I worked with DePauw University from Indiana, USA. Mr. Rajai Bimbo who is Assistant Director of Civic, Global and Professional Opportunities department at DePauw contacted me to assist him and his students during their one week trip to Varanasi. He basically contacted me because of my work with LGBT community in India. He was also interested in NGOs of Varanasi. BHU was already there host university but they were not happy with the way BHU professors and someone named Mr. Ramuji were not replying them on time. There was a time came when they asked what could I offer to their students for one week.
It clearly meant that once they thought about giving me the whole program but of course BHU and Ramuji are big names so I could not get the whole business. Mr. Bimbo told me once that he had contacted BHU professors and Ramuji asking them to collaborate with me so that we could work together but they did not want me to get involved in the program hence they said that I was good but not good enough to work with them. Finally Mr. Bimbo told me that I could not work together with them but he still wanted me to spend some time with their students to talk about LGBT rights in India and activism going on in Varanasi.
I was given a few hours to organize something for them and I thought a visit to Lok Samiti, interview with Mr. Nandlal Master, a visit to an real Indian village and Coca-Cola affected site would be great visit for the students so I took them to Mehdiganj. I organized a meeting with Mr. Nandlal Master where students asked questions about work of Lok Samiti and its struggle against Coca-Cola. After the interview I gave a tour of the village and then took the students to a site where a canal was being dug under MNREGA scheme. Students talked with the farmers and people working at the site which was really interesting to them. I have always given priority to work with students and it is my dream project to organize such university programs in my city but unfortunately BHU professors and Mr. Ramuji did want me get involved with DePauw.
The things that I was offering to DePauw was a lot better than what was offered by BHU and Mr. Ramuji but only because of politics and monopoly in the industry I could not get this business and students could not get most out of their money and time. Mr. Bimbo’s asking to BHU and Mr. Ramuji to collaborate with me was clear indication of they liking my work and offer. Anyways, I was happy to work with them and have done my best. Students and Mr. Bimbo both seemed happy with me which was the biggest achievement for me.