Friday May 25, 2018
Home India Yes, Indians ...

Yes, Indians can speak English

0
//
212
Republish
Reprint

Indians living abroad, especially in English-speaking countries, are quite often asked a question that takes us by surprise. I am sure that many Indians have been asked this question time and again and no, this has nothing to do with their line of work or anything else.

The question, that may come across as innocent, is actually quite appalling. I have met at least five persons who have asked me about the fluency of my spoken English. It may come as a surprise when you are asked the very first time but when asked, again and again, it becomes a little irritating.

Let me make  this clear on behalf of all the Indians who live abroad. Yes, we can speak English. There is a simple reason behind this–we come English medium schools. Yes, we have lots and lots of those back in India. We not only have English as a subject but it is also the language used for communication in school and college and throughout our years of education. It may come as a surprise to you but we also use English at the workplace. Our fluency may vary but most of us do know the language. Surprising as it may seem to many, we can read, write and speak English fluently.

I was first bombarded with this question around three years ago when my husband and I went mattress shopping. The saleswoman, who was in her late forties, was quite amiable and did her job well. Then she asked us for how long we had been living in the United States. I told her it had just been a couple of months (We had just relocated back then). She looked surprised and I think she did try to control herself but failed and said, “Your English is perfect. Where did you learn to speak the language?” It took me a few minutes to recover from the question but my husband, who travels a lot and is probably used to this line of questioning, simply said, we come from English-medium schools. The poor woman looked shocked. We did not buy the mattress from that store, not because of the stupid question but because it was too expensive.

Since it was the first time I was asked that question I did not know how to react. I have been asked the same question on many occasions and sometimes with a look of disgust, surprise, shock and many similar expressions but now I do not even bother to explain the Indian education system to them. I simply reply with a Yes and move on.

I can still understand if the question is asked by some middle-aged person. But someone who is young shouldn’t be so ignorant. Don’t get me wrong. I can completely understand that you are intrigued and think that people from India do not speak English and why shouldn’t you? After all, it is not our national language. However, the good part is that the India was ruled by the Britishers for the 100 years and whatever bad they did, they did manage to leave behind a few good things, the adaption of English language in our education system and it is being followed till date and becoming more and more advanced.

So, the crux is most of us who do get a job in English speaking countries or are transferred there, it is because we know the language. Why the hell would we be sent there otherwise? Think about it. Am I making sense to you now? I am sure I am.

Source-en.gravatar.com/confused4ever, writer is an Indian blogger living in the US

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

Next Story

Diesel Exhaust Converted Into Ink by Indian Innovators To Battle Air Pollution

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

0
//
11
representational image. VOA

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

In a cabin, young engineers pore over drawings and hunch over computers as they explore more applications of the technology that they hope will aid progress in cleaning up the Indian capital’s toxic air – among the world’s dirtiest.

While the millions of cars that ply Delhi’s streets are usually blamed for the city’s deadly air pollution, another big culprit is the massive diesel generators used by industries and buildings to light up homes and offices during outages when power from the grid switches off – a frequent occurrence in summer. Installed in backyards and basements, they stay away from the public eye.

“Although vehicular emissions are the show stoppers, they are the ones which get the media attention, the silent polluters are the diesel generators,” says Arpit Dhupar, one of the three engineers who co-founded the start up.

The idea that this polluting smoke needs attention struck Dhupar three years ago as he sipped a glass of sugarcane juice at a roadside vendor and saw a wall blackened with the fumes of a diesel generator he was using.

It jolted him into joining with two others who co-founded the start-up to find a solution. Dhupar had experienced first hand the deadly impact of this pollution as he developed respiratory problems growing up in Delhi.

An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.
An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.

A new business

As the city’s dirty air becomes a serious health hazard for many citizens, it has turned into both a calling and a business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking at ways to improve air quality.

According to estimates, vehicles contribute 22 percent of the deadly PM 2.5 emissions in Delhi, while the share of diesel generators is about 15 percent. These emissions settle deep into the lungs, causing a host of respiratory problems.

After over two years of research and development, Chakr has begun selling devices to tap the diesel exhaust. They have been installed in 50 places, include public sector and private companies.

The technology involves cooling the exhaust in a “heat exchanger” where the tiny soot particles come together. These are then funneled into another chamber that captures 70 to 90 percent of the particulate matter. The carbon is isolated and converted into ink.

Among their first clients was one of the city’s top law firms, Jyoti Sagar Associates, which is housed in a building in Delhi’s business hub Gurgaon.

Making a contribution to minimizing the carbon footprint is a subject that is close to Sagar’s heart – his 32-year-old daughter has long suffered from the harmful effects of Delhi’s toxic air.

Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.
Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.

“This appealed to us straightaway, the technology is very impactful but is beautifully simple,” says Sagar. Since it could be retrofitted, it did not disrupt the day-to-day activities at the buzzing office. “Let’s be responsible. Let’s at least not leave behind a larger footprint of carbon. And if we can afford to control it, why not, it’s good for all,” he says.

At Chakr Innovation, cups, diaries and paper bags printed with the ink made from the exhaust serve as constant reminders of the amount of carbon emissions that would have escaped into the atmosphere.

There has been a lot of focus on improving Delhi’s air by reducing vehicular pollution and making more stringent norms for manufacturers, but the same has not happened for diesel generators. Although there are efforts to penalize businesses that dirty the atmosphere, this often prompts them to find ways to get around the norms.

Also Read: Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

Tushar Mathur who joined the start up after working for ten years in the corporate sector feels converting smoke into ink is a viable solution. “Here is a technology which is completely sustainable, a win-win between businesses and environment,” says Mathur. (VOA)

Next Story