Hello dear friends, I’m Gama Putra, the founder of startup I LOVE Network. Everyday, I’m searching for local creatives, bringing their work to the broader public and collaborating with them in promoting cities in Belgium and the local businesses. Three months ago, my intern Erin Derdelinckx contacted an International student from India to join our creative team. His Instagram @debargha.chakravorty tells enough about his passion in photography and travelling. We are very lucky that he wants to strengthen our team in Leuven. His name is Debargha Chakravorty, he studies Nanotechnology at KU Leuven. For some of you that perhaps know about India, Debargha is originally from the city Kolkata.
Leuven and Kolkata
“Leuven is a perfect blend of the past and the modern, exciting yet easy-going. Home to the oldest surviving Catholic University in the world, there isn’t a shadow of doubt that the city excels in cutting edge technology. At the same time, its numerous historical spots cement its position as a significant witness to world history. With a thriving student community and lovely locals, the city offers an amazingly hospitable ambiance”, tells Debargha with full enthusiasm when I ask what he thinks about Leuven.
Further, he makes a quick comparison between Leuven and the city he is from: “The city I come from, Kolkata, is much larger than Leuven. Thus, although you might get lost if you are new there, it is similar to Leuven in most other respects. Both has a diverse cultural background yet has a similarity in their historical significance.”
From Arenberg Castle to Bittersweet
It must be very interesting to know what are his favorite spots in Leuven. “Isolating some specific spots would be really difficult for me, however, the Arenberg Castle, Provinciaal Domein Kessel Lo, Botanical Garden, Pangaea (the Intercultural Meeting Centre of KU Leuven) and the Grote Markt would be my absolute favorites.
Leuven is the ultimate place to experience festivity. From summer concerts to Christmas celebrations, theatres and dance classes to Leuven Carnival and culinary feasts, the city has it all. There are several student organizations which organize guided tours, cycle trips and other events. Leuven, thus, offers a plethora of cultural activities and there is every reason to take part in them like I used to. P.S. There are photo walks which I absolutely love.
Local business includes homemade beers which are only available here like the ones in Domus or De Fiere Margriet. Authentic Belgian chocolatiers can also be found scattered around the city. One of the favorites is Bittersweet, which offers classic flavors as well as unusual ones”, tells Debargha.
He’s a CITYzen, content and community manager of I love Leuven
“I have a feeling I know every corner of the city. There is something about the city that everyone can relate to: art, culture, science, history and of course beer!” Debargha laughs.
“I walk around the city, observing people, taking pictures and knowing the history of this magnificent place. As an ardent traveler and a passionate photographer, I immerse myself in the cultural ambiance of the city apart from my academics and occasional sports!” tells he.
It is very obvious that photography does not only make him creative but also makes him feel more home. As I am from Indonesia, it is fascinating to realize that there are people who love their ‘new city’ so much.
“I love taking photographs and sharing my experiences through my lenses and blog. This desire was further supplemented as I got introduced to a platform, I Love Network where I can show my skills and reach more people. Enriching the city as a whole was central to my work, which finally culminated to me being appointed as the Community / Content Manager of I Love Leuven, one of the many channels of the network. Now, as one of the CITYzens of the network, I work with other creative local and international content creators. It has been an incredible association for me so far and I look forward for continued involvement”, explains Debargha about his role in I Love Leuven Platform.
Staying in Europe
“My future plan in terms of academics would be to pursue higher studies here in Europe. However, I would also like to work more towards my passion and improve myself every day. Even though I may not be living in Leuven later on, it will always be a special city to me and I will continue to contribute towards its enrichment”, he answers when I ask about his future plans.
Join team I Love Leuven
Dear friend, at the end of our talk, I thank Debargha for his efforts to support our team. Leuven brings the talent together and I am so thankful that we always have motivated team members.
Starting from September this year, he will study in Grenoble. However, he will still work for I Love Leuven to build up the local online community. He would like to invite you to join our team. As he says: “Although I have been in Leuven far less than many others, I have experienced many things from my long walks across the city. Even though we see something every day, there is always another extraordinary thing hidden there which we missed the last time. That can be our home, a painting, a historical spot, a street or even yourself. Do you love Leuven too? Then, get up and try out another visit to your favorite spot. I would definitely recommend all of you to be a member of the Network and get a chance to showcase your love for the city!”
P.S: Want to be CITYzen? Please contact Debargha Chakravorty via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via Instagram: @debargha.chakravorty
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? CEO of I LOVE Network ? Founder of NGO My City Fan Club ? 9 Flemish cities / Brussels, 160 creatives ✉ email@example.com