Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Chloe's Sharing - Turning Slumdogs into Millionaires

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. This is what brings me to India for a 6 weeks service trip.

We all know that there are billions of people living under poverty line but we seldom have the initiative do something for the needy. After watching the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” a few years ago, the pictures of Indian poor’s living conditions stayed in my mind.

In this summer, finally I have got a chance to been to India to explore the situation. Kolkata is famous for Mother Teresa and her Centers while at the same time notorious for its poverty. Besides the poor living condition in the slum area, high unemployment rate is also an issue that's worth concerning. Our programme aims at eradicating poverty by transferring vocation skills to dropout students and uneducated women. Comparing to direct resources distribution, we are hoping that by equipping them with vocational skill, they would be able to improve the standard of living in a long-term and sustainable manner.
Though most of the women in our centre have not been to school, they still have a strong desire to learn in the Women Centre. I was deeply impressed by their attitude and character when I saw how hard they try to absorb new knowledge. It is my honor to have the chance to be their teacher for six weeks.

Another focus of our work is conducting community research in the slum areas and squatter areas. You can never imagine how the environment looks like without stepping into their neighborhood. Without much attention from the general public and the society, there is a vicious cycle of poverty inherented from generations to generations. It is difficult for the children in slum areas to have the chance to leave where they were brought up. I hope the research can address their needs and therefore more helping hands can be given to them.

This service trip is undoubtedly fruitful and rewarding. Though the Indian children and women are not having an abundant life, they are still optimistic and passionate than most of the Hong Kong people. Sometimes I have an impression that we were not going there to teach, but to learn instead. It is such a life-changing experience and I highly recommend HKU students to participate in a local or oversea service trip during the university life.

Chloe Tsang
Faculty of Social Sciences
Major: Government & Laws

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