The slums we visited in India all had a unique sense to them, even though there were many things that they all had in common. I don’t know if they did it on purpose or not, but the first slum we visited was probably the least difficult to see in terms of emotional impact. Don’t get me wrong…the people were all still desperately poor and the conditions were deplorable.
I’ve mentioned before how the women always seemed to wear clean clothing and to dress their children as nicely as they possibly could. The level of their children’s clothing, and their own, of course varied from family to family and from slum to slum. The Mudfort Slum in Bangalore was to a large extent bereft of many colorful and clean clothes.
This is a picture I took in Hyderabad at the first slum we visited of a mother, carrying a child and returning with a bag of rice in her right hand. She was dressed beautifully. This woman was probably Hindu, while the girl trailing behind her was almost certainly Muslim, judging from her head covering and modest clothing. They seemed, for the most part, to live side by side in peace. In India, the constitution stipulates that there is freedom of religion, so Hindus, Muslims and Christians all might live next door to one another. It made for a very interesting object lesson that much of the world could learn from. Sadly, it’s not that way in many places.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1945, “Fat Boy”, the experimental plutonium bomb, was detonated in the desert. The mushroom cloud rose to 41,000 as all life within a mile of the location of the bomb immediately ceased to exist.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: William Semple, a dentist, first added sugar to chewing gum in 1869. Dentists ever since have been thanking him for the increase in their business!!!!