Carol and Terry Winograd's India Trip with American Jewish World Service, November 2008

In November we went to India for three weeks as part of the American Jewish World Service India Study Tour . Our group of about 20, including AJWS staff and donors visited some of the 40+ projects in India that AJWS supports. We met with grassroots organizations created to help bring people the rights and services they need to deal with the harsh conditions and move themselves out of poverty. We had the chance to meet with many people who are participating in these organizations and to visit their villages and homes. Needless to say, we came away inspired by their ability, their courage, and their sense of community. We're hoping to write a more complete description of our experience, but for the moment this is just have a bare outline to provide a structure for the photos.

I've put together two photo pages. This one, is organized along the chronology of the trip, showing the places we went and the people we met. The other, groups some of the pictures into themes (people, animals, transport, the tour group,...) Many of the pictures in the theme photos also appear somewhere in the chronology, but not all.

The entire batch of photos on these pages ( less than half of what we took, but the better half) are in my public Picasa Web Album On the pages, I've provided three different ways to access each group. [Photos] displays them one at a time and you can click through using the arrows. You can also do this by just clicking on the sample photo. [Gallery] brings up a page with small versions all the photos in the group. You can click on any one of them to go to individual photos. [Slideshow] goes to an automatic slideshow that moves through the slides at 3 seconds apiece (you can set the speed). In all cases, they will open in a separate window or tab from this page, so to continue to the next set, don't use the back button, but click back on this page.



First and also last stop was New Delhi. I’ve combined pictures from our two visits, separate from the visits to programs. It includes the view from our hotel, a visit to Lodhi Park, the Jama Masjid Mosque, and a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi.
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Ankur and Sruti


Our first visit was to a village 50 km from Delhi where people were moved out of the Delhi slums for redevelopment.  We met with Ankur, which has created a women's group that is organizing for their rights – services like water and electricity, property titles, etc. Among other activities they had organized a protest at the government offices and gotten agreements to provide land titles. They took us for a walk around the village. Next to the village there was an encampment of the nomads, poverty even when compared to poverty!

Later that day we went to an office in Delhi of an organization named the Society for Rural and Tribal Initiative (SRUTI) We met with a group of youngsters who are doing community organizing in Delhi slums, with street theater as one of their main outreach methods.
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Delhi Network of Positive People

The Delhi Network of Positive People is a support group for individuals with AIDS. As a registered public trust, DNP+ now actively lobbies for treatment access for HIV-positive people and also provides services such as counseling and support services to the community. We met in their office with a number of their activists, including a mother and her nine year old son, both HIV positive. The office was in Saidulajab, a bit outside of Delhi, and the traffic was so bad that we ground to a halt before we got there. As a result, we had one of our best touring experiences as we walked the last mile through the busy town.
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Taj Hotel, Mumbai

We flew to Mumbai, where we stayed at the Oberoi Hotel, which ten days later was one of the targets of the terrorist attack. We also had Shabbat dinner at Knesset Eliahayu Synagogue (not the Chabad one), which is where the memorial service was held afterwards (the photo of the synagogue and the community leader, Solomon Sopher are the only ones here that we didn't take - we didn't have our camera on Shabbat).
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Our first visit in Mumbai was to Awaaz-e-Niswaan, which works to fight the discrimination that Muslim women face within families, communities, religious institutions, and Indian society at large. Awaaz combines protest, community organization, networking and education to bring about the empowerment and liberation of women and the reform of India's Muslim Personal Laws. We visited a community center for young Moslem women, many of whom had been abused.
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Next we visited two sites of the Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, a group founded in 1995 to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS among drug addicts in Mumbai by dispensing clean needles and healthcare advice. We heard about the organization and saw a skit about prison drug use at a rehabilitation center, then visited a drop-in center that serves addicts and ex-addicts.
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The Udaan Trust is an organization by and for People Living with HIV/AIDS. Each of the ten board members is a person living with HIV/AIDS and self identified as persons from marginalized communities. They work to improve the quality of life of People Living with HIV/AIDS and those from marginalized communities who are at high risk. We had a meeting with the group at the local Rotary Club pavilion, then broke up into groups and went on home visits to people they support. Our group met with a women with HIV who has lost a husband and two sons, and lives in a tiny shack with her remaining sons. Then we went to a slum on a high hillside where a couple and their daughter with AIDS invited us into their home.
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Elephanta Island


Before leaving Mumbai we took a boat trip to visit an ancient temple complex carved in a rock cave at Elephanta Island. There was a long long stairway with shops, which we made it up and down without using the litter chairs they offer. I got fascinated with the textures of the goods laid out, so there are pictures of those, as well as the monkeys.
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holy cow

After Mumbai, we flew to Bhubaneswar, the largest city in the Eastern state of Orissa, and a home of thousands of ancient temple ruins.
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We had three visits with an organization called Ruchika - one to a community center where they teach trades and provide homes for children, a meeting in the living room of the organization's founder, Inderjit Khurana, and one to their best-known project, a school on the train platforms.
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We took a three-hour drive to a village in the Nabarangpur area. It was the most rural area we were able to visit and quite different from the poor areas around the cities.
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Regional Centre for Development Cooperation (RCDC)


In the village of Kesharpur, we had a royal welcoming parade all the way up and down the one street, before meeting with a group of people in their assembly hall to hear about the project by the Regional Centre for Development Cooperation to preserve the forests, through development of non-timber products.
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In addition to our program visits, we took a sightseeing trip to the temple complex at Konark, famous among other things for its pornographic sculpture. On the way back we had lunch at a resort and saw a stone-carving village that is still using the same techniques as when the temples were built centuries ago.
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Committee for Legal Aid to Poor (CLAP)


Our last visit in Orissa was to two villages (Ghandipali and Nehrupali) in the nearby region of Cuttark to see programs by the Committee for Legal Aid to Poor (CLAP). We happened to have scheduled our visit on the World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse. So there was another big parade, and a program in the town square which featured kids doing songs, plays, and puppet shows, and as the big event, they (including us) passed out birth certificates to children who were just now getting them (lack of valid ID is a big problem for poor people in India).
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The last part of our trip was a tourist visit to the best known sites. In Jaipur we had a touristy (but fun) elephant ride, saw the Amber fortress and the variety of palaces in Jaipur city, including an amazing monumental observatory. Our hotel there was a former Mogul's palace as well.
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On the way from Jaipur to Agra we saw the ancient palace of Fatehpur-Sikri.
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taj mahal

In Agra we visited the Taj Mahal (of course) and the Red Fort.
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Finally, on our last day in Delhi, after the official AJWS program was over, we went to see a 10th anniversary celebration for a group named Manzil that started with an informal school in the living room of Ravi Gulati, a friend of the religious studies professor at Stanford whose class on India Carol took. It was an evening of music by the kids in the program.
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For the theme collection of photos see