Time in slums an ‘eye-opener’
Showering in the jungle with only a cup and bucket was an ‘‘eyeopening’’ experience for a woman who spent two weeks visiting the slums.
Tear Fund communications manager Helen Manson has just returned from a whirlwind adventure to India and Bangladesh. Mrs Manson immersed herself in the slums in Delhi and worked alongside an organisation that provides medical care to families and education opportunities to their children.
During her trip she followed the lives of two 7-year-old girls.
The first happy and healthy girl had an education, lived in a house with a concrete floor and had employed parents. The other girl worked as a ‘‘rag picker’’, spending her days collecting tiny shards of metal from a trash dump before attempting to sell them for money.
Mrs Manson says despite being the same age the girls have a polar-opposite outlook on life. She says the highlight of her trip was being able to see the difference between a slum she had worked in and one she had not.
‘‘It might sound weird that something like this would be my highlight but knowing and seeing we can actually make a visible difference is such a reward.’’
Mrs Manson says she was the first whiteskinned woman most people had seen.
‘‘Wherever we went we were followed by a small mob of 100-200 people.
‘‘I found the experience a world away from my day to day life and an eye-opening insight into how the other half live,’’ Mrs Manson says.