So, the title is bizarre. Are slums something to be visited ? Of course not. But this particular slum is located on the banks of the lake, just across the river from our hotel, and the stark contrast between our life, and the lives of the people and children living a few meters from us seems even more glaring when you have it under your nose on a daily basis.
Of course, we are used to the blue tents that pop up on all the constructions sites, in India, tents where entire families live for the duration of the work, until they move to another construction site. And of course, I am forever trying to highlight how lucky we are compared to all those who have nothing, or next to nothing. My children listen to me with that expression on their faces that’s part baffled, part all-knowing-bored, so that I never quite know what they understand, and wether they even listen to me.
So when a few weeks ago (yes, we’d been here a week, or so) I received an email from a person involved with an NGO helping this particular slum, and inviting all who wanted to come and bring paper, crayons, pencils so they could organize a drawing contest, I thought this would be an opportunity to get a little closer and allow our daughters to maybe understand better what I mean with all this clumsy/sententious talk. Especially as we had seen these same children on the lake below, fetching rags and what not from the water aboard their little rafts.
|Bangles, conveniently hanging from the ceiling/roof.|