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I love Gurgaon: Humans of the city are its richest capital

I Love Gurgaon because its people and diverse communities give character and soul to the city.

I Love Gurgaon Updated: Jun 01, 2017 11:27 IST
Gauri Sarin,Gurgaon Action Plan,#ILoveGurgaon
The city means different things to different people and has several facets begging to be explored.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

There are so many reasons to love this thriving commercial city, which houses people from across India and overseas. From the autorickshawallah from Jharkhand to the CEO from Tamil Nadu; the soft spoken store saleswoman from Manipur to the famous painter from Odisha; the dancer-teacher from Kerala to the smart event company owner from Punjab, each resident has come here to create a story of their own.

This human capital is the potential of this city, its real wealth.

When I came to Gurgaon, I didn’t know what to expect. Over the years, the city has given me a lot more surprises and lessons than I could ever imagine. It has given me the space to experiment with my ideas on governance, leadership, business and women’s empowerment. It has also motivated me through role models of strength, entrepreneurial spirit and creative expression.

Gurgaon is different to different people. It has several facets that beg to be explored.

One, it is the city of intellectuals. Gurgaon has some of the finest retired bureaucrats, writers, professionals, corporate honchos, academicians and policy makers. It’s truly a conglomerate of intellectual wealth and capability.

Two, it is the city of artistes. From the highly acclaimed to budding amateurs, sculptors, painters, singers, musicians and theatre actors have made Gurgaon home and also the centre of artistic pursuits and expression.

Some examples are Subodh Gupta, Krishen Khanna, Veer Munshi, Dr Arvind Krishan and musicians such as Aman Bathla and Pandit Sarathi Chatterjee.

Three, it has diverse cultures. People from across the country and abroad have made this metropolis their home. Every state finds a representation in the city and they have made life here one of celebration, camaraderie and kinship.

Four, the city’s entrepreneurial energy has to be experienced to be believed. This a huge asset. Startups, mentors, investors, professional service providers, tech companies, women entrepreneurs… the list of people making a path for themselves and others to follow is endless.

Five, Gurgaon is set to harness the power of the next generation. Given its youth population, it’s no wonder that Gurgaon remains young at heart. It provides the best of schools and a supportive environment for the young to be mentored. It allows them to flourish in any area of their choice.

Six, it is the city of world-class leadership. This aspect defines the city. The city has citizens running NGOs and advocacy platforms that influence governance. Their voices have pushed the city towards greater sustainability and smartness. Campaigns for non-motorised transport, fixing roads and traffic safety, advocacy for waste disposal, water harvesting, protecting forests and biodiversity are all driven by these active civil society members.

Seven, the unique community networks. The virtual face of the city sees several community groups thriving on Facebook and WhatsApp. The number of groups for community service, healers, parents, business, environmentalists is astounding. Women flourish in this city of networks and feel empowered to do business, learn, connect, lead, support and express themselves.

Eight, the bonhomie of condominium and colony living. The RWAs bring together the richness of diversity and make living in Gurgaon a celebration. These are the spaces where families feel the strength of bonding and share interests with those with whom they share their neighbourhood.

These are the pillars of Gurgaon. Away from the infrastructure and development, it’s the people and communities that build the character and soul of a city.

Like a huge egg about to hatch, the city brims with possibilities. The corporate culture of the city has spawned hundreds of small and big companies. These companies and their employees are woven into the present and future of Gurgaon.

Gurgaon is a city with the finest human capital. We need to nurture this so that the city, with its malls, underpasses, schools and clubs, sets the highest standards of sustainable living.

(Gauri Sarin is founder of Gurgaon Action Plan and a women’s initiative Sahaas.)

First Published: Jun 01, 2017 11:18 IST