A great day in Kanpur

A great day in Kanpur

I cant believe, the first week of our CSC journey is about to end. In the morning we had a quick meting with Deepti, to understand the impact of this project to community and her point of view for this dashboard as a citizen, what she would want to see.. And then we worked on the Executive Summary document that Tamara has uploaded and the presentation. We wanted to send these documents to Dr. Tare as earliest so that we can make a call with him today. We discussed a lot of points so could not finish the things on time before we had to leave for Waste Water Treatment Institute, so I took my laptop and we completed the updates and wrote an email to Dr. Tare. Thanks to Tamara that she fixed all my informal language to a better and formal communication.
While we were waiting the drivers in the lobby to go, I talked to Deepti and Siddhant about the driver issue that happened yesterday, they were quite upset that it has happened, but at least for me it was ok. I just asked them what to say to him in Hindi so that in case I need smth, I can use. And I learnt a new word: “geldiyana” that means go fast, soon.. Of course I do not know how it is written, this is what I heard from them.. I think I will learn quite few words in Hindi until the end of this project.

The Water Treatment Institute was very smelly as you may guess. I did not have any mask or scarf and it was difficult. And we met Ajay as a responsible person for this place. He mentioned a lot of details about it. First he did an introduction in the building, and then he took us for a tour around all the infrastructure and tanks.. He mentioned that this places is used for domestic and industrial wastes. I only remember the statistics about industrial part that their capacity is 9 millions liters of waster water a day can be processed here and when the infrastructure is established in 1990, they did capacity more than enough. But the increase in the industry, especially Kanpur is famous with the leather industry, they cannot meet the current requirement which is 25 millions of liter a day. And the answer of this question was as expected. “What happens to the rest of the waste?” – “It goes to the river directly.”. Of course the river will be polluted!!! The government is planning a new treatment institute in the south part of Kanpur, unfortunately it will be only for domestic. And as Ajay told, the government leaves the industrial waste to Industry. I do not know if there is any rules that is force by government for the industries. Then we went through the tanks, how the waste water ir processed, how toxic is the industrial waste and they use domestic waste as a nutrition for the industrial waste!! I re-asked this cause for me it was very weird that domestic waste is a nutrition ?? But Ajay mentioned about the bacterias, why they are needed etc, and then it made sense of course. While going through the tanks, Ajay also showed the water to us in two different places and we were able to see the difference. Of course that water was not drinkable, still they are doing a great job.
And a final note about this place is smth that Lisa said. This place was gray, not like any corner in India. India is colors and flavors but this was a different world.

After we are done with this place, we decided to join to the Lisa and their team cause they had a plan to see a slum that they produce leather gloves. I knew that it will be a very different experience to see those places as a first time for our team but I did not expect that much. We stopped at a place and started to walk. I was speechless. The roads were small, complicated, dirty – not even dirty it was full of wastes, there were cows, dogs but even pigs!!! It was the first time I saw pigs on streets and they were eating wastes. The kids were half naked, extremely poor conditions, everybody was straing at us as foreigners. I tried to keep my smile on my face not to hurt them having a pity look but.. I do not know what to say. Then we arrived the slum and went upstairs to see the location where they produce the leather gloves. All the ladies were wearing colorful saris, they had their mehendis or bindis with a very big smile. We took our shoes of and I felt ashamed of my socks that has the brand name on it. I did not want to interrupt the group’s mission cause they went there to learn more for their project so I watched the things a bit far silently. I also did not know what to say, how to talk not to hurt them emotionally. Maybe I was too soft, I do not know what they felt. But they were looking in your eyes – really in your eyes and they were smiling that I felt coming form heart. Siddhant was helping us for translation and I was trying to listen the conversations carefully: that they earn 10 rupees per a pair of glove, they produce around 250 gloves in a day, they are 8 people working together etc etc. Then I noticed that one of the man, was taking a selfie of himself with me behind (that I was not aware). When I looked at him, he asked (with body language of course) to take a self and I of course accepted. We took a selfie (I do not know if I am going to see it on facebook :D) but I felt again so strange. I am just a normal person and they were behaving us like famous people. I do not know how to express all my feelings. Then we had a group photo and after all questions were done, we went outside. Most of them came downstairs with us. There was a lady with blue sari, a gorgeous one. She was looking at me with her big eyes and in the end she could say Hello to me.. I was emotionally run out.

For me it was too difficult and when Andrew said that this small factory is a a lot advanced then what they have seen until this time, I was shocked again. After this tough trip, we went back to hotel, Tamara left to her room and we did a bit more search with Robert. Unfortunately Dr. Tare did not reply back to us and we could not meet him, still Robert find out a web site of one of the agencies that they have real time data of water quality !! This was a very good finding but also a bit disappointing too cause we were dealing with excel files and the team was saying that the templates are not fixed, they need to get the data form agency by sending email etc but the data was there, a real time data with a map as well. Of course it is not in an easy way to consume but still it was there. We may need to change our approach but we decided to say it was a day and agreed to go to mall to buy a few snacks for our trip to Agra tomorrow.

For the dinner Angela, Andreas and Natalie organized a dinner with their client, not Mr Ganesh or Sadhana that I met on monday but 3 young passioned people. Angela told me that I definitely need to meet them. We went to the same restaurant we have been on monday. On our way we saw a wedding ceremony, we were trying to take a photo but we could not. Bu luckily our driver stopped for 5 mins so that we can see it. They were amazing, gorgeous, colorful, energetic. It was the groom and his famlly to take the bride, and they go there on foot dancing, celebrating, and having fun. We were taking photos / videos and then they invited us to dance with them 🙂 Lisa, Angela and myself went inside the group and danced with them. All parts of their body was dancing!! I was so happy to be a part of it and as Angela said, life is an experience and full of short moments to catch, which we did all together at that time.

We had to wait a bit for the group to come: Rashmi, Jitendra and Shirvani. and when they came, Rashmi sit next to me, I really wanted to talk to her. And I was amazed at the first look, they were young, fresh, passioned, confident, mature, joyful. I just watched especially this lady for minutes. We were jumping form topic to topic, religion, festivals, Ganga river, life, volunteering, the memories of the team for the last couple of days.. And of course the food was amazing too, especially the dal and the nan. I loved it.

I am really thankful to Angela and the team that they arranged this dinner. It really means to me. And hopefully we will plan a day tha tI will join them for a field trip.

So tomorrow.. Agra.. Tac Mahal. The real love story of Shah Jahan (we say Cihan) and Mumtaz Mahal. So exciting..

#ibmcsc #cscin37 #cscindia37

alladola, 23rd Feb 2018, Kanpur

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