In March 2018, Yatra Foundation’s co-founders, Sophie Beuamont and Renu Binaykia, together with Carmen Beaumont, Karen Barker, Kathryn Barber, Asha Starr, Lisa Bedson, Jan Simpson, Jorja Ovenden all Yatra supporters (Yatris) made a tour of the Yatra schools and conducted volunteer medical and health camps for children in remote parts of India. Below are some stories from the recent trip.
Do you want to experience something unique, life changing and something you’ll treasure for years to come? Where would you find elephants, camels, monkeys and goats as part of the daily traffic? Where would you find people washing themselves in broad daylight by riverbanks? Where would you find amazing palaces covered in mirrors to reflect sunlight to radiate heat? Where would you find strangers inviting you to dance at their wedding procession? Where you ask? India!
India is such an amazing and unique place. I found that every day was full of experiences such as people smiling and waiving at you simply because you are a foreigner, feeding monkeys at the flower market, seeing monolithic structures thousands of years old, staying in cites with skinny tall building surrounded by water with the most incredible views of the city and mountains as you have your daily breakfast, waiting to see tigers, and my tastebuds getting excited knowing I was about to enjoy yet another delicious meal I would never get to experience anywhere in Melbourne.
We have been with Yatra Foundation since its beginnings and have heard the many stories about the children it supports. It was a very touching experience meeting these children, meeting the teachers and some of the children’s parents. They treated us like rock stars and were so happy to see us. It was so humbling to see what little they have, but what they can do with what they have. The teachers are so passionate as they know they’re changing children’s lives, and children respond by participating in class. Some of the children we met not only have kilometres to travel, but don’t have shoes and might only get one meal a day. Nevertheless, they get up early and attend school. This is where they learn English, maths, sciences and about the world by reading the daily newspaper. I’m not sure how many primary school children in Australia would be able to have a conversation in a language other than English.
I’m so grateful for the experience and the opportunity to see the wonderful work Yatra is doing to not only change the lives of the children attending Yatra Schools, but also their families. I’m so proud to be part of that.
India was never really a country I wanted to visit. If it had not been for my sister–in–law Sophie, I would have never gone. Thank you for sharing India with me. I will be back in two years time to help with the Dental and Medical Checks again, but will also bring my family
If you love adventure, great food and chai and part of changing people’s lives, a Yatra India trip is for you.