Thursday, March 25, 2010
After spending more than a week showing you some of the more glamorous aspects of Delhi, I thought I'd share a bit of the other side (although check back in tomorrow when I'm planning to share some of the finds from my holiday shopping trip.)
There are construction projects going on everywhere in the city as they prepare to host the Games in October - from a new Metro, new roads and flyovers, new and refurbished stadiums, new sidewalks and parks. It seems that everyday we take a new route to and from work as our driver works to keep us from getting stuck in traffic.
Most construction work of this type is done with lots and lots of unskilled laborers who come in from the rural areas hoping to make a small living. In many cases the mother and father work together on these projects with the children either playing in the vicinity or working along side their parents. I can't tell you how heart breaking it is to see a young child trying to dig a hole or carry a bowl of cement.
Many of these families build tent shelters along side the project they are working on. These tents villages come up over night and will stay in place few a few days or a few weeks while the family is working in a particular spot. When the work is done, the tents will be suddenly be gone as the family moves on to a new project.
Driving past these tent villages is a daily reminder to me that 42% of Indians fall below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day. Feel like helping? One of my favorite charities to support those in the third world is kiva.com. For a donation as small as $25 you can loan money to a business person in a developing country. Over time the loan will be paid back and you are free to take the money out of the system or re-lend it to someone else. I love that through kiva you are not just giving someone a meal for a day you are helping them build a business that can benefit them and their family over a long period of time. Giving to kiva makes driving past sights like these on a daily basis a little easier.