Podcast – behind the scenes look at a poverty in Kolkata

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podcast Kolkata 30 Jan 2011

In this podcast:

Some of the teens from our spoken English and computer/video classes invited us to their homes. What an amazing experience! We were welcomed so warmly and the kids’ relatives and neighbors were so friendly…about 50 of them followed us from house to house.

some of the amazing kids in our spoken English class

typical one-room home with platform so people can sleep on top and underneath

The kids proudly showed us their homes – most were a single room inside a building where many families lived. Some rooms were about 5ft by 5ft, with a platform over about two thirds of the space to make a bed for a few people to sleep and a space under the platform for storage and for the rest of the family sleep. They cook, sleep, eat, play, study, wash – everything – in this small, sometimes quite dark – place. One family even ran a shoe assembly business in their room during the day…do you have any shoes made in India?? They were proud to show off their homes and we were proud and honored to be invited.

three brothers operating a shoe assembly business out of one home

We would have loved to be able to stay in one of these rooms during our stay in Kolkata – to truly experience the neighborhood and what life is like there. But there really isn’t space available. Most families have lived in their homes for generations ans there just isn’t any more space.

this girl is sorting through the ash from the last meal to find pieces that can burned for the next meal - the ash will be used for cleaning

We also talk about how to take a taxi in Kolkata, street markets, the Grand Hotel buffet – yum!, our classes…Jennifer is under pressure in art class now as the coordinator of that center has decided to create a program to unveil the work she has taught the kids…better stop just letting them draw and color on their own! The kids in English class tell us about Bollywood vs Hollywood and start performing skits in English. Plus some good old teenage bickering made it into this week’s podcast – no, we don’t always get along :-) imagine if we were living in a 5ft by 5ft room! Now THAT would make for some interesting podcasts.

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Posted on: January 30, 2011 | Categories: Children International, Economic Opportunity, Education, Fun Facts - Cultures and Countries, Health Education- Calcutta, India, Podcasts, Poverty, Travel Tips


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