India is a country with a population of 1339 billions. We have been magnificently hosted by the members of the 41 Club of India in the cities of Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Surat, Ahmedabad, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra and Delhi. The programmed activities in the nine cities belonging to four different states showed us not only the beauty of the artistic and cultural heritage of one of the most ancient civilization of the world, but also the richness of its natural landscapes, flourishing during the monsoon season.
We will limit ourselves to for words to describe the whole experience we had in india thanks to the YAP Tour:
The FRIENDSHIP is born with the meeting of our journey mates in Mumbai, a megalopoli far from home and extremely different from any european city. This was probably the best way to begin such a unique journey: we found a context deeply divergent from our own, but the situation was the same for all of us and that we got to face together. This built the bound that took us to define our group as a FAMILY, a big one, composed by 13 young people from 7 different countries: Great Britain, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
The DISCOVERY of the India North permeated each day and every second of our staying.
The discovery of a land so different from Europe, so rich in vegetation and colours, characterized by cities so intimately various and full of population; the discovery of beliefs, religions and traditions. The discovery of sensations created by conflicting feelings as: the charm aroused by marvelous architectures; the pity for the pervasive poverty; the astonishment at the sight of elephants, camels, monkeys and cows; the curiosity of trying new flavors and spices in the typical dishes; the involvement and the fun performing traditional dances with the typical dresses; the wonder of sharing emotions with new people of different ages but with the same will of building bounds lasting in time and memory.
We found a REALITY much more complex than our previous idea of a country featured by bright colours, perfumes and spicy flavours, the big figure of Gandhi and Taj Mahal’s postcard image.
Our visit was not limited to breathtaking temples and notable natural beauty, but introduced us to the productive reality of an incredibly rich country. Beside the amazing world of diamonds handcrafting that we got to see at the KP Sanghvi in Surat, and the colourful and precious reality of the famous textile manufactures of Rajasthan, in Mumbai, economic centre of India, we visited Dharavi: it was surprising to know how, in one of the largest slums of the world, you can find not only desolation, but desire for redemption and the strenght of beginning productive activities also addressed to the protection of the environment, as the recovery of plastics.
The HOSPITALITY for us was reaching an unknown continent and feel like home. All the families and the Clubs that hosted us have been for us not only a landmark, but a model of welcome and availability. Despite the problem caused by the unusual strengh of the monsoon that hit Maharastra, caused the flooding of the river Godavari and upsett the programmes for Nasik and Surat, the devotion that each organizer and companion put in welcoming us and letting us know the best each unique city could offer has been impeccable: full of passion and of will to transmit us the deep love that the great family of Round Table and 41 Club always granted all the members around the world.
In the name of this incredible experience we want to thank deeply each person that made unforgettable every moment of our staying in India. We would like to appoint some of the hosts and the new young friends with whom we shared lovely evenings: the Kalbag family, Kumar Ruparelia, Rajiv Mehra, Sohan e Pagan Vijayanagar and Simran Verma from Mumbai; Senjay Kanjay and family, Manor Kapoor, Aryan Datta, Taizun Partapurwala and Zarina Scrat from Pune; Vinod Advani and Nanda’s family from Nasik; Danesh Rathod’s family from Surat; Vidisha Sangvy and the Somani family from Ahmedabad; Shruti Jain from Jaipur; Sahil Jindal, the lovely Sigh family, and Vijay Kumar Aswani from Delhi.
Aware that the organization of the YAP TOUR commits numerous members of the club, we thank from the heart the whole 41 Club Association for the dedication in the promotion of this incredible initiative: for the ones that have the chance to live it, this is a unique experience that constitutes an invaluable part in the self development of each Young Ambassador, and is able to transmit the power and the value of an International Club based upon Friendship and Tolerance.
Salomè Schirato & Miriam Schirato