Preeya was one of the students who participated in the #DMUglobal project in India with DMU Square Mile. Preeya is an undergraduate student at De Montfort University studying BA Children Nursing and is in her second year of study. Having had the opportunity to sit down with Preeya she shared her thoughts and person experience during her trip to Ahmedabad.
Preeya an email from DMU Square Mile, informing about the upcoming project regarding the safeguarding of Dilat children who predominantly live in slums and face social discrimination within the caste system, specifically in Ahmedabad. Preeya thought that this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity to embark on such journey to raise awareness about the issues addressed. “It was an opportunity to go and meet the children and understand their lives and also find out about their health needs”.
Preeya informed me that the main place they went to visit in Ahmedabad, was the children’s hostel (Ashram) which was the house Gandhi lived in for around 12 years during his life. Preeya thought that the facilities that were provided for the children were in a good condition and the children who stayed there were appreciative and were fully content with the facilities they did have. Preeya also stated that her and the two other students she traveled to India with, interviewed and spoke to the children, they asked “how can we help you guys? . The children replied that they were happy there “we don’t need anything”. Preeya was taken back by the humbleness of the children and how they valued life in the most simplified way, when their life is incomparable to the lives of British children nowadays.
Preeya also shared that some of the slums visited lacked basic facilities and therefore many were left without basic necessities such a clean water and sewage maintenance. Nevertheless Preeya stated that the slum she had visited was recently constructed with government funded projects which meant that a sewage pipe was installed and also water supply was fitted in their homes rather than collecting water from outside. “It was an amazing breakthrough”. Many of the children had new found opportunities such as learning computer skills and having access to internet. “There is a change occurring”. Preeya mentioned, with gradual team effort by promoting awareness in various forms change would occur.
Another thought that Preeya shared with me was that she felt that she learnt a great deal from her experience in Ahmedabad “I thought we were going there to teach them something but actually I learnt more from them”. Preeya thought that the experience was so rewarding that she recommends that DMU students take part in this project and others alike, to carry out the work and help the children there who are living in deprived parts of the world. “It is through these experiences change can be established being able to go out there and come back and share the experience you underwent to other students this will promote awareness.
By Amal Fawzi – DMU Square Mile Graduate Champion