Durga Puja Immersion

On the final day of the Durga Puja festival, Durga the mother returns to her husband Shiva.  This event is represented by a water immersion of the Durga sculptures.

From each pandal, community members load the idols onto a truck and then a procession follows as the truck heads towards the river.  The procession involves a lot of dancing, eating, drinking, and plenty of holi powder.  This was definitely one of the best cultural experiences of the entire trip :).

Loading Durga onto the truck

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Durga Puja

Yesterday I arrived safely back in Detroit however I am a bit behind on blog posts!  The last week and a half of the project was quite intense and free time was limited.

Our trip to India coincided with Durga Puja, an annual Hindu festival worshiping the Hindu goddess Durga.

“Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Thus, Durga Puja festival epitomises the victory of Good over Evil.”

Our local guides took us across the city to view and take part in the festivities.  Each community builds what are known as “Pandals”, which are large temporary structures that house sculptures of the gods.  These structures and sculptures are built over a period of a few months and then taken down the week following the festival.

Here are some pictures of the larger pandals in Jamshedpur:

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Inside the largest pandal:

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Rajkiyakritya Odiya Middle School

On Monday we visited the Rajkiyakritya Odiya Middle School where we met the school administrators and also had time to interact with the children and lead some of the classes.  Upon arrival the student body performed for us (video below) and after we each gave short introductions about our homelands and our India experience thus far. Szandra, Mark and I organized activities for one of the older classes including a Q&A session. P1090992 DSC01267DSC01219P1100027 DSC01238 DSC01236 DSC01241 DSC01259 DSC01287 DSC01308 P1100024 P1100023DSC_0507 DSC_0505

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2nd Weekend Activities

This past weekend we visited TATA Motors, the Tribal Culture Center, and also had a city tour which included Dimna Lake.

 

TATA Motors

Jamshedpur has a large TATA Motors plant which produces commercial and armored vehicles.  We had a guided tour through all phases of the assembly line but again were unable to take photos (with the exception of the test track).  TATA Motors acquired Jaguar/Land Rover from Ford in 2008.

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Tribal Culture Center

The Tribal Culture center was established to preserve and rejuvenate the indigenous culture of the tribal people in the area.  Aside from helping keep tribal  traditions alive, the center works to encourage and assist tribal populations to integrate with modern society. 

 

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City Tour

Later on Sunday we spent a few hours driving around new areas of the city.  Dimna Lake was definitely my favorite….

I also took a couple videos to give you a sense of the area.

 

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1st Weekend Activities

On Saturday we toured the TATA Steel plant in Jamshedpur.  TATA Steel is the driving force behind the entire city and is the reason the city exists today.  Unfortunately no pictures of the actual steel making process were allowed but here are a few I can show:

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We also had a chance to tour the Center of Excellence.  Our tour guide walked us through the city’s history and achievements.  We were also introduced to the Auto Rickshaw (Tuk Tuk).  This is by far the most economical and convenient way to get around Jamshedpur.  At first it looks like a death trap that follows no traffic laws whatsoever, however after a few rides they appear to be relatively safe…

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Later in the day we visited Jubilee Park.  The park was gifted to the city on the Golden Jubilee of the city’s establishment in 1958.

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More Tuk Tuk pictures!

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Tuk Tuk drivers seem to enjoy painting logos all over their vehicles.  I’m not sure if this encourages passengers to hail them though we were lucky enough to ride in the “SPORTS” edition Tuk Tuk that had hand painted Nike logos.

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Hospital Interviews

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This week to begin interviewing the key stakeholders and employees of the hospital.  We want to make sure we document and thoroughly understand each business process to ensure our information system recommendations will meet their needs.

 


 

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All of the employees have been more than willing to take time to meet with us and walk us through their day to day responsibilities. They really went out of their way to provide us with a private room which included office supplies, drinks, cellular data cards and plenty of tea :).

 

 
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First Hospital Visit

On Tuesday we had our first opportunity to tour the Hospital!

We hopped on the main road and headed to the outskirts of the city.

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After about a 15-20 minute drive we turned off the main road and entered a rural village.

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We then were then guided through each of the hospital’s 3 floors…

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Top Left: Pharmacy, Top Right: Doctor’s Examination Room, Bottom Left/Right: Dark Room for X-Ray Film Development

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IBM/NGO Introductions and Presentations

On Monday we were finally able to meet our NGO clients in person.  The program began with small presentations from with each of the 4 organizations we’re working with (All India Women’s Conference, Kalamandir, School of Hope and Family Planning Association of India).

This was a very powerful moment for our team as each organization explained the impact they’ve been able to make with their cause as well as the hardships they face.  The passion these volunteers expressed for their work was truly inspiring.

 

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[From Left to Right: Shekhar (Generix), Jakob (IBM Germany), Darren (IBM US), Mark (IBM China), Dr. Amit Mukherjee (FPAI), Shiv Kumar (FPAI) and Souvick (Generix)]

 The organization I’ll be working with is known as FPAI (Family Planning Association of India).  They support clinics all across India that specialize in family planning and reproductive health.  Our team will be working specifically with the Singhbum branch which is located outside of Jamshedpur.  This branch is unique however since it is the only medical facility in a 10km radius.  Starting last year, the Singhbum branch was enhanced to now include a MSH (Multi-Specialty Hospital) including departments for general medicine, surgery, orthopedics, and obstetrics/gynecology.  It is also equipped with two operation theaters for surgeries.  The diagnostic needs of patients are met through a pathology and radiology department. There is a pharmacy on the premises providing generic drugs that are much more affordable than in other medical shops.

While these new functions of the expanded clinic have offered real healthcare options to the surrounding area, the hospital is having difficulty keeping track of patients, budgets, assets and procurement.  Our team is tasked with creating a framework including specifications and recommendations for a centralized HIS (health information system).

On Tuesday we had an opportunity to visit the hospital…pictures to come!

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