Skip to comments.Reflections in the midst of extreme poverty and filth... trip in India [Warning: Graphic]
Posted on 01/05/2014 6:11:07 PM PST by daniel1212
India is the dirtiest country I have ever been to. I have heard people say that Pakistan, which is to the west and Bangladesh, to the east, are worse, but that is probably beyond the limits of my imaginatio n.
In two months in India, I went from south to north, visiting some tourist towns that I had read about. I also went by train and bus to countless towns and open fields that werent so famous, and everywhere there were people had something in common dirty, messy and stank. Interestingly, I also saw countless foreigners having a great time.
Tourists have been coming for years to the small town of Bodhgaya , the place where 2500 years ago Buddha achieved enlightenment, bringing their foreign money to the pockets of a few hotels and tourism operators, but still they live in abject poverty. The streets are lined with rubbish, wild animals squabble to find their breakfast in it. Look carefully and find wild pigs, dogs, mountain goats, and sometimes even cows, which are considered sacred, make an appearance. No wonder the locals dont each much meat, these animals depend on trash to survive.. .
Puri is a tourist hot spot on the east coast, where heaven and hell come together. One side of town is the hotel area, with its picturesque beaches, the other side is a poor fishing village. The inhabitants straw huts are lonely islands in a sea of trash, and I got the feeling that its never taken away.
The most shocking thing: every villager would defecate on the beach. It wasnt only villagers who would take a crap on the beach, out in the suburbs youd get used to seeing people doing it on the side of the road, and the Indian men would do it out in the open, never sneaking off to a secluded spot in the undergrowth. Everywhere from small towns to large cities would have men showing the special characteristics of their culture; even in the major city of Kolkata [Culcutta], on the most upmarket of streets, were white collar workers carrying briefcases walking past crowds of people urinating against walls....
I am filthy, but I am brilliant. In the ancient city of Varanasi [Benares], on the banks of the Ganges, all the sewage created by people relieving themselves on the ground in corners, and the rubbish, everything flows into that sacred river, the same water where pilgrims come from all over, brushing their teeth, washing their faces, bodies, and swimming. However, the dirty Ganges and Varanasi are Indias most beautiful place, lots of foreigners love it, staying for months at a time. I lived there for a while, living like a local, swimming in the river like one of them. The ancient towns intense artistic spirit and religious fervour made me forget material poverty. This important part of the Indian psyche is passed down even today: the spirit is greater than physical riches.
India is indeed dirty, messy and smelly but I have gotten more out of it than any other place I have been. If this wasnt the case in my two months I wouldnt have met so many expats who return often, or never leave. As the Taiwanese dancer Lin Huaimin said, whenever he is stuck for artistic inspiration, he goes back to India.
The famous morning bathing by the Ganges, washing as if the rotting corpse floating by was nothing!
A corpse in the midst of the morning bathing at the Ganges, what do you think?
Natural clothes washing area + sun drying clothes area + cow and sheep bathing pool + excrement flowing and mixing together.
Ganges River morning bathing, how can this water be used for brushing teeth?
Here comes the close-up!!!! Note the flies!!!!
Indians dont use toilet paper when using the toilet, they use their hands. After defecating, you use your left hand finger to wipe the feces around your anus, and then use the water in the bucket to wash your hand. The custom is to use your left hand to wipe your butt, so when you go into a store to select food, you mustnt use your left hand...
Dont look if you wont like it you are responsible for yourself
A person more frightening than the rotting corpses and old leper! Seems to be someone who carries dead bodies professionally.
Here, lets let the JY people see Indias free medical care.
A public hospitals surgery room.
Ganges River in the early morning, bustling because of the crowds some to wipe themselves down, some to get water, some to bathe.
Yet no one complains more than Americans, and i am not talking about the complains against those whose liberal ethos works to turn this country into another socialist "paradise."
But to whom much is given, much is required, and eternity will see justice, and the extent of God's mercy and grace.
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Ping. Warning, graphic images.
India is a dreadful, dreadful place. If I had to go to India, I wouldn’t go to the bathroom the entire trip.
Yes, it is filthy. It is also lively and full of cultural fascinations . If you can take a tour of India staying in 5 star hotels you will have the time of your life.
Oh, here is a readers comment:
Actually, this is exactly how America does it, using violence to beat the Indians [Native Americans] to death, pushing the Asian, African, and poor out into the country, running the poor white people into the surrounding outskirts of the cities. Americas police are even more terrible than Chinas chengguan. If youre within two meters of a police officer, you have to raise your hands, otherwise American police have the right to shoot you dead.
I think the Hellraiser movies had prettier sights, at least in comparison.
The reader is a dufus. Most people in poverty, at least here in the United States, aren’t drinking corpse water with their Aunt Susie floating by.
This poor person would like to express great gratitude for being pushed out into the country.
nothing will ever change in any of those countries and WHY people would stand behind any AMERICAN especially a POLITICIAN who says they can change it is beyond reason
it is complete stupidity
thank you george bush for taking us over the brink to crapdom
thank you barack obama for ramming the going down up our ...
it will all change after the next election
and keep that ammo dry
I’ve lived in India for three years now, and the author is sort of right and sort of wrong. Yes, living here is a bit like living in a very diffuse landfill. There’s a lot of litter. However, Puri isn’t as bad as he makes it sound, for one thing. Also, many Indians *do* use toilet paper, and unlike westerners many middle-class Indians actually bathe after going to the toilet. Only the very poor and uneducated don’t clean themselves. Also, the animals aren’t “wild” here. There’s a lot of “feral” dogs, and (at least where I am) many many cows, but pigs are actually pretty rare. The dogs do eat a lot of trash, but there’s a lot of plantlife around, so the cows usually eat that.
I still remember back some 40 years ago, the older secretary at our office who saved for years to be able to afford a trip to see, as she called it, Kiplings India. She had a romantic vision of the country in her head but when she returned from her two week vacation there, all she could talk about was how filthy dirty the country was. She said that she had no idea it would be like that before her trip. She was utterly appalled at the conditions there.
But we have toothpaste.
Thanks for the objectivity. More from the site.
There are a small number of middle-aged men and women squatting on the steps brushing their teeth, none of them using toothbrushes, half of them using their fingers, the other half using twigs, swallowing the water after brushing, and then cupping and drinking down a few more gulps, which happens to be in the opposite direction of people in other countries brushing their teeth and then spitting the water out.
There’s a caste system in India. It’s like the class system here but much more rigid. These are pictures of the lowest caste. Some of the poorest of the poor. It’s horrid. But not uncommon in the world. If you stick to the upper caste areas it’s lovely. Just don’t cross into the slums...
Ok, I know the hype - what's the real skinny?
I’ve NEVER had the slightest desire to go to India. I now KNOW I never will.
And dogs aren’t feasting on dead folks floating down the river.
Well, I suppose there is Detroit.
The Ganges River pics are exceptions to what I've witnessed firsthand. The diseased alive and definite dead are there, but you'd have to go looking for them. Shat shore must be a very isolated area that I never had to negotiate walking down the beach. Accurate is that men urinate out in the open at what appear to be public pissing walls — which I determine to be adequate license for having survived transit through any traffic roundabout.
That "romantic vision" of a socialist paradise is what the general public has bought into, but they do not see the reality it will lead to.
You are a misguided “Christian” - get help!
Another one told me that if he came to a hotel in America and found out that it was owned by someone from India, he would change locations. Their standards of sanitation are frightening.
They are usually sold into sexual trafficking by their families...altho many have also been kidnapped & relocated there for that purpose...
In places like the Northwest part of India, pregnant moms getting access to imaging devices to figure out if they are carrying a male or female is supposed to be illegal...due to rampant sex-selection abortions...
In this way, parts of India is like many parts of China...
Certainly, the encroachment of pests as one minor contributing factor to much there is the underlying worldview of reincarnation -- where not only cows become sacred -- but just about every living thing...It tends to jumble any real ultimate distinction 'tween humanity and everything else that walks on fours, creeps, or crawls...
Another point: The “hospital” there is likely a fairly rural government hospital. In the cities, even the government hospital is reasonably clean and modern, and the private hospitals are on par with the middle-ground hospitals in any Western country. The real difference comes when you need things like x-rays or lab tests. I had to get a chest x-ray here, and instead of dealing with a clinic referral and a wait time to get an appointment, we just went downtown to a storefront that did x-rays. Granted the machine was older (probably nearly as old as I am), but it was a genuine GE x-ray that used films instead of digital, and was probably powerful enough to see through walls. It cost me about $10 total for a full set of chest exposures, and they were handed to me in about 15 minutes. A full-on dental cleaning at a high-end private clinic is about $20 total (not copay; full cost). The drugstores will dispense just about any medication even without a prescription as long as you are known to them and the request is genuine (refills on the kid’s medicine, or a course of antibiotics if you know you’ve got a respiratory infection, for example), and the cost is usually just a couple of dollars equivalent.
We have a caste system, and it is like India?
I sure missed that.
I can’t comment either way on the “girls in cages” in Mumbai, but the sex-selection thing is country-wide. It’s illegal *anywhere* in India to have an ultrasound done to determine a fetus’ sex.
Also, the only sect that sees all life as sacred are the Jains, and they’re not that common. No one that I know here cares one whit about just about any other animal besides the cows. Some won’t actually kick or hit the feral dogs, but they will chuck rocks at them if they start howling or getting into “shouting matches”.
Buffalo are sacred too, but are too dangerous to just have them wandering free like the cows; goats and sheep (and chickens and ducks and emu and quail and fish and and and) are slaughtered without a second thought, house and garden lizards are shooed away, and insects squished without a second thought (and in some cases, actively pursued, such as the nasty 6” poison centipedes that we occasionally find in the house).
Some snakes are revered by at least some people (such as my wife’s family here) and thus are not actively harassed, but others do not hold them in any particular honor, and will actively chase them if they see them (more out of concern for safety than anything).
“It wasnt only villagers who would take a crap on the beach, out in the suburbs youd get used to seeing people doing it on the side of the road”
When I was in Vietnam I occasionally had to drive a truck on one of their so-called highways and it was common to see one of their goofy-looking busses pulled of the road with all of the passengers taking a toilet break in the roadside ditch - men, women, and kids. I always wondered what the reaction would be, driving down I-5, seeing a Greyhound on the shoulder...... People wonder why we were so glad to get back to the “world”.
A friend of mine came back from India talking about the discarded plastic bags hanging in the trees and at night it looked like something supernatural.
I have an unused Indian business visa in my passport. I was supposed to go there in the middle of Summer a couple years back, but I quit the job first.
I am very happy that I never went.
but some people in America are so poor they make due with $100 shoes and an older XBox 360, they can’t afford an XBox One.... poor things
Do you believe in details?
Why does the author call this “brilliant”
Don’t think “brilliant” would be able to figure out toilet paper and stuff?
apparently you don’t have to worry about finding a bathroom
At least it warm! And i am sure may are humble and open to the gospel. It would do many of us here some good to spend some time among the lowest.
It is a translation from Chinese, so perhaps it is off a bit. Or refers in some way to contrasts.
What is the class “system” here?
#1 There's still 4.2 million Jains in India: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism
#2 The Aughads are a Shaivite Hindu sect: Aghoris base their beliefs on two principles common to broader Shaivite beliefs: that Shiva is perfect (omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, etc.) and that Shiva is responsible for everything that occurs all conditions, causes and effects in the phenomenal universe. Consequently, everything that exists must be perfect, and to deny the perfection of anything would be to deny THE SACREDNESS OF ALL LIFE in its full manifestation, as well as to deny the supreme being."
"The main Aghori pilgrimage centre is Kina Ram's hermitage or ashram in Ravindrapuri, Varanasi" (above link)
#3 Many other Hindus also embrace the "all of life is sacred" principle as a key underpin of their religious life:
Here's one example of someone listing it as one of their nine key beliefs:
"8) I believe that all life is sacred, to be loved and revered, and therefore practice ahimsa... noninjury.
Source: Hinduism: from the Hinduism Online www.umsl.edu/...%20religion%20in%20culture/Hinduism.doc (top hit at: https://www.google.com/#q=all+of+life+as+sacred+india+hindu+sect&start=20
Many other similar examples could be shared
>> You are a misguided Christian - get help!
Why the condemnation? Pride?
Thank you for sending this out. I will add this organization to my prayers and support.
I guess it could also mean the sun was bright that day. lol
Far too many American Christians don't want to know about the filthy fallen world we live in, nor about the truly poor souls who need God's grace just the same as we do. I don't know what you think is so misguided about posting this story. Perhaps it interrupts your self-imposed illusion that everything is clean and shiny and God lives in nice old churches with stained-glass windows and the proper color of carpet in the sanctuary.
I see those in America. Bag flags. Just not as often.
Why are you pinging me?
Given our immigration and illegal alien numbers it would seem that not too many people are buying that nonsense and it is probably good that those who do won’t try to come here.
Thanks for the research.
Sorry. I must have mistaken you for a Christian defender type.
Wow, that sounds like an attack out of the blue, are we in some conversation somewhere that I don’t know about?
Worked with a physician from India for many years - he used to say the only thing needed to clean up Calcutta was an atomic bomb.....