Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday, March 18

The days seem to fly by. Jim & I started the day by checking e-mail & typing up some notes from meetings on Monday. Before we could start writing up yesterday’s meetings, Sanjay came to get us so we could meet with his professor who is the director of the pharmacy school he goes to.

We had a long conversation with the professor, Dr. Subhini Saraf, a very intelligent, articulate woman (another instance of the contradictions in this country where women are considered inferior, but there are quite a few well educated and powerful women) who is passionate about helping the very poor in Lucknow. She does a lot of social work (charity) in many slum areas, and tries to sensitize her students so they will become involved in projects to help people less fortunate than them – and there are certainly plenty of those.

Every day, the children from the slum across from the college buildings come over to the pharmacy building where Sanjay, and sometimes other students, teach them.

Some of the kids from the slum colony. They have so much energy & look at those smiles!

We walked around the complex of buildings containing different schools such as the School of Dentistry, and School of Architecture.

The School of Engineering is behind Jim & I.

Statue of the Hindu God Ganesha in the temple. One of the temple workers gave me prasad (blessed food) which I am holding.

Some interesting facts about the state of Uttar Pradesh, which is called UP here: With an area of 93,933 square miles, it is the most populous state in India, with over 190 million people. If UP were a nation, it would be the world’s fifth most populous nation. UP is considered to be the birthplace of Hinduism, and is the home of several holy cities, including Mathura (birthplace of the Lord Krishna), Varanasi, and Ayodhya (birthplace of the Hindu God Rama), and has much of the heritage from the Mughal Empire, including the Taj Mahal in Agra. Hindus constitute 70% of the state, and the official language is Hindi.

Haven’t had time to go shopping, but this weekend, I’d like to buy a traditional outfit, a salwar kameez, which consists of a long tunic like shirt with slits down the side for greater freedom of movement, trousers (can be loose or tight like leggings), and a scarf called a dupatta. I’ve seen women wearing some beautiful outfits, in rich colors & fabrics such as silk, with intricate embroidery.

I got a little lazy about putting on the insect repellent, and got bit up today. Need to be more vigilant about that. Time to take my malaria pill & call it a night.

1 comment:

  1. I love the pictures that you are sharing with us. I am glad that you are starting to have more success and are able to speak to some influential people. It really takes a lot of effort, but you and Jim ARE making a difference. I'm proud of you! Take care!