A GOOD CLICK CAN LAUNCH A FACE
ent categories and the attached houses are administered and maintained by the council of the CIUP with limited autonomy depending on the countries they belong to. India house runs on grants and subsidies from the Indian government. When Sanyal was asked to join as head of the Maison, it was heavily in debt and “in a dilapitated state”. The condition he had set for taking over was that the entire loan of the Maison be waived. When that was done, the painful renovation process began. Telephones and refrigerators were added to the 104 single rooms, the kitchen was renovated, a microwave added, and toilet and shower facilities were provided near the hall.
Now, from organising festivals to networking for funds, the Sanyals do it all. They have also managed to get grants for an additional block with 70 rooms as the number of applications from India have increased manifold.
Priti takes me for a round of the kitchens and the dining area with a great view they have managed to carve out of the small space.
A cultural room with a beautiful gate done in the Bengal style with Mughal arches has been executed by resident Avijit Ghosh, who is now working on a waste material project in Paris which aims to educate people on the proper utilisation of waste.
The beautiful light-eyed Jamila Maalaoni from Tunisia, a PhD scholar in the social sciences, struggles a bit with her English as she tries to explain how she has refused the offer of moving to another Maison as she finds this place to be “very good for my health. I’ve had surgery and have recovered well and feel my health has improved considerably over here.” As the students have a