US Ambassador to India Visits with Global Links Students

On December 13, 2016, the US Ambassador to India, Richard R. Verma, visited with students from the Global Links Program in Kolkata, India. This article was released the next day in ‘Ei Samay’ newspaper. Translation provided by Shirsita Banerjee and Kalapi Dutta, Global Links Changemakers.

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“Starting from scratch is the key to success,” says Richard Verma, U.S. Ambassador to India in an interactive session with students.

“You don’t need to be over-ambitious or create extra stress. Take some keen interest within your own circle like your family and your community, and that will be the first step towards leadership, “advised US Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma on Tuesday evening to the participants of Career Readiness Camp and Global Links Program at the American Centre in Kolkata. Mr. Verma also listened to the success stories of the students from these two groups.

In March 2017, the five members of the Global Links Program will visit Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida for a two-week training program. The students of the Global Links Program just completed an eight-month exchange of business ideas and mentoring with women business owners who hold loans from Bandhan Bank.

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One among them, Surabhi Mishra, a Masters of Commerce student from Calcutta University, initially observed that the woman who had taken a loan for her T-shirt manufacturing business had no role in the business activities. Her husband and son took charge of the business. In those eight months, Surabhi taught the woman English and changed her mind set to be more active in her business.

Another member of Global Links, Kalapi Dutta, believes that any start-up needs a social cause. Swayan Ghosh, an MBM student of Calcutta University, suggested women should be well acquainted with online marketing strategy in order to see growth in any industry.

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On the other hand, the 5 members of the Career Readiness Camp exclaimed that they had developed self-confidence and learned about different ways to create women empowerment through a three-week workshop. One of them, Sufia Jahan, an English Honors student from Lady Braborne College, shared that this camp helped her to take a leap forward in starting her professional life. Another girl from the Zoology department of Bidhannagar College, Upali Ghosh, declares that she made a lot of new friends from the camp. Steps should be taken to empower the transgenders, proposed Riya Dutta, a Bengali Honors student from Asutosh College.

With the initiative of the American Centre and an NGO, an examination was conducted for 12th grade students in twenty Bengali medium Government girls’ schools across the city for the Career Readiness Camp. Among the 1400 examinees 97 girls were selected. They attended workshops on spoken English, leadership traits and women empowerment conducted by experts from India, as well as abroad. The workshop was comprised of group projects, poster presentations, a library session at the American Centre, a scavenger hunt, and a gallery walk. Celebration of Earth Day and workshops for drama and film were also included in the program.

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