ISBN 9788121212328,Confessions of a Renegade: Peace Corps Years

Confessions of a Renegade: Peace Corps Years



Gyan Publishing House

Publication Year 2014

ISBN 9788121212328

ISBN-10 8121212324


Number of Pages 324 Pages
Language (English)

Biography & autobiography

Biography, The American Peace Corps was a program of President John F. Kennedy. It sent mostly young idealistic American youths to developing countries around the world to work in various development oriented programs for a period of two years. The program operated in India from 1961 until 1976. India was a major country for the Peace Corps and several groups of volunteers worked in agricultural development programs in Punjab. This book is the story of one American Peace Corps volunteer who lived and worked in Banga Block of Jalandhar district in Punjab. The group was India 53 which arrived in India in June 1968. After additional training at the Gram Sevak Training Center in Batala, the 23 volunteers in the group were sent to different development blocks in Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts. Projects included new high yielding varieties of wheat, rice and other crops. It was also a time when farmers in Punjab were being encouraged to grow soyabeans as an alternative to rice in the summer season. Perhaps the cultural exchange aspects of the Peace Corps were equally if not more important than the technical aspects. Volunteers made many friends in the villages where they lived and the surrounding areas. Indians learned something about Americans and the volunteers learned a vast amount about India and their local area. This changed the lives of many young Americans and greatly enriched the United States in terms of having citizens knowledgeable about distant and remote parts of the world. Unfortunately, the United States Congress was not willing to spend much money on such an enterprise. While vast amounts of money went into the US military, the Peace Corps was run on a shoe string. It is probably one of the cheapest programs ever launched by the US Government. Eddie James Girdner was inculcated into the idiocy of rural life at an early age in North Missouri. After his Great Escape to the University of Missouri, and a degree in Physics, he served as an American Peace C