It has been a little over a month since we’ve returned from India and the trip now seems as if it were almost a dream. By now we’ve all settled into our familiar lives and transitioned back into our old routines and mindsets. Some of us are back at school, while others, like myself, have begun new careers. The things we encountered in India seem so very far away.
When I reflect back on my time in India to my friends and family I tend to approach it in a different way than I had just a few months ago. Back when I had first spoken of my plans to travel to India, my trip had been completely romanticized. Now, I speak about my time in India with a certain familiarity that I feel one can only have when they travel into the heart of India – away from all tourist destinations and luxury resorts. When I look back, what most comes to mind is the people I encountered and those who I was able to spend time with.
Those who I came to spend time constantly reappear in my mind and with their faces I am reminded of the poverty I encountered and my mind once again boggles at the widespread problems they endure. It is still hard to wrap my head around the basic, fundamental issues that were lacking from most of the lives that I encountered. To go back to my thoughts from my previous post, I think what really needs to be done to help bring people out of poverty is a simple sounding solution – education. With education, individuals can grow up with skills, an understanding of their rights, and countless other advantages that will work to keep them, and the future generations they bring into this world, out of poverty.
From a Western perspective, providing education seems quite simple. However, when you go into a country with over 1,500 different dialects and languages, over one billion people, and a deep rooted caste system and set of cultural values, implementation of education is far from simple. How is it possible to provide a solid education when many don’t have the luxury of taking time out of their day to learn? Or how can we educate the poor when they don’t even have the means to get themselves to school? There are countless questions like these that I ask myself when trying to figure out a “universal” way to spread education.
– Claire Clark –