Why India, why Pune?
Staying with the Karlsruhe office in Pune
“The possibility to offer my labour for two to three months, just anywhere, is such a big opportunity, that made the decision difficult, as I have many interests”, says Antje Scheerer from Karlsruhe, who was working the last 20 years as an architect and project manager – and is now with the Karlsruhe office in Pune – as part of the trainee programm "LuP".
The gateway to India
This booming metropolis Mumbai has 18 million inhabitants. And each day there are new arrivals, about 300.000 each year (almost the size of Karlsruhe), looking for work and better life. Incredible. And also there are a lot of Westerners coming to Mumbai, probably for its creative lifestyle, cosmopolitan attitude and open-minded spirit.
My first impression, yes this is India, but the city is so clean! I need to correct my impression from former visits to India. But still Mumbai and especially Colaba are not to be compared with all Indian cities. Mumbai is one of the big cosmopolitan, multi-cultural megacities of the world. Still there is so much poverty and density in the slum areas next to skyscrapers with extremely high rents. The square meter price for office rent is even higher than in New York.
The contrasts are evident, almost everywhere. But still things seem to work out astonishing well, despite the contrasts of belongings, education, status, language and religion.
Arriving at Pune
As in almost every Indian city, for us Westerners the traffic is one of the most impressing differences from home. Helmets are now required on motorbikes and scooters – for the driver only, but most people don’t care about and rather prefer to pay the penalty.
Pune – a place to live! Green, spacious and charming, many trees, parks and hills, the “Smart City Initiative is visible in the city, Metro project under construction, bicycle share, E-buses. In Pune especially the young generation is changing the image of the city. Thera are a lot of posh places to go out, shop and party. Of course not in all parts of the city.
Pune and India in general has made big achievements in the last years. Huge efforts were put on sanitation, water and electricity supplies, mobility and waste management and the smart city initiatives with 99 cities being part of. The young people change the image of the country rapidly. Lots of them seem to be mostly very welleducated, hard-working and open-minded.
“Smart City Initiative” Pune
Rearrangement or new pavement and footways. Upgrading the riverbanks of the Mula Mutha River – colourful painting of walls with slogans and drawings, like safe water and trees, avoid plastic, smart city etc. - Pune Metro project under construction, E-buses, separate bus lines, bike sharing in progress, smart street lighting.
A part of Karlsruhe in Pune
It is strange indeed if you come here to SB Road, standing in front of this ten-story modern building, on a Sunday afternoon, checking out the place, were my work would start the next day. And then finding the Karlsruhe pyramide brand on the company sign. The work at the office is great. All issues are most interesting and they are often related to politics and to general knowledge.
India affects you in the one or other way. It will definitely leave an impact for your further life, once you’ve been here. India has such a rich culture. I am glad to see, that the cooperation between Karlsruhe and Pune and also Baden-Württemberg and Maharashtra have extended from economic interests also to an cultural exchange. (Antje Scheerer)