Monday January 16th

Today we took a city tour of Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad is located on the State of Gujarat, in northwestern India. It is famous because it was Gandhi’s headquarters and home during the fight for India’s Independence in the 1940’s. The city tour included three stops in Ahmedabad: the Gandhi memorial museum, a Jainism temple and a mosque.

The Gandhi memorial museum was located on the property where Gandhi resided. The memorial consisted of three museums that contained different historical information on Gandhi’s life and artwork. Along with the museum we were able to see his house. The museum gave students a chance to learn about Gandhi’s non-violent philosophies. It also showed us how Gandhi’s peaceful non-violent revolts lead to India’s Independence.
The next two stops on our city tour were a Jainism temple and a mosque. Jainism is a branch of Hinduism that focuses on preserving life. They do no believe in eating meat or root vegetables because it is a source of life. The temple was intricately sculpted from sandstone. After visiting this temple we proceeded to a 16th century mosque located in the old part of Ahmedabad. In order to reach the mosque we had to proceed on foot. This gave many of us a first hand view of Indian traffic in which we were engulfed by a sea of people, rickshaws (Motorized tricycle) and merchants. Upon reaching the mosque we entered into an empty courtyard with the mosque located in the western end. The mosque was astonishing and was made up of over 250+ pillars. The mosque gave us a historical perspective of Ahmedabad.

Tuesday January 17th

Today we visited Veeda Clinical Research located in Ahmedabad, India. Veeda conducts Clinical Research for development of new and generic drugs. The company presentation on the pharmaceutical industry was very informative and allowed many of us to learn about an industry that we knew very little about. It covered the development of new drugs and the processes a company has to comply with in order to prove that the drug worked and did not have any negative side affects. For newly developed drugs, one in ten thousand reaches the retail market. Veeda Clinical Research was a very unique company to visit within India. It was unique because we were able to learn about how people here are more likely to participate in clinical trails due to lack of healthcare and income. After the company’s presentation, we toured the company’s labs and clinical trial area.

After the company visit and a brief lunch, we boarded the bus for our drive to Bhavnagar. This drive was very different from any other road we have traveled thus far. The “highway” was a two lane road barely wide enough for our bus. It gave us all a new understanding of the lack of infrastructure in India. Upon arriving in Bhavnagar we checked into our luxurious palace hotel.