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July 3, 2015

Intro to sun strokes and my summer’s journey – Harini Gona ’16 FD

by hgona

Intro to sun strokes and my summer’s journey

It took the slowly numbing effect of a sun-stroke to remind me to begin this first blog post. Leaving Providence with its 64.4F temperature for the 104F to 113F temperature of New Delhi has been wearing me out- so it is time for a short break from work.

How to handle sun + Strokes(do not rely on this):

  1. Drink enough water- implies that the amount of water you consume everyday should possibly be enough water for a small swimming pool that can submerge your body entirely
  2. Eat! It might seem contrary as food helps in producing heat and slumbersome feelings.
  3. Walk to the Nimbu Pani Stands and ask for Cheeni(Sugar) and Namak(salt) with the lemonade- a very good rehydrant if you are daring enough to risk the consequences of street based food and drinks.
  4. Wear appropriate clothing. If you are a female- this might be a little tough to manage, as you do not want to incite potential interest in your exposed skin from random men.
  5. And of course sleep.

When I first got back to India my realization was that I had never lived in such a large, hugely populated Indian city before(except an year that was spent mostly in the vicinity of the Indian Institute of Technology and Social Sciences, Madras). My shift from Providence, RI- a wonderful, but a relatively small city on the east coast of America to New Delhi- the capital of India was quite a shock. I was expecting the noise, but I wasn’t quite ready for the explosion of blaring horns and street vendors. I called it reverse culture shock. How was I to work towards road safety, when almost every speck of road was covered up by traffic and people?

Bhikaji Cama Place

Bhikaji Cama Place

The organization that I’m working with- SaveLife Foundation is located in a huge sprawling building (Bhikaji Cama Place) and is a central workplace hub for small businesses and larger enterprises, all at once. Finding my way around was an adventure in itself. Signage, in the few spaces that it exists in has been quite an interesting exploration- and I may in my next blog post share some of the amusing ones. Moving onto the actual fellowship work- there is far too much to really speak of.

SLF(SaveLife Foundation) is made up of a small, yet intimate team of lawyers, Students of humanities, administrators, and ex-businessmen who are all incredibly competent- whether they work with the actual drafting of policy and intimating conversations with influential politicians, celebrities and journalists, or finding ways to implement this policy. Road Transit safety is a large issue to tackle and often the intricacies of it are gruesome and hard to ignore. A jovial atmosphere with the camaraderie of men at arms  gets them through some gruelling work. It did take me a little while to find a space in their community, but I have found it and have learnt an incredible amount from them.

Look in in a few days to hear of my introduction of the lack of road safety- the processes of reaching out to the Police and other governmental officials for information(and dealing with huge amounts of data and analyzing it), reporting violations to the police(not quite as easy as calling 911), working with policy- which is incredibly time consuming and a lot of back and forth. But I shall talk about the understanding I have gained of the on ground situation- some of it novel, other a clarification and the grounding of some of my prior assumptions.

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