It’s been a fairly packed two days. I arrived at Delhi international airport at about half past six in the morning, thanks to a delayed British Airways flight. From that moment on, everything has happened punctually, quite at odds with everything I’d been led to believe about the organisation of events in India. A taxi drive to the hotel (a military barracks) followed by a sleep, interrupted only by the arrival of my room-mate, a leading tradesunionist from the UK.
Thursday evening, I met the rest of my working group. Together, we will be travelling to the North of Delhi and also to Rajastan. The group includes representatives from Australian government and commerce, not for profit from Vanuatu, commerce from Singapore, Malaysia and India,tradesunionist from Sri Lanka and Canada and government from the Maldives. A mixture of experience. Too early to say who’ll be taking the lead, or who’ll be very, very irritating.
A small group of us took a bus into the centre of Delhi to find dinner. Connaught Square was busy with shoppers, beggars and hundreds of motorised rickshaws. We walked several blocks, through the financial district and past the Head Offices of Citigroup and Deutsche Bank, before we found a restaurant where we had an excellent meal.
I’m writing this note whilst sitting in a plenary session at the Taj Palace hotel – very plush. We’ve had two days of being addressed by a variety of Indian luminaries on the subjects of development and leadership. There have been some excellent presentations – and some very, very boring ones. I have been caught sleeping through the latter.
Tomorrow morning, at 5:00am, we begin our study tour proper. I will try to write up each day, but this may have to wait for uploading until I return to Delhi.