Volunteering With AMURT At The Pundag, India Railway Station

Drinking Water Unveiling Event

Drinking Water Unveiling Event

As I mentioned in my previous post about the Indian ashram I stayed at, it’s very rural and remote. The local train station, for example, has no drinking water facility. In almost every other Indian train station you can find huge water fountains with four sides and capacity to serve several water drinkers at a time. If I drank that water I’d probably die, but for locals used to drinking it it’s a great service.

As the summer dawned, with intense heat and dryness in tow, being able to drink some water before or after a train journey is hugely beneficial. So, the AMURT team does this annually until the summer breaks with the coming of the monsoons.

For the special unveiling of the service we went a step further. We prepared lentils so they’d sprout and make for a nice treat. By washing them several times and leaving them to soak we facilitated sprouting. These on their own are a nice snack, but mixed with sugar it’s a nice treat. In this community, where a majority of inhabitants make less than $1 per day, it’s a wonderful treat and diversion from the norm.

During the event some speeches were made, there was singing and worship, and even meditation. Below you can see videos of these.

One sad aspect of the event was the littering. Though any visitor to India quickly has to adapt to the littered environment it was clear how much education and environmental consciousness play a role in whether you treat the world as your garbage can. At the train station there was a garbage can, even designed in the form of a clown to make it attractive for children to approach and use. After the event was over, you can see how many of the hundreds of plates ended up in the garbage can: one.

Plates Littered On The Ground

Plates Littered On The Ground

The Garbage Can

The Garbage Can

One Plate Made It Into The Garbage

One Plate Made It Into The Garbage

In the end, it was kind of a perfect way to depart the ashram. It was nice to see the relief work they do at home and learning what they do throughout India and abroad. Their beliefs and way of life are not for me, but their mission, serving humanity, is definitely something I subscribe to.

Below are more pictures of the event if you’re interested.

6 replies
  1. Jackie D
    Jackie D says:

    Beautiful pictures! Especially the portraits of various locals. I’m extremely shy when it comes to taking pictures of people when I’m traveling so those are always the pictures I love to look at on other people’s blogs.

    Reply
  2. Ian Ord - Where Sidewalks End
    Ian Ord - Where Sidewalks End says:

    This sounds like a great event, and so cool that you were able to be part of it! Definitely a lovely treat for this group 🙂 It is sad, of course, about the littering and lack of education about it. I think a lot of the habits stem from before the introduction of mass, non-decompostable materials. I remember I used to get all my food served either on metal tv dinner trays, or better yet, the take away ‘pressed banana leaves’ in the shapes of bowls. You could easily toss those on the ground after your meal, and cows or goats would quickly come and eat up the bowls afterwards. If only the world could move in that direction (then we’d barely need that littering education in the first place) 🙂

    Reply
  3. Ash Clark
    Ash Clark says:

    I agree with Jackie, beautiful pictures with this post. I like that you made a special point about the litter. ITs a shame people in many developing countries dont appreciate their surroundings as much as many outsiders who come to visit…

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *