India: Day Two
Whilst in Toronto, it was hard to envision what field research in India would look like. India is a country that is bursting at the seams with so many sights and sounds, and has an extremely casual system of business that is unlike ours in North America. So far, we’ve found ourselves spending the majority of our time sitting. Sitting on the planes back and forth across the country for interviews. Sitting in waiting rooms anxious to meet interviewees who we’ve been reading about for close to a year. Sitting in rickshaws and cars hustling from one meeting location to a next despite India’s standstill traffic. It has only been half a week, yet India is quickly depleting our energy.
Though, our field research so far has reaped invaluable benefits. In a dinner meeting tonight, our interviewee eloquently explained that some aspects of research simply cannot be grasped without being in the field. For example, our team learned that the biometric technology used in the Aadhaar program was designed to be fully functional in areas without any broadband connectivity and that Aadhaar ID creations only cost approximately 1USD per person. It is these knowledge gaps that we are chasing in India, and so far the hustle has been worth it.
Our days ahead will feature meetings with government officials and enrolment agencies across several states in India such as Karnataka and Haryana. We are very excited to meet the policymakers and ground workers that have brought this applauded new ID to over 1.13 billion Indians. Until we get to our meetings tomorrow, we’ll be looking forward to the 5am car horns and the 40+ degree sun.