The memories and the lessons learnt from the eight week long capacity building training, conferences and seminars attended by over 68 participants from 27 countries all over the world cannot be forgotten in a hurry. Many thanks must go to the Indian government through its External Affairs Ministry for financing the program. The Indians once again proved to the world that they were masters in hospitality and comfort as we experienced all these from the way our organisers and host – National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Noida made our stay a memorable one. Throughout our stay in India, we came to appreciate the effectiveness and greatness attached to their way of doing things.
Even though it is still regarded as a third world country by some quarters, I am very sure that they have overturned that label long time ago.
It is no longer news that India is the cheapest country in terms of medicine; they boast having hospitals specially dedicated to almost every part of the body. In one of the classes, the facilitator said that every Indian street has at least one android App maker. Little wonder, Indians are the CEOs of most IT companies of the world.
As a teenager, I read an Awake magazine that devoted that whole episode on the Indian railway system; I pondered on it for a very long time while wishing my part of the world would someday revel in this glory. Little did I know that one day I would find myself doing about a 300 kilometre ride in one of those highly revered trains.
Aside the classroom facilitations that took place almost on a daily basis, we attended seminars and conferences during the weekends; we were exposed to so many facets of entrepreneurship and the needed motivation on becoming entrepreneurs. It was in one of these conferences that we met the man, Sandeep Marwah; the founder of the Noida Film City and the honorary president of over a hundred national film associations.
Personally, that was the most memorable conference I attended, safe for the three days we spent at Punjab when we were hosted by HMV, the largest girl institute in the world. I have never seen a gathering of women in that large number before. We were treated like kings and queens. I am yet to see any efficient organisation like this institute. Students of this school literally took charge of everything by making sure that we almost forgot that we came from the other side of the ocean. Throughout the tour of facilities around the school, I made sure I walked beside the head of the school; this enabled me ask pertinent questions that nobody would have asked on my behalf. I was amazed when we were ushered into their state of the art library, the TV studio, the animation centre amongst others; the feeling is yet to leave my mind. After being taken round the school, I finally saw the reason why India is what they are today. Even though they are still struggling with corruption just like we are, I have seen that they are a people that know where they are going to; they don’t just write down policies, they walk the talk. It is no surprise that they are ahead in many facets of life. In that institute, it would be easier for any girl child to be anything they want to be here than anywhere in the world. At a point I wish I was a girl, an Indian, privileged to be a student there.
I finally concluded that, if the girl child advocates in Nigeria are really serious about what they mean, they should borrow a leaf or copy from what the Indians are doing to empower the girl child because I am tired of seeing every woman on social media especially on twitter clamouring for the betterment of the girl child without really doing anything. It’s not enough to shout, match your words with actions.
At the Noida Film City, our host Sandeep Marwah, the founder of the film school while making his speech, charged the 68 participants to always come with the mindset of contributing before taking out from any system. I pondered on the words for a while. He said that his quest for success in life came to be because he put humanity first in everything he does. He also reiterated that no matter how prosperous, poor, peaceful, war ravaged and backward our various countries are, everyone of us has a contribution to make back home; we shouldn’t sit down and wished that our situations were better. It’s up to us to contribute to the growth of our people no matter how little it is.
Since the advent of social media especially Facebook and twitter, a lot of us have become commentators of all sorts on so many issues ranging from politics to religion, agriculture to economics, relationships and the rest of it. In fact, some of us have taken to the social media to display writing skills that is second to none. Whenever I take a trip to some renowned blogs in Nigeria, i am amazed as to how people make great contributions in almost all the topics on being published- Brilliant ideas, great conversations, incisive points are being raised every time. Our people have taken the fight further in fighting against bad governance, unacceptable social norms and so on.
But I think, writing about all these things wouldn’t take us anywhere unless we are deliberate in our actions by waking up to our responsibilities as the case maybe. We seem to be faceless in this fight for total freedom and emancipation. We spend more time or do more analysis when we plot the downfall of a rival football club than how we do when our governments don’t treat us right. It horrifies me to see able bodied youths vent their anger on the coach of a club he supports after losing a match. They would do anything to air their views whenever the opportunity comes up. I would have been happier if these youths are stake holders in these football clubs they support.
It’s about time we changed from being paper tigers to facing the task of nation building head on. I know someone would say that the old men have refused to give us any opportunity to lead; but the truth is that, we can create this change with the littlest resources at our disposal. Let’s say we want redirect the political compass of this nation; the question I always ask is, how involved politically are we? Do we even believe in ourselves? Have we developed ourselves personally for the task ahead?
I urge every youth, to think of a positive contribution to our nation. As long as our contribution has a human face to it, it will surely see the light of the day because what we want exists, we shouldn’t settle until we get it.