The World Bank estimates 455 million Indian citizens, or 40 per cent of its 1.2 billion population, live on less than $1.25 a day, the World Bank’s poverty line.
But in a filing in the Supreme Court in New Delhi, India’s Planning Commission says those citizens who earn more than 32 rupees (68 cents) a day in urban areas (53 cents in rural India) are no longer eligible to receive so-called Below Poverty Line benefits.
This video is by Poh Si Teng, a journalist who took some video of our group while we were in Delhi. It’s so disheartening to see this happening….and so surreal to think we were there and that this could have happened while we were in Delhi. I thank God for keeping us safe and pray that He will bring healing to those affected by this tragic event.
Looking forward to the day when there will be peace….
Ten people were killed and 61 injured by a bomb blast inside the Delhi High Court Complex, Sept. 7, 2011
NYT article about the recent bombing in New Delhi
I had no idea that India was the most terror-stricken country in the world last year, and I spent two weeks there this summer. I was a little anxious about going because of the Mumbai blasts not too long before our departure, but while I was there I felt OK. I am very sad about this, though, and pray for my friends in India. I hope someday you won’t have to worry about things like bombs and terrorism.
I just went through these photos a classmate took in India, and I thought he captured what we saw pretty well. Take a gander!
This is the story I spent my last full day in India working on. The woman I wrote about is quite interesting, and her story is part of an arranged marriage package I worked on with a couple other students. I call her the “outlier” to our package because she never married; in fact, she ran away from her home at 15 and hasn’t been back since. Today she works as a journalist, teacher and political activist.
I arrived back in Omaha yesterday morning around 9. The 20ish hours it took to get home went by more quickly than I thought they would. I couldn’t sleep much on the plane, but my excitement to be home helped me overcome the drowsiness.
I feel a little guilty for being happy to be home, where I can enjoy all my favorite pleasures such as good food (and plenty of it), a closet full of clothes, and an air conditioned home. Many people in India don’t have these kinds of blessings.
I tried to describe my experiences to my parents, but no amount of description can really do India justice. From the buzzing traffic with its constant honking, to the sidewalks filled with people lying on threadbare blankets, to the overwhelming scent of trash, sweat and feces, it’s just something you have to experience first-hand.
While I am glad to be home, I hope to remember India and everything that I saw, smelled, tasted and felt. I know that India has changed me in ways I don’t even understand yet and it might take some time to feel the full impact of my trip.
Today I’ve been experiencing some major jet lag and wonder if I’m getting sick, too. I hope to spend more time reflecting on my experiences once my body starts feeling normal again. Until then, sleep is calling me.
Today has felt like the longest day now. Got up at 5:30 after about four hours of sleep and got on a bus to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. The ride, as we understood, was only supposed to take 4 hours but it took us 7. Some of us joked about taking a rickshaw back to Delhi because it would be faster…
It was a long ride without any food, so as soon as we got to Agra we stopped at a restaurant where I shared chick pea curry with my Indian friend Zafar. It took a long time for everyone to get their food and pay for it, so by the time we left the restaurant we didn’t have long to spend at the Taj before we’d have to depart if we wanted to get back at a decent time. Our professor asked if we just wanted to go back right after lunch (he was kidding, I think), and as appealing as it sounded we knew the 7 hours would feel wasted if we didn’t at least see one of the seven wonders of the world.
So we saw it. The Taj Mahal was big, beautiful, very symmetrical and extremely detailed. I heard that the king who had it built used slaves and then cut off their hands when they finished so they could never build anything again. Nice guy.
We briefly got to see the inside and the tomb where the king and his wife are buried. There were a lot of people in there and it was uncomfortable being bumped around. We took some photos outside and then we stopped by the gift shop. And then we left.
We stopped at a remote restaurant to pick up overpriced snacks (they said they were imported) - I got strawberry oreos which were really tasty. I have never seen those in the U.S.
It feels good to finally be back. Yesterday was busy, too, but at least we didn’t spend over half the day on a bus. We got to go shopping and thanks to one of our Indian friends Majid, we got some really great deals. I had broken my camera in Lucknow and he was able to get it fixed for me for 1300 rp (about 30ish dollars). Sounded like a good deal to me. I was happy it was working when I went to Agra today.
I can’t believe tomorrow is our last full day in India. It will be a full day, too, since I have lots of writing to do on my “big story.” I will reveal it to you when it’s finished.