A wonderful journey – the Global Links program

By Shirsita Banerjee,
Global Links Participant,
Kolkata, India

  “ ……….. Seminar on Social Entrepreneurship.” One fine morning I saw a notice on my college notice board.

‘Social entrepreneurship’! In two years of my high school and three years of graduation I have heard and read about ‘social entrepreneurship’. I was curious and made up my mind to attend the seminar.

 I did attend the seminar conducted by Dr. Banerjee at my college and I was introduced to the concept social entrepreneurship for the first time. Wow! This is something new and innovative as well; something I haven’t come across before yet so much related to my field of study. I decided to take part in the Global Links Program and explore more about social entrepreneurship.

 After a couple of weeks I received a mail followed by a phone call from Abira madam. Gosh! I was selected. That was a joyful moment for me. Then after few workshops and training programme, finally the day arrived which I was looking for long. It was 16th April,2016 when I first visited my client Mrs. Gulshanara Begum and her business. I have studied about manufacturing businesses, their operations but that was the first time I actually visited a manufacturing workshop. Raw materials, work in progress, tools were lying on the floor, workers were busy in the production; I was really very excited seeing this and talking to didi (Mrs. Gulshanara Begum). And my interest was doubled when I found the product of the business was women dress shoes which I am extremely fond of.

 As I started working with her, I came across the problems associated with the business and women empowerment. I gradually developed a good connection with didi and her family. Every time I received a warm welcome and friendly behavior. So, it was no longer their problems only; it was a challenge to me to figure out a way to improve their present condition, it was a great responsibility to me. I was nervous; will I be able to overcome all the problems? But the continuous support, encouragement and guidance of Dr. Banerjee and Dr. Conway boosted my confidence. It was increased more after the success of Interim Report Presentation on 27th May, 2016 and I am thankful to my friend Michelle, the Global Links graduate assistant, for helping me a lot in my work.13717401_10206776142617876_1528345235036087107_o

 Getting an opportunity to apply your academic knowledge practically and having so many experienced people to guide you, combined with practical exposure were some great opportunities given to me by the Global Links Program. Apart from this, I am blessed to work under Dr. Sharmishtha Banerjee and Dr. Mary Conway’s supervision and spending time with them. Meeting Miss. Jane Hursh was a real treat. One of the memorable incidents in my journey of GL was when my picture got published in Ananda Bazaar Patrika, the most popular Bengali newspaper in Kolkata. 

 I am close to achieving with my goals for this program and my client, looking forward to accomplish the rest and be a part of the social change; a better society.


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