Saturday, September 28, 2013

Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.......

Last night we were at the five star Leela Palace celebrating the re-opening of their Citrus restaurant - a by invite only, real champagne and smoked salmon do with the who's who of Bangers. Then this morning we were rubbing shoulders with construction workers (some of the poorest folks) painting and clearing the lane outside the western entrance of Ozone.

Such are the wild contrasts of life in Bangers!!!

Sadly, Bangers is the home of dirt and trash - apparently where people see dirt and mess they are more likely to leave their own. On the converse where there is no litter, people are less likely to drop their own. Hence the solution to our messy lane was to transform it into something neat and tidy in order that it would stay that way and drive off the undesirables who apparently hang out there with drink or drugs.

I was too late to get the 'before' picture. Project clear up began at 6.30am. Towers family did not manage to join the effort until 9.30am by which time 3 hours of frantic chopping and clearing was completed. Prior to the early start in the dewey dawn, the strip of grass on the right was a few feet high, few feet wide jungle of plants, trash and who knows what. By 9.30 it was relatively clear.

Lots of Ozonites were doing their bit, helped along by some of the construction workers from a near by building site - there are no shortage of these in Bangers!

Construction workers are some of the poorest folks. Both parents work (see the ladies below). They move from building site to building site where they live in slums and eek out a living. The kids roam freely in amongst the rubble and piles of dirt. Safety is not a consideration - food and shelter are their priorities. Education is basic if at all - as they are essentially of no fixed abode/no school/no-ones...... However, despite their seemingly miserable lives, these women are by necessity strong and good at their jobs, and they couldn't hide their giggles at our pathetic attempts to use their tools. For them aiding with the Ozone clean up work, earned them a little much needed cash in pocket.

That my kids have the chance to work side by side with the less fortunate, can see such extreme poverty first hand and that people living in such dire circumstances can still laugh and be bothered to try and talk with them surely puts their own little problems and issues into perspective.

 As this is India there were a couple of snake scares - and this being India said snakes were removed with little fuss and the business of Ozone clear up continued.!

The transformation was pretty quick. See below how clean and tidy the sidewalk and surrounds.

 To be part of such a project, to see what a difference a few volunteers and a few basic tools can make is truly inspirational. To be involved as a family to feel we are helping our community and of course to help India find her Incredible - priceless!! 

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