Having arrived at the airport, changed currency, gone through the security check, sat down, got my horrible (overpriced) airport espresso, flipped on my laptop and turned on my travel playlist, I am finally beginning to get that for the next 6 months I'll be in Delhi.
So, just about a week ago I arrived in India. Rather than being exposed to the rumoured poor Indian AIESEC reception service, I had an amazing one. I got picked up at the airport by one of the AIESECers in Delhi. She took me to one of the intern flats for the interns staying a shorter time and sure, that wasn't exactly an amazing place to be – but rather than react with disgust as I noted some of the other interns had, I felt that it was somehow within my frame of expectations.
Day after arriving I took a 3 hour detour to the office (via north Delhi, when my office was in south) and finally got to meet my manager for the next 6 months – Parag Gupta. A really down-to-earth,interesting guy. I am sure I'll pick up quite a lot of things from him. We spent some time looking through our new office (just rented that same day – this is really a start-up for sure) after which he introduced me to the close-by oasis: Select City Mall, an almost crucial place in case the crowded, hot and hectic Delhi life gets to you.
The very next day we headed out to Bokaro Steel City where our first project is to be located. After a 14 hour train ride, I find myself, within 3 days of arriving in India, working with Parag and a local NGO to create the plans and starting to build a 1-tonne organic compost plant!
I guess somehow this post is a bit overdue, I have actually known for a bit over a month now that I'd be going to Delhi, and I've been many times over been telling people about what I'll be doing there – however, I didn't actually get to writing here about what I'll be up to.
So, as said, I'm going to be spending 6 months in Delhi where I'll be working for an organization called Waste Ventures. As most of the people who've spent any amount of time around me knows, I've had a big interest in waste for some time, and now I had the great opportunity of gaining some practical experience of this area. Waste Ventures is a triple bottom-line (environmental, economical, social) business working with solid waste management enabling waste pickers to increase their income through implementing a scheme of service fees, recycling, composting, carbon offsets and biogas generation and through these activities have a positive environmental impact. I'll be helping Waste Ventures establishing their processes and routines, do work on evaluating potential partners and sites as well as (I'm sure, as it's a start-up ;)) a wide range of other things.
I got the chance to work with Waste Ventures through the Artemisia and AIESEC Social Business Ventures program. In this program Artemisia supports a number of students and recent graduates to experience working with social businesses in India and Latin America. We're a group of fellows in this program who will work with different social ventures throughout India at the same time so parallell to our internships we will also be able to connect with each other and create a common learning environment.
Anyway, so that's the brief summary of what I'll be up to for the next 6 months. I'm really excited, as I see this is as one of my first real hands on experiences of what I think I'd like to work with in the future. For the next months, expect updates here on waste, social business and life in India 🙂
PS. If you'd like to learn a bit more about Waste Ventures and the founder Parag Gupta who I'll be working with, check out his blog at Social Edge called Talking Trash.