Day 20-21 Kolkata

I was on a work break in Kolkata,  to attend three Board meetings  of CTRAN,  our energy and environment services company, ;   of IGS, our action research company ;    and of The Livelihood School, meant for training livelihood promotion practitioners and policymakers

Swami Vivekananda

But I decided to spend some time on my Yatra agenda.  So on the morning of the first day, before the first Board meeting was to start at 10.30 am, Naveen and I went to Dakhshineswar, the samadhi of  Vivekananda’s guru, Sri Ramakrishna Pramahans and then to Belur Math, the monastery complex established by Ramakrishna’s first and foremost disciple, Swami Vivekananda.

In the poster above, which I had seen at the Digvijay College in Rajnanadgaon, Chhattisgarh,  Vivekananda asks  ” Are you a youth? ” and then goes on to define a youth as  someone who: 1. Fights against injustice ; 2.  Stays away from bad habits ; 3. Is able to change inherited tradition; 4. Who has sense as well as enthusiasm; 5.  One who is ready to sacrifice for the nation.; 6. One who solves problems; 7.  One who makes inspiring history; 8.  One who does rather than talks.

A quote from  Swami Vivekananda, His Call to the Nation. p.30

The West had tried to conquer external nature, and the East had tried to conquer internal nature. Now East and West must work hand in hand for the good of each other, without destroying the special characteristics of each.  The West has much to learn from the East and the East has much to learn from the West; in fact, the future has to be shaped by a proper fusion of the two ideals.  Then there will be neither East nor West, but one humanity.

Mother Teresa

Then, on the second day, after the third Board meeting got over at 5 pm, along with Prof Vidya Rao of  the Tata Institute of Social Sciences who is on the Board of The Livelihood School, ; and my colleague Ram Sundar Roy, based in Kolkata, I went to see Mother Teresa’s home.

Mother Teresa's Tomb in her Kolkata Home

Could this be the answer?


About vijaymahajan

Educated at St XaviersSchool, Jaipur; IIT Delhi; IIM Ahmedabad and Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, USA; Co-founder of several development organisations - BASIX (, PRADAN (, Development Finance Forum (, Andhra Pradesh Mahila Abhivruddhi Society (, Sa-Dhan ( and the Microfinance Institutions Networrk ( Chair of CGAP Excom; BASIX Boards; DSC Board; Board member of MSSRF, ASSEFA, Gram Vikas Honours - WEF Davos Schwab Social Entrepreneur; Ashoka Global Fellow; IIT Delhi Distinguished Alumni Award; HSBC-Access Award for Outstanding Contribution to Microfinance in India; listed among India's top 50 most powerful people in India by BusinessWeek, Asia edition, 2010 Married to Savita, Deputy Dean, ISB, Hyderabad; two children, Chirag and Chandni
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Day 20-21 Kolkata

  1. vivek says:

    Jesus Christ did not go around ‘doing works of charity though the Pharisees and others hated him and tried to spoil his Father’s works. He just went about doing good.’
    This is simply ignorant. Modern Rabinnic Judaism is descended in a direct line from the Pharisees. The ‘Mussar’ movement- made famous by Levinas- is integral to this religious tradition.
    The difference between Jewish and Christian charity, of the sort Mother Theresa practices, is that the former aims to put the recipient upon the same level as the donor. It is a charity that levels up not levels down and is free from cant and a Holier than Thou attitude.
    It appears that this Shodh Yatra is now showing the true face of Microfinance and the Poverty Industry.
    Quite tragic as it represents a waste of what would either be a valuable pool of experience and data.

  2. shane says:

    heyy……quite a gud website……..helped mee in my project!!……. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s