Jimmy Bellam: India offers all

India’s present and future presents immense opportunities to the world, our island country and to ourselves. Reimagining India has given me firsthand experience of India’s diversity of culture, religion and language, it’s scale, spirituality, contributions to humanity and the radical changes it’s already undergoing. It’s intensity has been a stimulant for me to think beyond and to realise how little I know. Visiting India for a month has already given me more of an experience than is possible to convey, and I’m left knowing how much more there is to discover. After 30 days, I’ve just cracked the surface of a country with countless faces.

I want to share my deepest gratitude with those who enabled me to have this experience. The Indogenius team of Nick and Meetu, Susie, Gilles, Akhil, James and Koustav delivered a diverse, comprehensive and mind opening programme suitably named Reimagining India. One important aspect was the access Indogenius had, whether with the ruling BJP party, Google, FabIndia or Jaipur Foot. I was incredibly privileged to receive the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia as funding for my trip, as were fourteen other students. I strongly recommend that Education New Zealand and the PMSA continues to fund this and programmes similar to it. Universities should boost their participation as this programme develops students in a way that lectures never can.

Reimagining India lays the foundation for expanding Aotearoa’s cultural, educational, trade and diplomatic relationships with a booming country of 1.3 billion people. It has opened my eyes to the world beyond our neighbourhood, put me in touch with a transcending human story, helped me to better understand New Zealand’s Indian community and challenged my preconceptions. India has an immense scale and variety of untapped potential for Aotearoa. In the business sense, only a tiny foothold in a market means hundreds of millions of dollars. Humanity’s future lies increasingly with India and it’s solutions. Our opportunities are waiting for us. If you are able to, visit India.

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