From the Banyan to the Olive Tree / Journeys Podcast

Dr. Harinder Mishra tells Rogel Alpher about his upbringing in a small Indian village, and how he ended up working as a journalist in Israel.

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At the Barakar river of Jharkhand-Bihar in India.
At the Barakar river of Jharkhand-Bihar in India.Credit: Dreamstime

Dr. Harinder Mishra was born in a small Indian village in Bihar, near Kolkata. He walked four kilometers to his primary school every day, where he had lessons under a banyan tree with 400 children of different age groups, taught by one lone teacher – a local farmer who would take the strongest children to work in his fields during the rainy season.

After a bad episode with his teacher, he was sent to a boarding school where he was exposed to a completely different kind of education, which set him up for a university career – a world away from the children with whom he had grown up.

During the research for his PhD thesis, which was based on Israeli social policy, Dr. Mishra met his future Israeli wife.

The two decided to base themselves in Israel, and after working for several years as a lecturer on Indian Studies at the Tel Aviv and Hebrew Universities, Dr. Mishra now works as a journalist for an Indian news agency and as an adviser for American companies looking to invest in India.

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