste; they practiced many different kinds of business from small roadside shops to multinational corporations. This summer, I’ll learn about one form of charity particularly fitting: corporate social responsibility.

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About Parth Shah

Class of 2018, double majoring in Biochemistry and Economics. Intern at MMTC-PAMP in Mewat District, Haryana, summer of 2016.