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India: last thoughts

Our last day in Delhi was very busy. We went into the office and met the Everyone team and found out how they are implementing the campaign to save children’s lives. We were told that during our free time we should visit Chandni Chowk bazaar, so we took a tuk tuk. But after half a mile he decided it was too far to take us. So we decided to try the metro. The first train was fine. A lady took us under her wing and guided us to the next train. The station was heaving but she took us to a ladies only carriage. These have been designated since the Commonwealth Games and men are fined 200 rupees if they enter them. It was so crowded and they pushed us off at our stop.

We entered a heaving bazaar which was many square miles wide. We hoped eventually to come out the other side, but in the end we asked for directions to a metro. As it was a long way we took a rickshaw. What an experience!

Now that I’m home I thought I’d share a few last thoughts on my trip. Traffic! He with the loudest horn and greatest nerve gets through. Wing mirrors and indicators are for decoration only. On the 4 hour drive back to Jaipur on the rural road at night, many lorries do not have rear lights and cetainly the camel carts, cows and people do not. We felt luckier than cats as we had more than nine lives.

Mumbai is a huge city, with a population of 19 million — 60% of whom live in slums. Children are on the streets late at night and often sleep there.

Rajasthan was very rural and became more fertile as we travelled north with bullocks, buffalo, cows, camels, pigs, goats, chicken and peacocks wandering around. It helps having a poor sense of smell sometimes. I have to say that my hips and knees are only now recovering after sitting on so many concrete floors, but it was worth it.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to achieve one of my life’s ambitions of visiting India and it will stay with me forever. Even though I know we cannot save all the children, it was inspiring to to see how we’re helping so many through our work with Save the Children and our partners.

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