Day 2and 3 Delhi to Kolkata
Day 2 begins with a 5 a.m. Wake up. The night before, we pooled and condensed our donation bags. There were 5 suitcases that were filled to the brim with much needed medical supplies, toiletries, sundry items, and school supplies. In our arsenal were, arts and crafts, nail polish, hair bows, ribbons, clips, old time games from home like jump ropes, Twister, kazoos, harmonicas, bubbles, lollipops, and the big deal was 2 photo printers .
These supplies were to be distributed over the next several days as we visited each of the organizations over the next week and 1/2.
If you hate being delayed at an airport in the U.S. all I can do is 🙂
The flight was delayed several hours, and the flight itself a complete odyssey.
In India, it is essential to ” go with the flow”
From the insanity of the bustling city of Delhi, to the tropical environment of Kolkata, the same overcrowded and impoverished conditions exist.
Here, the locals live in the same muck and mire, just in a rural environment, with perhaps a little more space. Instead of the tiny shanties and shacks being right on the city streets, they are on rural roads and farms, but still right off the road. What is amazing, is the absolute lack of privacy. They are living out in the open. There are no doors,windows or even rooftops. The people bathe, shave, cut their hair, and toilet out in the open along with the cows, goats and dogs. This does not seem to phase the people , you can’t miss what you do not nor , ever even dreamed of having.
Our bus pulls into Made by Survivors, which has collaborated with Women’s Interlink Foundation and Child Care Home.
A huge steel metal wall surrounds the facility to protect the girls from the pimps and traffickers going back to kidnap them again.Some of these girls are extremely young ranging in age from about 6 to 18.
I do not need to know their individual stories. They have all been through unimaginable torture, the scars physically visible on some, psychically and spiritually on all.
The children are a little leery of us at first, we are a spectacle any place we gobin this country.
After breaking the ice with some playful yoga, we split off into groups to play with girls with the stuff we brought with us.
They were so excited, cries of delight as they called us : “Auntie,!!!!’Auntie!!!! One more photo please, Auntie ” ( 100 photos later !) It quickly turned into a lovefest.
The huge hit was the photo printers. Most of these kids have never seen a picture of themselves. To see the joy on their little faces when they held and marveled at that simple piece of paper was heartwarming.
The older girls in the home did beautiful henna designs on all of our hands.
The girls in the Made By Survivors jewelry program, sat with each of us individually and made us our own one of a kind pieces.
The girl who made my piece is named Sumaiya
At lunchtime we were treated to a feast of home cooked yummy Indian food.
The day passed by so quickly. All of our group was teary eyed and sad when it was time to say our goodbyes.
The girls are in self protection mode and arevguarded with their emotions, and theybknew we were only there for the day and could afford the sadness of becoming too attached.
All and all the day was joyfull.
After boarding the bus to go back to the hotel, we were notified that one of the girls who sat beside the entire time I was printing pictures had been taken out. She had been trafficked from Nepal and turned 18, and the Indian government was being repatrioted back to Nepal. Heartbreaking… I pray she gets returned to her family.
With all of the great work these NGO’s are doing, there is so much that is out of their control when children are trafficked from other countries. The borders are porous and police and governments are complicit.
On the grass roots level, so much good work is being done. I pray one day it will be global.
No child should be sexually exploited and tortured.
Abolish 21st Century Slavery
DELHI TO KOLKATA
Day 2and 3 Delhi to Kolkata