When Vilasinee Wichiensing, a Thai, was offered a scholarship to study banking at a management institute in Pune, she did not know what to expect in a city and a country which was alien to her.

“I packed a lot of noodles, so that at least food would not be an issue for me,” Vilasinee, a banker, recalled adding that the noodles remained in their packets during the duration of her stay in India as after a couple of days into her course she began to savour the taste and flavour of living in Pune along with the food, the people, and above all the quality of education.

A simple everyday occurrence like the limited amount of water supply in the taps in Pune became a learning curve for the young banker. “If water came for two hours twice a day I had to be on top of my time management and be organised,” she said at an alumni meeting of Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholars from Thailand organised by the Embassy of India.

Every person in the room had a story to share, but the bottom line for each was the same — education in India was superior to many other places. The people were friendly and the food was varied and interesting.

For Krit Sutapol, the three month advanced fingerprint science workshop at the NCRB in New Delhi was very informative and helpful. “Besides the course, I also learnt a lot about the Indian people, their culture, traditions and mannerisms,” he said. “If they want to say yes, no or a query, their head moves, it's so interesting, a science by itself,” he told the large gathering with many in the audience readily agreeing with him.

The scholarship is granted annually by the Government of India to Thai citizens. “Cooperation between India and Thailand in the education sphere is an integral part of multi-faceted cooperation between India and Asean as a whole,” Indian envoy to Thailand Anil Wadhwa said.“These training programmes have contributed significantly towards capacity building and human resource development in a large number of countries across continents,” he added. While most Thai Indians send their children to India for their schooling, several others have started opting to study in India for their college and specialised education.

Except for the two Thai Indians, the rest of the 80 persons present at the function were Thais. — PTI