It was a short visit to Chandigarh to collect computers from IT park which were being donated by a company to set up a small computer center at my village at Kotgarh. The plan is to set up these in the local Govt high school.
This has been a Voice of Himachal (VOH) initiative. Thanks to Varun and a team of anonymous but dedicated volunteers, one fine day got a mail to collect the computers from the IT park. Accompanied by Nirvan, the local VOH representative I reached the company office to collect the machines.
Walking into the IT city was a revelation. Clean wide roads looked inviting. The buildings had the Bangalore look. Security was manning every gates. Once inside the building, it was even more orderly. IT park boasts of every big software company being present here. Workforce is quite young, mostly people in there late twenties. I wish our policy and decision makers ever visit this place and just see what they have been missing all these years in terms of attracting cleaner business into the state. All these years the state have been attracting the hydel projects and cement plant investments which naturally is not in tandem with the state’s ecological and environmental ethos.
This time, I kept away from the main roads at Chandigarh, thanks to the over ‘friendly’ Chandigarh cops (more details here) so I was able to enjoy and see the now vibrant Chandigarh city. Sector 22 still retains the old Chandigarh charm, 17 being much over hyped and a bit up market. Nearby Sector 35, the old restaurants have been converted into pubs. Evenings here give you a feel of the Brigade road at Bangalore, thanks to the techies visiting and enjoying the music or the cricket matches over a pint of beer. Chandigarh administrators have done some smart overhaul and marketing of the city. Maybe the babus running the city do not have the netas telling them how to (mis)manage the city!
Chandigarh still have an edge on educational front with some of the best schools and colleges here. This city is the capital of Punjab and Haryana and still doesn’t gives you a feel of a babu’s city like the plain old Shimla.
Life could be all plain different in a span of 200 km distance upon comparing difference in lives between Chandigarh and the dusty hills of Kotgarh. Here I am, coming from the hills to pick up computer machines from someone who would never know what difference it could make into some one’s lives in future, who never have laid hands on one. And a few anonymous samaritans who are just a name in your mail box lending a helping hand. May their tribe increase!