The United States Consul- General in Kolkata, Craig Hall, has said that the Indo-US relations have been going through the best era in the history of the United States of America (USA).
Speaking during a session held at Ranchi University on ‘Power of Student Activism in Advancing Freedom’ organized by the IMS in association with the US Consulate, Kolkata and supported by the Butterfly Project, Hall added that both the countries were working closely to take their bilateral relationship on almost all the fronts to another level in which young minds had to play key role.
Hall added that the number of Indian students studying in various universities in the USA raised up to 1,66,000 from around 1,00,000 in last two years, which indicated the potential of student exchange programmes with various universities in India in the future. Hall spoke at length about the fact that India and US are natural partners and have a long and positive road ahead in working together in economics and entrepreneurship and also partner with each other on human rights activism.
He also pointed towards multiple opportunities which students and teachers both have for exchange programs. He stressed on the positive role that Ranchi University has been having in student engagements and hoped that this event would also bring forth a flavour of volunteerism and activism for human rights. The team from the US consulate present in the session also promised greater interactions with Ranchi University in the time to come.
Opening the discussion, Ranchi University (RU) Vice Chancellor (VC) R K Pandey said that the Ranchi University is looking forward to stronger relations with the US Consulate. “Students in history have always taken a stand for activism and have been essential in moulding the political scene in the nation and the world. I hope that after this session, students take up this issue and work on it actively and positively,” added the VC.
Texas University Professor and Human Trafficking scholar Dr Venessa Boucher spoke about how she started her activism as an undergraduate student.
She explained concepts of slavery, human trafficking, sexual exploitation with 17 million slaves estimated. She also spoke of the world view and focus on slavery and trafficking in USA. She helped put in focus how students can start working on activism in their campuses. She also offered an exchange programme from her University with Ranchi University.
Malavika Sharma from the Butterfly Project at the same time said that this effort by the Ranchi University is one of the many events and workshops that shall motivate students to take up activism and volunteerism. She also explained to the students the enormity of the slave trade reported numbers worldwide vs the actual population of Jharkhand, and how human trafficking from Jharkhand has to be ended. IMS Director Dr MC Mehta, RU Pro VC Dr Kamini Kumar, Registrar Dr AK Choudhary and others were also present on the occasion.