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A woman sitting in a chair at Hawa Mahal (Palace of Wind) in Jaipur, India. Photo by Eliana Rothwell (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest Finalist).

Greetings from Varanasi from your Local Director

Namaste everyone!

I am Dolly Pandey and I’m the Local Director for the Bridge Year India program. I was born in the southern part of India in a strict Hindu family. I grew up in Kolkata in the state of West Bengal on the eastern coast of India. After marrying, I moved to Varanasi and had my 2 children (a son and daughter). I’ve been involved with BYP programming since 2009 when the first BYIndia group came to this amazing country. The BYIndia students have grown to be a very important part of my life. I’m always excited for new groups to arrive every year. I love to teach groups about Hinduism, as well as spend time speaking to the realities of being a female in a middle class Hindu family with more modern impressions of the world. I am more or less a revolutionary woman within Hindu society.

Banaras (the local name for Varanasi) has become a 2nd home for many BYP students. Please do not worry about homesickness, as you will be well taken care of by my family and all of your soon to be host families.

In the case that you have any immediate questions, please feel free to use the yak board as a place to post thoughts, needs or where you can use more assistance!

I look forward to meeting you all soon!