Social

The social focus of India House Leuven integrates notions of charity and development, but also incorporates a fascination for things that are different and alien.

India is a noisy, fascinating and overwhelming place. Anyone who visits the country for the first time undergoes experiences that challenge preconceived notions, and as a result cannot remain indifferent. Some people return to India again and again, and others are totally bewildered by the country. But everyone who goes there is touched by “Incredible !ndia”.

Leuven is home to a number of initiatives that specifically address India, such as The Indian Students Association of Leuven (ISAL), PAZ vzw, Partners Zonder Grenzen (Partners Without Borders), ROSE vzw, the Sister Jeanne Devos Foundation and INTACH Belgium Chapter. Some initiatives arose as a result of coincidences (travel experiences in India), while others were conceived out of an idealistic desire to do something for India (such as Leuven’s honorary Sister Jeanne Devos with the Sister Jeanne Devos Foundation and the National Domestic Workers' Movement). Still others originate with Indian and/or Belgian alumni of the KU Leuven (such as Prof. Chetan Solanki of the Indian Institute of Technology IIT in Mumbai). The thing that unites all of them is their passion for India and their urge to convey this to residents of Leuven, and more broadly to all Belgians. They form a social bridge between Leuven and India, and they have a nice informal network that India House Leuven would like to make use of in an effort to inspire others to learn more about India. For all of these fourth-pillar initiatives, India House Leuven wants to serve as a platform for meeting and dialogue with the city of Leuven and the KU Leuven, but it is also seeking to build a bridge to the business community and to politicians.

There is an increasing focus on corporate social responsibility within the business community in both Belgium and India. NGOs and companies such as Time4Society and ViaVia Tourism Academy are looking for new ways to achieve their goals out of a respect for people, profit and planet.

India House Leuven wants to serve as a platform to enable all of these partners to devise initiatives that will raise awareness among people and bring them together.