District Cooperative Bank Bidar

Trip Start Jul 26, 2008
Trip End Sep 27, 2008

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Where I stayed
Nirantara Guest House

Flag of India  ,
Sunday, August 24, 2008

My trip is full of surprises - and this was sure one of them.  I somehow got an impression that this visit was somewhat of a token visit - sort of to take up my time while Niranjan caught up on his own work in the office.  Niranjan introduced me at the Bank and then left.  It really got off to a very slow start.  I wasn't at all sure they were looking forward to meeting with me or if they even spoke English.  As we drove away from the District Cooperative Central Bank - Bidar, I had very low expectations.  Little did I know.

My host was Mr. Narayan Rao Manhalli, seventy two year old Vice President of the Bank and former member of the State Legislature.  Niranjan had told me that Narayan had worked for 30 years in support of development programs and was very special.  I was still wondering.  Niranjan is now financially well off and works for the bank as a volunteer - caring his programs and passions to make a difference in the world.

Narayan and I went into the field office and I asked him about himself - and from then on we became wonderful friends. His English was perfect. The twinkle came into his eyes and he became my captivating host for the next three hours.  The pictures capture quite well the energy between us.

We then entered a large room where 50 or so women of this stitching coop were anxiously awaiting our entry.  They shared with me about their program. I was then welcomed and honored by Narayan with a scarf, coconut and rose - the symbology of I do not understand - but I felt deeply honored.

I then spoke to the group through translation - telling a bit of what brought me to them and how honored I was to be with them and learn from them.  I was then told that there were two members of the press there (by then either side of the head table) and I proceeded to answer questions.  So much for this being a token visit and I wasn't even sure they wanted to see me.

I was then taken to a very large Sugar Cane Cooperative Manufacturing Facility.  The Bank had made a very large loan to this facility.  I will let the pictures tell you of this tour.  They then took me to their guest house for dinner.  I thought - now I am really in trouble.  How will I avoid eating the VERY spicy dishes and not hurt my wonderful hosts.  As it turns out - they had a very nice noodle dish that was not spicy and I had seconds. 
They then returned me to Nirantara where Narayan, Niranjan and I closed the day - with Narayan and I exchanging sparkling and appreciative smiles as he left.  I had a new friend and I had learned another lesson.
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seema on

nice blog

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