Tuesday, March 21, 2006

IRMA, Anand, Gujarat

Among the many options i considered for my post-B.Com. plans, was IRMA, the Institute of Rural Management Anand. Although i read about IRMA for the first time in an article, I dont recall, when the thought of joining IRMA came into my head. It must have been because of my attachment to the concept of social living and also because among the many different courses available and offered, i figured that this prepared an individual best to tackle problems of rural India. And being the 'aspiring poet', the 'want to be lover of the land i was born in' and the 'true to the salt, despremi', i found that this would be a good starting point.

The magazine, i think it was India Today, was actually doing an article on Verghese Kurien, also referred to as 'India's milkman' who helped setup the cooperative society that created the 'white revolution', and the Amul brand. Today i happen to blog about the same, because of news today about his resignation from the board at GCMMF. This one man, has created the single biggest milk and milk product based brand in India, even driving out multinationals, all while helping the real diary farmer reap the most benefits. When the framers of the constitution and initial planners of the economy evaluated different systems around the world to emulate, they chose to follow a middle path. Not the rigid rules of communist Russia or the freedom from all rules capitalist America. I know, trust me, because i studied quite a bit about the benefits and pitfalls of the 'mixed economy'. And somewhere lost in all the problems of the mixed economy, is the success of Amul and the work of Dr. Kurien.

IRMA too is one of the off shoots of the Amul magic and Dr. Kurien, set up at Anand, Gujarat, as part of an initiative by the National Diary Development Board, to train students to effectively manage problems that are peculiar to rural areas. I some much wanted to part of it. The article i read also highlighted the monetary benefits of passing out of IRMA, which was as good as passing out of IIM. But my focus was on things more romantic and egalitarian.

By the time B Com was over, my priorities changed. A Job, was an immediate priority. Any job. No there was no family pressure to find one, infact my parents wished otherwise. But pressures where from quarters outside. I had to prove that i could stand on my own two feet, and possibly also support one more person. With the intention to find a day job, i searched for an evening course, and joined a very mundane 'Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relation'. Once committed to this process, i began my search for jobs, interviews etc. But, within one month of this action, my pressure went away, just as fast as it came. I still dont know the real reason. I tried to ask once. But gave up and moved on.

The unfortunate set of events lead me astray from my path towards IRMA. But i believe, everything that happens, happens for good.

And so here i am. No IRMA, no pressure, lot wiser and grown-up, and still going.

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