Centre for Social Research, India
Report nos. 9 & 10
Apologies for the lack of reporting over the past few weeks, short-term karma really seems to be getting the better of me! Despite bragging about not falling victim to Delhi Belly for the first three months of my time in India it eventually caught up with me. I’ve been feeling pretty tired and sluggish for the good part of four weeks now but am definitely on the mend. I am still internet-less and looking at a laptop with a huge crack that has now splintered off across my entire screen. Work continues to be pretty intense, with new and unexpected tasks flying at M&C from all directions. It takes a bit more than that to get me down however. The sun is still shining here in Delhi and, overall, life is peachy. Looking forward to the next chapter of my Indian adventure.
September in a nutshell: The week my Mum left was a sobering one for this city. On the morning of Wednesday 7th September there was a bomb blast outside of Delhi High Court, killing 12 and injuring 76. A powerful earthquake later that evening then left everyone feeling pretty unnerved. It took a few days for the tension in the city to ease off, but it’s amazing how the atmosphere of a place after a disaster does eventually return to some form of normality, given time.
Highlights at work include a trip to the Swedish Embassy for a chat with the First Secretary. And, no, I didn’t see any Ikea furniture in there (disappointingly). Another highlight was welcoming the EU Human Rights Working Group to the office, where we had a really interesting discussion on various issues such as female foeticide and women in politics, and some tasty South Indian food for lunch. The group is made up of young diplomats from across Europe based in Delhi and it was nice to get to know them all.
M&C is working on a big fundraising proposal that’s due next week. I’ve been doing research on sex-selective abortions in Delhi for that. We’re also working on a presentation for a couple of EU delegates who would like to learn more about the same issue of pre-natal sex selection in India.
GTI have a new project in the pipelines called “Shuruaat”. It’s a new ‘activity-based learning’ service for children at our four Crisis Intervention Centres (CICs) across Delhi. Volunteers will be spending time with kids hungry for attention and affection, which is unfortunately missing from their lives. They’ll be doing artwork, dancing, singing, teaching spoken English, environmental awareness & active citizenship, and playing games with them in a safe space within their communities. We’re raising money for the rehabilitation of domestic violence victims at our CICs on Saturday at the office through an art workshop held by talented Madhubani artist, Ranjana Jha. So I’ll be participating in that and taking some photos! I’m also hoping to volunteer for Shuruaat soon.
FOR THOSE OF YOU READING THIS IN DELHI: IF YOU FANCY BECOMING A SHURUAAT VOLUNTEER THEN PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO SAHIBA@CSRINDIA.ORG. WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!