Thursday, February 25, 2010

Expats for India

I had a chance to meet a number of second generation US-resident Indians over the last year. I am very much amazed by their conviction to make a positive change in the Indian society. I have spent a few years in the US and my life there - which distinctively showed the difference in quality of life between the two worlds - is the primary reason for my interest in social causes in India. So, I could clearly relate to a first generation Indian working from his adopted home, or a returnee (like me) working for India's development.

During my days in the US, I have met a few second generation Indians who either didn't feel strongly for their country of origin or at times were even embarrassed about their Indian identity. A few were involved enough to follow cricket matches and felt strongly about an Indian win or a loss. But given that a majority of the resident Indians themselves don't bother about acting for a social change, and a few even embarrassed to be Indian, there is no fairness in judging the sentiments of NRIs.

But here, I am talking about second generation Indians, who are born in the luxury of a developed nation and really need not have sentimental attachment to a country in which their parents were born and probably spent their first 20 years of life there. One of those I have talked about, has changed career path to a less paying social enterprise from a better paying business enterprise (in the US). The other one went one step ahead and chose to move to India (where there are no immediate relatives) to work on educational development. This is just to mention a few.

Honestly, I don't know how the initiatives of these people will turn out to be on the ground. Some may hit the bulls eye, while some may be totally impractical. But I am really amazed to find how they are inspired so much by the idea of a well developed community, when development is something that they are already born into.

Hats off!