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 India is not only the Taj Mahal

By Margarita I. Gotay

     India is a very diverse country; most of it has to do with its large size and long history. Some of the Indian subcontinents were ruled by the British, French (Pondicherry) and Portuguese (Goa) at one point in time. Finally, on January 26, 1950, India was officially proclaimed a republic. The influences of the British, French, and Portuguese are really prominent and visible. As India keeps developing the effects on the poor are more visible. At the same time the demands of the prominent classes.

     I visited Pondicherry, which used to be a French Colonial Town. Compared to Chennai it was really clean and beautiful. The architecture of the buildings is French. There were a lot of French Hotels and restaurants. At the temples French people were sitting down meditating, you could see that they were locals. White people were very visible unlike in the streets of Chennai.

    In my time there I also visited the Delta School of Nursing, where they train Dalit girls to become nurses. These girls come from the lowest caste in India and from different villages. Most girls start living there at age 18 until they get married. They only see their families on special occasions or festivities. Dr. Henry Thiagaraj, who was born into a dalit family, founded the school.
    As mentioned in the article read for India, women are the major migrants. They have to educate themselves to not become the victims of a growing society. With a little education they can fight against becoming tools of sexual work.  The have more chance of survival. As they told us in the Delta School of Nursing: “Education is Power”.
People from all around the world come as volunteers to help and aid this community, and other dalit villages, and raise awareness of some atrocities that these people go through. Currently there is a Canadian student staying at the school, she helps the girls with their English. The classes are actually in English.

    Australian University billboards were everywhere in the streets and sidewalks of Chennai.  Propaganda of better opportunities and connection with other countries were also very visible. Some international banks such as Citibank, Western Products like Lay’s the potatoes chips were sold in little bazaars and side stores. These are all indices of global connections of migrating products and people.

     At the Bazaar we meet a lady from Oregon, who married an Indian man and was currently living in Chennai. She has been living there for 5 years.  On our way to some hills in Madurai in the countryside I saw the Coca Cola and Pepsi factories.Migration signs were everywhere. Just by looking outside the ship on our portside thousands of Hondas were waiting to be sent to Mexico. Transnational companies see a wide rage of opportunities in India. That’s why I saw so many signs of migration and I foresee many more in the upcoming years. India is starting new ways of development.  Hopefully someday they will be a way to have globalization without making the poor more poor and mistreating them.

The world is more interconnected then what the eyes of the ignorant can see, when we open our eyes to that which connects us, we realize that we are closer than what it seems. –Margarita Gotay

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