July 3rd-4th, 2017
There’s nothing quite like Marine Drive at night, which, at all hours has someone or the other staring out at the skyline, walking up and down the stretch, or gathering with friends for a bit of a pause in a city that requires hard work for long hours.
Our hotel that night that we reached was on Marine Drive, so, even though we reached at 2 am, we crossed the street for at least 10 minutes in front of ocean before going to bed.
The next morning, we parked the bus in front of Mantralay – Maharashtra state’s government building – to show the bus to the public and also, because we were waiting for permission to go inside. It is a very lengthy process to get permission to bring a vehicle like Skills on Wheels into Mantralay, one that would take days, but we managed to get it in only a few hours, thanks to the efforts of our team member based in Mantralay, Marieola.
When we made it inside, we were visited by various officials and Mantralay staff, including Dr. Suvarna Kharat, the Joint Secretary of Department of Education, Dr. Anil Jadhao, Joint Director, Directorate of Vocational Education and Training, and Mr. Srinivas Shastri, State Project Coordinator of the RMSA.
When Mr. Vinod Tawde, Minister of School Education and Sports for the state of Maharashtra arrived, there was the general commotion of officials and photographers, and it was a last-minute feat that we managed to pull off.
This is one of the things on the trip that Raj kept emphasizing and marveling at. We crossed the country and scheduled meetings with various officials at the last minute. It’s amazing that we were able to catch busy officials at every single city that we visited, and we consider this to be a huge positive of the trip and accomplishment for Lend A Hand India.
We then, after visiting the Department of Vocational Training, and trying to take pictures of the bus in front of the Gateway of India, finally embarked on the last leg of our Skill Yatra – back to Pune.
We reached Pune at 11 pm, and did not say goodbye to each other, as we would all meet in office the next day. But it felt like we had all gone through something quite significant together. 6500 kilometers is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of journey, and it was not only momentous for LAHI, but for each and every raahi on the trip as well.
Until next time! Hope you enjoyed reading about our journey. Please do reach out to us if you have any questions!