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India: ‘Maximum City’ – the highs and lows

As it’s Sunday today, we haven’t been to visit any programmes and so have had the day to ourselves. We’re catching up on our blogs, sharing anecdotes and photos, sampling local hotspots (Café Leopold is great!) and of course, a bit more shopping too.

Sue has got a big India themed event planned for next year and has been stocking up on decorations, saris and various raffle prizes – date TBC.

For Anne and Marilyn, shopping has revolved around props for the various talks they have booked in for schools and adult groups. And for me?

Well, I’ve bought more books to add to my growing reading list, this time “Maximum City” – recommended by everyone it seems – and “Breathless in Bombay”.

As you can see from the photo, I was pretty chuffed to find them! I’ve also managed to buy a ‘lucky’ elephant chain, which I plan to dangle from my handlebars as I cycle John O’Groats to Lands End next year to raise money for Save the Children India. A link to my sponsorship page will follow soon!

I sit here now, facing the prospect of a morning flight tomorrow and our last day in India, with mixed feelings – aware too keenly that I’ve just scratched the surface of life in Mumbai and of the issues facing children here as they struggle to survive and access their basic rights.

While in the slum yesterday, I tried to hard to see and understand, but no doubt missed so much, such is life here so steeped in tradition and a caste system that I‘m still struggling to understand.

One thing I’m certain of though, is the importance of Save the Children’s entitlement approach to children’s rights in every aspect of our programming work here in India– and our conviction that every child, no matter what their gender, socio-economic status, religion or ability, should have their basic rights protected.

Our work here is extraordinary and every donor, partner and volunteer for the charity should feel immensely proud of the impact we’re having on children’s lives.

And so despite all that I’ve seen and the scale of poverty we’ve witnessed, I go to bed smiling, like the children I played with in the slums today, more motivated than ever to raise funds and awareness for our work when I get home.

Over 5,000 people like Sue, Marilyn and Anne volunteer their time and energy to raise vital funds for Save the Children every year, raising millions of pounds to help us protect children’s rights.

If you’ve been inspired by their experience here in India, please consider joining us – all information can be found at on volunteering pages – it would be fantastic to have your support!

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