Thursday, October 13, 2011

Middle of The Road

It’s been two and a half weeks already since we started our Corporate Services Corps assignment and there are so many fantastic experiences to bring back home, staring with last week's Inner Engineering Retreat at the Isha Yoga Center.

After concluding our time discovering the issues that Isha Vidhya faces, we realized that our client's objective of delivering training online in rural schools will not be practical. Because the schools are located in rural areas, many face challenges finding adequate network bandwidth, computer skills, and even reliable power. So last week, while most of my team attended an Inner Engineering Retreat at the Isha Yoga Center where we learned about meditation and the benefits associated with yoga practice, we realized how the methodology used to deliver yoga training could apply to the delivery of teacher training at Isha Vidhya in spite of the challenges faced.

After the retreat, we returned re-energized and arranged meetings with Quadra, a local IBM Business Partner, and Sri Krishna, a local college, to assess the cost of implementing a solution that addresses the needs of Isha Vidhya and that works within the financial and infrastructure constraints faced by the schools. With Quadra, we were able to receive estimates on using commercially available software to implement the solution. With Sri Krishna, there is tremendous enthusiasm from the principle and faculty of computer science and engineering to embark a group of their students on implementing the solution at no cost in return for making their students more employable by giving them real life practical experience. We will introduce both options to our client who will ultimately decide which option to pursue.

Finally, this week was also time for the IBMers to meet with press and share their respective assignment experiences. As the designated spokesperson for the Isha Vidhya team, I had the opportunity to meet with correspondents from The Hindu, The Times of India, Press Trust of India (PTI) and The Chronicle. For The Times of India story, please visit the following link.


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