Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The saddest thing I heard about today- Blog Action Day.

Today is Blog Action Day and the topic is Poverty. My friend N just returned from over a month in Patna, India, which is in the state of Bihar. Bihar is located in the northeastern part of India near Nepal. She is a nurse and she volunteered at an eye clinic through an organization called Unite for Sight. I am very proud of her!

She has countless stories of the struggle and poverty that she witnessed on her trip, things that I cannot even begin to wrap my head around. One thing she saw has stuck in my head and I drew what I imagine it to look like for today:



What she witnessed is hundreds of people gathered to sleep on the median dividing traffic on a very busy road. She said that the median was the only place to lay down and sleep that was not filthy with waste. The alleys and sidewalks are frequented by cows, dogs, pigs, and other humans, who all leave messes behind. There is less of that traffic on the concrete median, so people with no where to go home to sleep there to be cleaner.

Remember, I did not see this, so I cannot do this sad reality justice. I have never seen anything like this, not so many and not the dangerous median of a busy thoroughfare. I cannot fathom being so desperate to rest on a clean surface. Unfortunatly so many around the world can and do every day; even here in Minneapolis where the nighttime temperatures reach below freezing much of the winter.

I have been looking into new volunteer opportunities, both short and long term, as a way to contribute to helping those in my community who struggle. There are so many ways to help, it is overwhelming!

Of course there are always fundraisers to attend, including the Empty Bowls Project, there will be one of these in my neighborhood on November 7th. Maybe I will see you there? Maybe there is one near you?

2 comments:

Mnmom said...

You're Back!!!!!!! Hooray!!!!

Empty Bowls happens here at Carleton and I will go. Sadly I must admit that I haven't done much about poverty because my hubby and I have been on the slippery slope ourselves.

Read "A Fine Balance" or "City of Joy" - both good descriptions of poverty in India.

xup said...

It IS sad. You know what else is sad? In 2006 the poverty rate for minors in the United States was the highest in the industrialized world, with 21.9% of all minors and 30% of African American minors living below the poverty threshold.