Indian Leaders 2014 closing dinner

Indian Leaders 2014 closing dinner

The Programme included dinner at restaurant 1881 in Barcelona, during which the participants gave a very positive evaluation of their experience

The Leaders closed the Programme with dinner at restaurant 1881 in Barcelona, located on the harbour, where they were able to watch the sun set over the sea. This was the ending note of the 3rd Indian Leaders Programme, which allowed the participants to travel to Madrid, Valladolid and Barcelona. As well as an agenda packed with events focusing on strengthening ties between the two countries in the area of education, the group also got to relax and enjoy cultural visits to some of the country’s flagship attractions. Alonso Dezcallar, Secretary General of the Spain India Council Foundation, thanked the Leaders for their work and participation during the Programme and asked them about their opinions, encouraging them to share their ideas on things to improve/add in future editions.

Ayeesha Banerjee: “My ideas about Spain have totally changed thanks to the Programme. I now see it as a wonderful country with extraordinary people that I will recommend to anyone who asks. I used to think nothing could compare to Italy, but I now believe Spain is second to none. As for the Programme, everything has been perfect, and I must say that having the chance to connect with Indian students here, get to know their stories and realise they are more than numbers and stats has been great.”

Vidya Yeravdekar: “I just want to say ‘Thank you’. We now have a great responsibility upon us. I would like to emphasise how well organised the Programme was, we tend to take that for granted but the truth is that everything worked out well because a lot of effort was obviously put into it. I would also like to start an ‘alumni association’ of sorts, since as the years go by, there will be quite a few of us in India to work on bilateral relations.”

Ajay Pandey: “I must admit that I knew Spain’s economic and political situation quite well thanks to my job, so there were few surprises in that department. But it has been an outstanding experience and I’m looking forward to getting down to work to go even further. For me, the highlight of the trip was travelling in the high-speed train’s cockpit and to be able to ask about the infrastructure sector in Spain; that was such a great opportunity. I believe India has a lot to learn from Spanish society and the Spanish people still have a lot to understand about India.”

Anustup Nayak: “I don’t want to say much, as I already gave a brief speech on our general impression during lunch. I also don’t have a lot to add to what my peers are saying, because it really has been a fantastic experience. I would highlight all the contacts I have made, the network we are beginning to build. In fact, from day one I been in correspondence with some of the people I have met, so this is already bearing fruit. If I had to make one remark, I’d say I would have liked to have had a bit more free time to meet those people face to face before heading back to India.”

Rajiv Yeravdekar: “What my colleagues are saying perfectly summarises my opinion, and I fully agree with all of it. I would add that I have tasted excellent food and visited beautiful places. I would like to suggest organising an edition focusing on healthcare and I would love to provide all the support and contacts needed as I believe really positive connections could be made in that field.”

Pawan Agarwal: “On this trip, I found out that the concept of ‘cultural differences’ is excessively technical. Throughout the week, Spain has revealed itself to us and I believe we are quite similar. It is also true that the agenda and the Programme have been top quality. I understand what my colleagues say about having more free time, but I must say I would have hated to have missed out on any of the activities, there is nothing I would rather have skipped. The Foundation faced a massive challenge and, in my opinion, it has passed with flying colours.”

R K Shevgaonkar: “I remember when I received the invitation to come over. I couldn’t understand how an institution could arrange a programme like this and not ask for anything in return, I thought there was some kind of catch. I now understand that that is not the case; that the whole group faces a great challenge and bears a responsibility to give something back, and work to obtain results. I also want to stress what a great honour it has been to have the company of Ambassador Dezcallar at all times. Thank you for the experience and for the contacts we have made with these wonderful people, both Indian and Spanish.”

III Edition Activity summary

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