These simple questions last year at this time would’ve elicited a totally different response from me. The reason is simple. I had not met 17 to 22-year-olds in batches of 12–15 every five weeks who were learning English, getting employment-related interviewing and life skills training as well as going to school (secondary and college). They are primarily from Delhi, India, though the recent batch has people from other parts of north India. …

The India of the 1950s and ’60s, economic aspirations were shackled to social class. The sons and daughters of domestic help became domestic help. One such person was my favorite fellow who worked in our household. He was illiterate. My mother attempted to teach him to read and write. When I was about five or six, he left our employ. He returned about a year or two later to visit. I was overjoyed. He told us that he’d learned to read and write in Bengali and was working at the Calcutta docks as a stevedore, loading and unloading cargo ships. The next time he visited, perhaps another year later, he told us that he was managing a group of cargo handlers. He’d advanced. He was literate. He had broken the chain of domestic work. He brought me sweets. I didn’t realize how significant a moment that was. He’d succeeded in achieving what he aspired to, however, small.

The faces in the Zoom squares every week at the Freedom Employability Academy sessions are of dreamers, aspiring for what their families before them couldn’t dream of. They can dream. They must dream. And they must succeed in some measure. They are the future of India. Their sheer numbers determine that.

In order to avoid repetition of information about FEA, please read the following two posts of my experiences with mentoring students at FEA since the fall of 2020 (they are about 10 minutes each of reading time):


Photograph courtesy of Freedom Employability Academy

Everything about India is complicated and difficult to grasp. That’s not hyperbole. Just ask any economist or researcher working in or on South Asia.

There are over 1.3 billion people in India. Scarcity is always a reality. The elites are a small percentage. They can’t move India…

Credit: Amit Shah

Much of my life has been spent in fleeing uncomfortable situations, relationships, and places. The idea of flight, moving, traveling is a theme that girds my years. I traveled to survive, to escape, to see different horizons, to keep a promise.

Statistics in India are as confusing as the demographics of the subcontinent.

At last count, in 2016, it was reported that there are 657,829 women sex workers in India. The number of children involved in the sex trade is estimated at 1.2 million. However, “in 2007, the Indian Ministry of Women and Child Development reported the presence of over three million female sex workers in India, with 35.47% of them entering the trade before the age of 18 years. The number of sex workers rose by 50% between 1997 and 2004, with nearly 100% of the children of sex…

Someone said to me today that the BJP (Bharatiya Jana Sangh) supporters consider May 23 as the “true Independence Day” and that Aug. 15 is pro-Pakistan, Brit-engineered one that Gandhi-Nehru swallowed. After all Godse is a patriot now!

In 1967, I turned 17 and headed to college at Delhi University in July. Earlier that year, in February, there had been a famine in Bihar and a number of students from my college had gone to Bihar to work as relief workers, sponsored by our college.

The following article is offered by Green Comma as a discussion resource for use in grades 6–12 classrooms as well as in freshmen college classrooms. Teachers are advised to review the article and links prior to introducing students to the material.

The writer is Green Comma’s managing director, Amit Shah.

Photo Credit: Amit Shah

(Quote taken from Syrian refugees in Tunisia segment, Khedija Lemkecher, director)

The writer is Green Comma’s managing director, Amit Shah, who collaborated with Chandita Mukherjee, executive producer, to provide the following background to the making of this timely documentary.


The following article is offered by Green Comma as a discussion resource primarily for secondary school educators as well as for student use in grades 9–12 classrooms and in freshmen college classrooms.

The principal writer is Michele Dow, a transgender woman, who received her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. Michele’s dissertation is the first academic study of transgender educators in the United States. She recently presented her findings at the Translating Identity Conference in Burlington, VT.

Green Comma’s managing director, Amit Shah, wrote the introduction.

All opinions are the writers’ own.



Nathaniel Adams

Nathaniel Adams is a dandy, writer, and custom suit-maker living in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the coauthor, with the photographer Rose Callahan of the books I am Dandy: The Return of the Elegant Gentleman and We Are Dandy: The Elegant Gentleman Around the World. He has written for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Daily Beast, Men’s Journal,, Harper’s Bazaar Russia, Uproxx, among others.

The PRISM blog series is maintained by Amit Shah, Managing Director of Green Comma, to promote critical thinking and to value different perspectives in the study of history, geography, and culture.

The material…

The following article is offered by Green Comma as a discussion resource, especially for financial literacy and introductory economics, for use in grades 9–12 classrooms as well as in freshmen college classrooms.

Amit Shah

Fearless reader, fearful writer, optimistic traveler

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store