Moving Back to India – How I Did It
By Susan Jackson
One woman shares her story of returning to her native India from a 15 year life in San Francisco. Would her kids adjust to the new lifestyle? Would it be a good transition for them?
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As an American who has been working in Delhi for the past 3 years, there are some things in your article I want to address.
It is very telling that you write: "I always have lots of extra hands to do things for me and I am loving this aspect of my life in India." You mean lots of servants for very cheap, something you cannot get in the US. And this to me is one of the biggest problems with the Indian middle-upper classes: exploitation of the masses of poor people here and an unwillingness to do anything about overpopulation because it's just too convenient for you to have all this cheap domestic help and labor. Come the revolution....
Also, as someone who's been working in the Indian education system, I can guarantee you that your children will suffer academically. I only hope they've completed most of their schooling, and do not plan to attend university here.
And no, the embassy schools do not have "branches" in other cities. The only decent American schools are in Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai and they are very expensive and hard to get into. Only AES is a true embassy school. A few of the old boarding schools in the hill stations are ok but are not international in outlook or curriculum. Be aware that the over-rated CBSE curriculum is totally test-centered, and academically a disaster. A few schools in the NCR have the IB program but again, if it's run by Indian administrators and teachers, then the quality will be sub-par. There's lots of lip service given to progressive education here, and schools in Delhi throw around all the right buzz words about child centered education, but like many things in India, it's all a sham-just sound bites and image, no substance. The teachers here are woefully unqualified. I can understand you want to be near your family, but I believe your children, unless very young, will come to resent your decision to bring them back here. There is no advantage for them in a country with a soaring population, inflation, lack of real job opportunities, inadequate education, and rampant corruption that is also running out of water and has millions of poor and illiterate or semi-literate unskilled people--in fact, double the population of the US. And if you have daughters....then it will be even worse for them because although India has made progress in some areas, it has not progressed in its attitudes towards females. Good luck to you!
Dear American working in Delhi for last 3 years,
Here is an excerpt from a single (presumably) American Mom living in Bangalore, from the same site.
"I have a driver, gardener to look after my plants and all, a cook, a nanny, and a housekeeper. I preferred no live-ins, and its definitely a challenge - you need good people management skills, and you need to be a little tough."
So exploiting the mass of poor people is not something that only Indians do. I have seen US expats do it quite frequently, and unfortunately more they stay in India more they tend to be behave like the vilified upper Indian middle class
I clearly see a problem in exploiting the poor, but Americans complaining about it is little over the top. They buy dresses sewed by slave labor in emerging countries, eat food picked by illegal immigrants who are paid next to nothing, but electronics manufactured by child labor, but want to retain a hyper righteous attitude about forced labor. Just because there is a comfortable gap between the person who is slaving to make the product and the consumer does not mean that all is fine and dandy .
I agree with your view about Indian education system.