One of our Global Links changemakers, Sreedipta Dhar Choudhury, has written an essay about her journey with Global Links and her experiences during Phase II and III of the Program. Her Phase II experience is recounted here.
The seed of the Global Links Programme was implanted into my wide horizon of understanding and ingrained in my mind by Dr. Sharmistha Banerjee, an erudite person. My knowledge of the Programme began in Monday morning seminar and over time it blossomed into a fruit bearing tree of knowledge, contributed by the wisdom of revered Dr. Banerjee. I was empowered with mental strength from my mentor. The faculty of thought bloomed in my mind by the unwavering support extended to me by Rakhi Di, the social entrepreneur I had the privilege of working with. She opened different avenues of thinking to me and the process was unparalleled and reciprocal.
While in Calcutta, I was blessed by the support of the Global Links Family who actively helped to heighten my imagination and translate the concept into a reality as per my capability could go. It was an endless inspiration for me to move ahead in concept building and transform the acquired knowledge in the world of reality.
The Global Links Programme has exposed me to incredibly insightful changemakers and widened my concept of social entrepreneurship. It has inspired me to “create a thriving global network of changemaker campuses and to solve global challenges through effective changemaking.” While working on the lines of social entrepreneurship, my talented and inspiring Global Links Team and I learned about the 4 important E’s which are:
My first opening as joint entrepreneur created in my mind the essence of togetherness to develop business on a stable foundation while working with my assigned entrepreneur, Rakhi Di. Challenges were immense when it came to marketing her business’ plush toys, graphic designing, maintaining proper financial records, and managing waste scrap.
Despite the difficulties, my Global Links Team inspired and taught me to not discard our highest ideals during difficult times but to rise up to meet them, to rise up to perfect our union. We rise up to defend our blessings of liberty, to embody the values of equality, opportunity and sacrifice. There were times when it was extremely difficult to get a breakthrough into the retail market and only after doing several rounds of the marketplace we got our desired results. These experiences taught me the value and importance of team work and perseverance.
I also had many incredibly satisfying achievements and experiences through Global Links. Imparting knowledge of financial statements and teaching my client to keep records all by herself was extremely rewarding. Another achievement for the Global Links team was getting married woman back to work after counselling them and their in-laws. One of the most satisfying experiences from Global Links was receiving invitations for tea at the US Consulate along with our families and meeting the Consul General who knew each of us by our names and our work.
It was finally the 26th of October and all the hard work paid off. I was selected along with 4 of my fellow Global Links Changemakers for the immersion programme at Rollins College. I still remember the inexplicable feeling of my name being announced!
Sreedipta’s story about her Phase III experience will be continued in a future post.