Ahmad traveled to New Delhi, India over winter break (2011-12) to study the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), enacted in 2005. This act “provides 100 days of employment to all rural households on a self-selection basis” and has led to rising income in rural households. Ahmad studied the changing pattern of income and consumption and its correlation with the success of the MGNREGA.
“The data was a required part of my honors’ thesis,” Ahmad explained, “and it would not have been possible to finish my thesis without the monetary aid of AMS. It was an intellectual experience interacting with farm workers from the village and learning from their life experiences on one hand, and getting to know the workings of a government scheme from top government officials on the other hand. Spending time away from both family and the comforts of Colgate helped me grow as an individual. I learnt to use the perspectives and principles I had learnt in class to real life situations. Overall, the experience helped me see a new side to my native country, while instilling in me a desire to help it achieve the heights of progress it is destined for.”