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REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL RE-VISITED

Posted Tuesday 25th October 2016 15:06

We had the privilege in October of staying at the Khatu Haveli featured in the BBC Series earlier this year “The Real Marigold Hotel”.The Haveli, a traditional town house, is situated in the very heart of the old Pink City of Jaipur.Although inspired by the programme we had no expectations from this our first visit to India, other than to experience life in the local community.Nothing however could have prepared us for stepping out from the peaceful oasis of the Haveli into the sheer wall of chaos occupying the narrow streets, as hoards of people frantically went about their business, mixing with scooters, tuk tuks, cows, pigs, all competing for the same space.We were transported into a world we had never before experienced.

Rajasthan however is a region of both extreme beauty and squalor that appear to live in complete harmony with each other.The region is also home to large numbers of street children, whose homelessness can lead to abuse through exploitation of child labour and prostitution.Many boys and girls as young as six years old sift through garbage in Jaipur to collect recyclable material, and can be seen alongside pigs and dogs searching through trash heaps on their hands and knees.Such children are also denied the educational training that could help them escape this poverty trap.It is impossible to ignore children in these circumstances and we spent a good deal of time of our time identifying how we could help some of these abandoned and neglected children....

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