By Liala Indira Alva

In September last year, I read in the papers that our economy was facing a crisis and the rupee was weak compared to the dollar. Also due inflation and corruption, our economy was suffering. I also heard my parents discussing it during dinner. I read in the papers that Dr. Raghuram Rajan was going to take over as the new RBI Governor and was going to head the bank. So, I decided to write a letter to him asking him to bring in new ideas so India could progress. I also added a 20$ note from my last trip to Israel with my parents. I thought it could help the economy because somethings start with a little step and then it becomes big! I thought that my 20$ could be the little step we needed.

So, I asked my mother if I could send him the letter and she said, “It’s your choice. Do whatever you want to do.” I then checked the address on the Internet and asked my parents to post it.
A week or so later, when I came back from school, my mother told me that the Governor of the RBI had replied to my letter. I was very surprised and thought that my mother was playing a trick on me. But when she showed me the letter, I was so excited I almost ripped the envelope in half!

Dr. Rajan said in the letter that he was grateful for my kind gesture and he had no doubt that the economy would emerge stronger. He also returned the 20$ note that I had sent, saying that there were people working in the RBI managing the situation. He also invited me to come visit the RBI and answer any questions I might have. I was very happy and excited. But I was also a bit sad because he returned the 20$ I had sent and didn’t use it to help the economy. But my parents explained that there were other ways in which one could help the economy.

The $20 Bill
My parents also fixed an appointment with Dr. Rajan sometime in November. I flew to Mumbai with my father as he has work there. Before leaving, I prepared a few questions to ask him. Unfortunately, our flight was delayed, but I had at least fifteen minutes with the Governor. These are the few questions I asked him:

‘Why can’t the RBI print more money for the poor people in India?’
He told me about inflation and that the RBI had to control how much money was being printed. He told me about how if he prints more money and distributes it to people, then the price of things would go up and less people could afford it. He also gave me lots of comics that explained things like inflation, how to make your own bank account, how to prevent people from cheating you and where you can change old and torn notes. He also asked me to visit the coin museum, which I did.

As I write this article, I have also read in the paper that the rupee is now much stronger and that the RBI is trying to bring inflation down.
Behind his desk, there was a wall with pictures of all the former RBI Governors. I noticed that there weren’t any Lady Governors, so I asked him, ‘Why isn’t there any Lady Governor?’ He replied, ”Maybe you could become one, some day.”

I’ve always wanted to become a photographer or work in an NGO for child rights, or become a singer or an athlete. I’ve never thought about becoming the Governor of the RBI, but I guess Dr. Raghuram Rajan has convinced me to give that a thought!
Laila Indira Alva is 10 years old and studies in Sanskriti School, Delhi. She is the granddaughter of C.G. Somaiah and Indira Somaiah Last year she was a member of the Junior School Magazine editorial board which printed her letter and Dr. Rajan’s reply to it. She has written several articles for the school magazine. She has also written and illustrated 3 short story books that she has donated to the school library.

Courtesy: Coffeeland News

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Pria Somiah

Just saw this. @Poonacha, Laila is most certainly a chip off the old ‘CG Somiah’ block, taking the initiative to write to the RBI Governor and receiving a reply and an invitation to visit the RBI office. Certainly no ‘connections’ used in this spontaneous transaction which she has shared in this article. If you google you will see the RBI Governor has met other young children as well. However, I will certainly convey your rather sarcastic ‘encouragement’ to Laila. Pria Somiah


Would the RBI Governor had the time to meet a less advantaged and less ‘connected’ ten year old? Anyway, way to go Laila,hope you become an honest bueracrat like your grandfather C.G.Somaiah.

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