A Humbling Adventure in India

Our trip through India was breathtaking and eye opening. I’m sure that any Australian in India who sets foot outside five star hotels would have plenty of stories to share. For us, one of the most moving moments on our trip was stopping in a small town for no reason and interacting with kids who had never spoken to anyone beyond their own sphere. There were no shops for tourists, so busses would normally sail past without any hesitation at 100kph. We walked down the street and quickly became the centre of attention! At first the children seemed curious and confused about what we were doing taking photos. Our guide explained that they would never have seen themselves on camera. We showed them and their faces lit up. They squealed with delight as we repeatedly took their pictures and they rushed around to squint at the LCD screen, screaming with laughter as they made progressively funnier faces. As an educator, it brought a lump to my throat. We spend time and energy (rightly) worrying about the wealth gap within our own rich nation. Some kids go to schools much ‘posher’ than others. Some have 1-to-1 iPads and some just tap away at clunky old desktops. But the poverty in India and lack of education put them aeons away from that which our students experience. Simply taking a photo was the most high-tech experience they had ever experienced. These kids were not from houses with electricity or even plumbing. Interestingly, the kids and their families that we saw in India seemed consistently happy, friendly and excited about the world, independent of their poverty. It was wonderful to see them engaging in simple street side games and activities such as kite-flying and cricket. It certainly left me and my travel companions with a lot to think about.

Kids gather around Ben's camera in India

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *