Service in India


Back to Ahmedabad

I am back in India to learn about the informal communities in which people live in Ahmedabad. In order to give back to the people I am learning from, I am volunteering again with Manav Sadhna to coordinate arts and crafts activities in one of their newest centres. Teaching art to students of all ages provides a way for me to transfer knowledge, get to know the families who live here and understand the community's daily rhythms.

Something I am struck with almost every day here is how difficult it is to keep clean. It is dusty and the pollution is extreme, many roads are unpaved and water only comes on for 2 hours per day. And yet, every day I see sparkling men, women and children heading out to jobs, school and chores. Who is responsible for the enormous feat of collecting, storing and boiling water on the stove every single day for each family member to bathe? Who washes their clothes by hand? Women. The incredible women of these communities have an emotional and physical strength that can sometimes defy belief. 

Each trip to India teaches me more and more. I am so grateful to the communities I work with for providing such an important opportunity for me to learn and for extending the warm hand of friendship. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the data and sharing what I learn!