India Wrap Up

Over J-Term a group of engineering students, lead by Dr. Shashi Lalvani,  studied abroad in India where they experienced many new things. Although the group’s primary location was the city of Mumbai, they also traveled to other locations, such as Chennai.

The students were able to learn about India’s culture, history, economy, and business opportunities. They visited and toured beautiful Buddhist caves, in Bombay they experienced Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, and they were able to visit some of the great engineering colleges in India.

At SRICT (Shroff S R Rotary Institute of Chemical Technology) the group was enlightened about how important environmental engineering is to India and addressed the problems with local chemical companies.

Toward the end of the trip the students headed to Chennai where they met with Dean Marek Dollár and Dr. Anna Dollár. The group explored the area around the hotel, visited the home of a philosopher, and then made a trip to the church St. Thomas is buried.

The group returned to the states with an incredible appreciation for Indian culture.

photo of India with the Miami logo

The main objective of the three-week-long trip this January was to expose students to India’s rich past and its present reality. Miami students had an opportunity to appreciate for themselves the exquisite Buddhist caves dating back to the fifth B.C. as well as Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi in Bombay. They visited campuses of some of the finest engineering colleges (the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and Chennai), while they also visited the Avvai Home and School in Chennai for underprivileged girls whose passion for learning was phenomenal. Amongst others, the study abroad experience included the following: formal lectures on India’s religion, history, economics, and politics as well as trips to various sites. One of the objectives of the study abroad visit to India was to sensitize students about the environmental issues facing the country and unique ways in which it is trying to address these challenges. We learned at Sovereign Tech in Mumbai about the technology imported from Germany, which is modified in a significant way to meet the indigenous needs related to cleaning up the Ganges, for example. At Grudfos, we were informed about the environmentally friendly manufacturing methods, and at SRICT, we observed the emphasis placed on environmental engineering education to address the problems associated with the local chemical industry. Most importantly, the unique way in which the city of Bombay deals with its environmental issues is through the tremendous efforts of slum-dwellers of Dharavi (incidentally, the “Slumdog Millionaire” movie depicts just one aspect of its residents). The poor immigrants escaping hard life in the hinterlands of central and eastern India flock to Bombay to find employment. The one million-strong inhabitants of Dharavi, unlike their counterparts from the favelas of Brazil, live in harmony and peace while staking out employment and business opportunities. They not only collect the plastic, newsprint, and other refuse that the city rejects; they then sort it, process and recycle it. They have built Hindu temples, mosques, schools, and hospitals for the welfare of its residents. Dharavi is responsible for adding up to $1 billion into the national economy every year. The first image is one of a student holding a coconut in each hand while enjoying Juhu Beach, Mumbai. The second image is of the students with Dr. Lalvani and Dean Dollar and Anna Dollar in front of St. Thomas’ church in Chennai

The first image, the feature picture, is the group with Dr. Lalvani and tour guides in Dharavi. The second image is a male student trying on upscale Indian clothing. The mall this photo was taken at is in Juhu, Bombay. The third image is of an open air market in Linking Road, Bombay.

The first picture, the feature, is the students bonding with some of the local tourists at Ellora caves. The background features some of the “rock-cut” architecture. The second image is of students admiring Ajanta’s fifth century B.C. Buddhist caves. The third image is of a few students talking to a local guide at Ajanta caves.

The first picture, the feature, is of the students, faculty, and the dean meeting with A.R. Rahman at a beach in Chennai. The second image is of the students visiting Sovereign Tech in Bombay. They are there learning about environmental engineering. The third image is of a student studying while in Bombay.

The feature image is of the students with members of SRICT while in one of their labs. The second picture is of the sign to the environmental technologies department at SRICT. The third image is of a student and a member at SRICT examining the IT facilities.

The feature picture is of the students and faculty at a table with Akhila Srinivason and other prominent female Indian business leaders. The second picture is the students sitting in a circle enjoying music and learning to play morsing in Chennai. The third image is of three male students learning to eat with their hands in a restaurant.

The feature photo is the students in Ajanta Caves. The second photo is of Dr. Lalvani in front of the rock-cut temple at Ellora. The third image is of a student admiring the beauty of the rock-cut Ellora caves.

The feature is of the female students assuming “mudras” during a workshop on Bharat Nalyan. They are with the Don Quixote dance team. The second image is of A.R. Rahman’s music academy. The disadvantaged children of Sunshine Orchestra put on the concert. The third image is the students enjoying their breakfast at a vintage French hotel in Podicherry.

The feature image is the students and faculty with the Sunshine Orchestra for disadvantaged children at A.R Rahman’s K M Music Conservatory. The second image is some of the students admiring three miniature horses at a host’s house. The third image is a group photo of the students and faculty with the band members of NAFS, arranged by A.R. Rahman.

(left to right) The first image is of a ship on the Arabian Sea in Mumbai. The second image is of a three-wheel taxi, famous in Mumbai. The third image is of this elaborate detail of the Buddhist caves at Ellora. The fourth image is of the Gateway of India in Mumbai. The fifth image is the open air Washerman’s Lake from Dhobitalao, Mumbai.

Written by Emily Hughes, student communications assistant.