Namaste y’all! My name is Ria, and I am a rising sophomore in Wharton from Louisville, Kentucky. As of right now, I am planning on concentrating in Statistics and Finance and minoring in Political Science. This summer, I’ll be working at LEAP Skills in Delhi.
While my specific project at LEAP hasn’t been decided yet, I am nonetheless thrilled to be working at LEAP, a social enterprise dedicated to training underserved youth in India and connecting them with employment opportunities. Unemployment among young people in India is already high and on the rise, with the number of young, working-age people in India itself increasing as well. Tackling youth unemployment is especially pertinent to India’s future, and I’m looking forward to exploring this issue more in depth and learning first-hand how private sector initiatives like LEAP can create lasting social-change.
As the daughter of Indian immigrants, the prospect of living in India for nine-weeks itself also excites me. Though most of my extended family still lives in India, the last time I went to India to visit them was for about 10 days in the 7th grade. My recollections from then are sparse, almost entirely made up of cows walking alongside cars on crowded streets, colorful concrete walls, my grandmother’s garden, and a few monkeys. During this trip, I hope to develop a deeper, more complex understanding of the country my parents are from, one that includes India’s culture, its rich history, its people, its successes, and its political and economic challenges for the future. I’m also hoping that I’ll finally learn how to speak Hindi, the language I’ve been listening to my parents and Bollywood stars speak for so long (the title to this blog post being my start: slow progress > no progress).
At the same time, being in a place that is so far and so different from home in Kentucky does make me nervous. In a lot of ways, this trip will force me to be more brave and more independent than I ever have been before. Hopefully, I can channel my anxieties into more excitement–if it’s possible to be more excited about getting to Delhi, that is!
All in all, I can’t wait to work at LEAP and explore Delhi over the next 9 weeks! Delhi, here I come!!
Pictured above: A VERY relevant bumper sticker I came across a few days before I left in Louisville, and the inspiration for this post!
Kentucky meets India ❤