Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 2 in Chennai

As Jen & I made our way by auto rickshaw from the jewelry project to a nearby slum, a young woman came to mind who I met on my last visit to Chennai. Her name is Bhavani. She has two small sons and lives in utter poverty. I wonder what her life story is, and hopefully someday I'll get to know her more. As we drove up to the entrance of the slum, surprisingly Bhavani was walking toward me. She smiled a beautiful smile when I called her name. What a wonderful thing to know her name. Even though she lives tucked inside this destitute place, she is not forgotten, definitely not by me. She kissed my shoulder as we said goodbye.


The slum is not a great place to raise a family. The stories that come from this place are not pretty. A while back an eight year old boy was going around sexually abusing the little neighborhood girls. Finally their mothers went to the mother of the boy to get him to stop. She just laughed, and said that's what boys do. This is not the safest place to raise a child.

standing by bike


I also met Vita, a young girl maybe 15 or 16 years old. She has a baby about a year old now. When I started coming to Chennai four years ago, she was about 11, and I used to give her and the other children of the slum candy. She is a young mother now.

in doorway

We visited a preschool in the slum and spent some time with the kids. They were proud to sing songs for us and loved the treats we brought. Rescue and Restore works every week day to give these kids a place of refuge. They feed them a hot meal before sending them back home. For most of the kids it is their only hot daily meal.

Check back for part 2 of Chennai Day and more jewelry!

Photos by Jen Price


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