Guest Post

My lovely wife, Maxx Duffy, is traveling in India these weeks, and since fans of this blog seem to like trip reports from exotic climes, I thought I’d share a missive or two with you. Take it away, Maxx..

March 2nd: Tomorrow is the last day of the conference I am attending; I will then spend 9 days on tour.  I can already tell you that India is a land of opposites – the most striking being the wealth/poverty line.  I am currently immersed in an oasis of splendor on the campus of the Indian School of Business.  Just outside the campus’ gates (protected by security) are the slums that one hears about — but seeing those slums is shocking.  Though I have been to many 3rd world countries, I have never seen it is here.  The streets are lined with thousands of makeshift tents or tin huts (having tin is a step above). Children as young as 3yrs old begging; grasping your leg; adults with little to no clothing lying in the roadways with cars skirting around them. It is very difficult to absorb all this.

In my sessions at the conference, they admitted that India has no way of really knowing its population because those that live on the streets are not accounted for easily.  They also admit that while there are many initiatives from trying to get identity cards for slum residents (which can then help them get some financial assistance) to improving housing and healthcare (62 infant deaths for every 1000 births versus the U.S. statistic of 2 deaths for every 1000 births), those initiatives are only a drop in the bucket in terms of the long road they have ahead of them. In the days to come,  I will start sending photos of the sights …

And when she sends ’em to me, I’ll send ’em to you. More later, -jv

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