I recently visited India with my husband and daughter. While we were there we had our marriage blessed in my husbands traditional cultural way. I had an amazing trip and learned so much about India and the culture, which is far removed from ours here in the UK. What hit me hard was the extreme poverty, which is visble everywhere. I found this so hard to digest. It made me realise just how lucky we are here in the west. We don’t know the meaning of the word “POOR”.
We are blessed with clean water, which runs freely through our taps. We have a great sewerage system, which having been to India I now realise how much we take these things for granted. The everyday things we don’t even think about, such as, filtered water, clean air, smog free cities, good sewage, housing and financial benefits for the families living on the poverty line. Food banks, charities, and the lists are endless. Not to mention reliable electricity that does not cut out many times a day.
I found myself feeling guilty for my life, I gave money away to beggers and local poor familes. I fed the starving dogs, which were rife everywhere we went. One day, someone said to me, “Dawn, you cannot feed the world, so don’t do this” I thought about this statement for sometime and although I understood what the person was trying to say to me, I stand by my first thought, which is this, “I may not beable to feed the world, but I can try, one person at a time.”
Small steps can make big changes, helping one person could help their entire family, to not bother becuase there are too many, is to give up and close our eyes to the starving and hungry around the world. It makes me sad that we have copius amounts of food mountains going to waste in the west and yet there are so many hundreds and thousands of people dying each and every day for lack of food and water, something that every single human being has an unconditonl right too, for with out these basic things we cannot survive.
THE GOLDEN TEMPLE: INDIA
While I was in India I fulfilled a life-long dream of mine and visited the Golden Temple. I was surprised to learn that this beautiful temple was made out of real gold. It is so beautiful when you see it with your own eyes that no amount of photography can do it justice! My husband, daughter and me walked into the holy waters of the temple to bath our feet. The magical waters of the Golden Temple are believed to hold healing powers that can heal just about anything. People travel from all over the world simply to bath their sick and injured in these magical healing waters. I felt very inspired after my visit to this famous Temple, I watched all the people bathing in the waters at midnight, their belief in the temple astounded and inspired me. I was totally fascinated by the whole experiance. All who enter the golden Temple have to wear head scarfs or you will be refused entry. You also have to walk in with bare feet.
Me pictured at the Golden Temple: India
During my trip to India, I experienced many wonderful things. We travelled to the infamous Bhakra Damn; this damn supplies a great deal of India with water, which is supplied by China. If this damn should burst its floodgates, the whole of the Punjab and Delhi would end up flooded and under water. The security surrounding the Bhakra Damn is phenomenal. Apparently, many many years ago, the damn was under threat by an enemy and they attempted to blow up the damn. Now, tourists can only get so close, cameras and mobile phones are not permitted. If you are caught taking a picture you will have your phone confiscated. Security is very very tight.
BHAKRA DAMN: INDIA
We stayed in Marlipur in the Punjab, it’s a small town in the countryside where all the old traditions are still used to day. We stayed on a traditional Indian farm where the women still cooked using clay ovens. It was totally fascinating and I admired them greatly. They were so hard working. Everything they ate and cooked with was sourced on my husbands familie’s farm. From Aubergines, marrows, potatoes, peas, mangos, tomatoes, onions, garlic, haldi, monkey nuts and Basmati rice to name but a few. They never needed to go to a shop for food, which was truly amazing. Everything came from the farm. The cows provided milk, butter and paneer. The chickens provided the eggs… It was so wonderful to see and experiance. I left feeling so in awe of my husbands relatives. There was one wondeful lady called “BB” she was close to 100-years-old! She liked to smoke an Indian roll-up cigarette from time to time. When we arrived I was amazed to see this tiny fagile old lady smoking a roll-up. So I went out and bought her a packet of 20 boxed cigarettes! You would have thought I gave her pure gold when she recieved them! See this amazing picture below. In my humble opinion, anyone who reaches 100-years-old is entitled to a cigarette or two…
Me sitting with BB in India…
I saw the world through new eyes on this trip, it has made me think more about how I use and spend my own money. It made me appreciate my life and all that I have. This world of ours is a very small place, yet the differences across the borders are gigantic in many instances. My hope for this small world of ours, is that someday there will be no hunger.