Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ahmedabad, India: Week One

Last week Sunday, July 6th, I arrived at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport just at the outskirts of Ahmedabad, the largest city in the western Indian state of Gujarat. One of the first things that I noticed during the taxi ride from the airport to where I was staying was the quality of the streets. Now this is not a common problem in the US, but compared to what I have experienced in the rest of the country, this city seems to have a very well maintained infrastructure. As we got further into the city, I started noticing a distinct pattern to the surrounding buildings. The first two floors were commercial spaces, occupied by crowded local eateries and stores, and the remaining stories were residential apartments. Soon we arrived at a apartment complex labeled Ratilal Society where I was greeted by Nevil and Tilak, friends I made during the ADE India trip earlier this summer. They are 2nd year students at the Institute of Business Administration, Ahmedabad University, and have graciously offered to house me for the next month.

The Entrance to the Institute of Life Science,
Ahmedabad University

Wild peacocks out and about outside
 the Institute of Life Sciences

The next day I met Dr. Alok Dhawan, director and professor at the Institute of Life Sciences, which is a part of the School of Science and Technology, Ahmedabad University. After getting a tour of the state of the art labs and meeting the MSc. students, Ph.D. students, and faculty, I was briefed on my project. For the following month I will be experimenting and developing features for a diabetes monitoring device which is sustainable under limited resources. The rest of the week flew by, as I joined another two projects. At the end of the week, I had a meeting with Shri Prafull Anubhai, chairman of Ahmedabad University. With the short time period that I am here at the University, we decided that to develop a more sustainable working plan and start collaborating with the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ahmedabad University.
Transportation mode of choice: Moped. The only time that I
opened my eyes was to take this picture.
During the weekend I toured local heritage sites like the Adalaj Stepwell, a 500+ years old, 5 stories deep well, and Sabarmati Ashram, the place where Mahatma Gandhi lived for quite a while. We ended the week on a high note, by enjoying some "Indian" fro-yo from Alpha One, the largest mall in the city.
Entrance to the Gandhi Museum, right next to Ashram

My roommates and I soaking up the sun at what was Mahatma Gandhi's
residence till 1930. From the left: Nishit, Saarth, Tilak, and Nevil

A Jain temple located on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. 

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