FULLBRIGHT REMARKS: BY MEERA GANDHI
JUNE 4TH 2007 WALDORF –NYC
Thank you very much Hyder and thank you to Metro International.
I will speak on behalf of both Vikram and myslf. He always tends to agree with whatever I say—I wonder why that is—-I guess domestic peace is as important as International peace.
We are so delighted to receive this high honor. Getting it together makes this ever so much special to us. Also, a very special heartfelt thank you to our family and dear friends who are here to support us tonight.
As the world shrinks, the importance of the Fullbright scholar program and philosophy is even more important. Metro International’s mission of bringing Young intelligent students from all over the world to connect with Americans in the NY area is truly critical.
Vikram and I grew up in India but we both had tremendous opportunities to experience the world, thanks to our involved parents. I had the opportunity to study in Canada for two years at the Lester B Pearson, United World College. It had a transforming effect on how I thought about the world. Growing up in India, one has great Mathematical skills, but one is never taught how to challenge anything or to analyze situations. It also, taught me the importance of languages. I speak English, Hindi, French and Punjabi and am currently learning Spanish and Vikram has already signed me up for Mandarin at the China Institute.
Vikram worked with Red Cross in Australia in the 10 grade and after his bachelor’s degree worked as President of AIESEC International and lived in Brusells and travelled extensively. Today, as Global head of Financial Institutions at Credit Suisse, this experience and knowledge has been invaluable to him.
We have collectively for education, work or pleasure visited over 40 countries and have friends from all over the world.
Having had this global exposure, we focus on doing the same for our three children, Kiran, Kanika and Kabir who are here tonight. Kiran taught English in rural China last summer, and this year is planning to work in India at St Micheal Orphanage in Delhi and Akanksha in Bombay. She will lead a team of students from her school on the trip, this July.
Kanika and Kabir will attend Summer camp which has children from over 25 countries, for 6 weeks this summer.
The more we realize how enriched we have been by our international experiences, the more we want to make this possible for many other young people to experience.
We are delighted to be part of the Fullbright world today and very much look forward to to a more peaceful and tolerant world where there is deep understanding and respect of each other.
We commend Metro International for the great work you are doing and
Thank you for this recognition. It is indeed very special.