August 8, 2011

Well we made it through India!   Here we are meeting with members of a grassroots organization located in the Utter Pradesh region.  We flew from New Delhi to Lucknow and then endured a 5 hr van ride to reach them.  I suppose I went to India with a predisposed idea of what it would look, sound and smell like.  I was not prepared.  The level of poverty that exists was simply overwhelming and all encompassing.  It would be impossible to adequately describe what we saw, but I'll try... picture the hottest, most humid day you can imagine.  The kind of day where perspiration just runs uncontrollably down your back and it feels like your skin is cooking.  Couple that with a hellish cacophony of endless horns honking. It's the kind of noise that makes New York drivers seem downright tame and polite.  Then add animals, so many animals (cows (sacred), pigs, donkeys and tons and tons of dogs).  Mix in odors of every variety - sewage, exhaust, and rotting food and top it all off with a vista filled with endless poverty, make shift houses made of dried cow dung, others made from scrap metal and tin or cement blocks.  Yet in spite of all this, we met groups of women struggling to improve there lives and fight for equal rights.  There goal is to unite their voices and pressure local and national agencies to alter the way they look at and treat women's issues.

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