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Street Kids in India

(13 Posts)
lambethlil Sun 03-Jul-11 13:55:31

We visited India 2 years ago with DCs 12,11 and 9 and are going again this summer. Last time I took bubbles (which were fiddly to show them how to use) to give to children and we also gave away clothes, sweets etc. I'm trying to think of things that are easy to carry and useful or fun.

Silly Bands

Any other ideas, experiences- we'll be travelling around a lot on trains but luggage isn't really a problem ( I drew the line at footballs as suggested by DD2)

countydurhamlass Sun 03-Jul-11 20:29:11

water balloons, balloons, marbles, whistles, small power balls that bounce alot, those silly little puzzles squares where you have to move the pieces around to make the picture.

have a look in tesco for party bag toys

lambethlil Sun 03-Jul-11 22:41:26

Thank you so much, I'd thought of balloons, the puzzle slidey things would go down well! Can I ask is this off the top of your head or from holidays/travel?

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 04-Jul-11 05:43:37

TBH, my experience of India was 20 years ago. You can buy all that sort of stuff there much more cheaply.

allhailtheaubergine Mon 04-Jul-11 05:50:39

Pens. PENS. PENS PENS PENS. Pencils.

That's what they all ask for.

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 04-Jul-11 06:24:43

Not in our experience allhail. They just seemed to want sweets. Me and DH had gone tooled up with pencils and pens. Sweets were what all of them wanted sad

allhailtheaubergine Mon 04-Jul-11 08:46:26

I wonder if it's area specific?

lambethlil Mon 04-Jul-11 09:21:49

Perhaps it is area specific; we were in Rajasthan last time, the most desperate attention we got was in really remote areas near Jaisalmer. DD1 gave away her £5 Jack Wills rubber bangle. Best outcome, I was not impressed when she got it!

This time we're going to the south, on the train from Mumbai to Keralla, then again quite rural, so we'll be doing city, train and remote.

Thanks for the ideas- we will take sweets and its good to have things to give away that the children value.

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 04-Jul-11 11:04:22

We were in Goa and Bombay (as it was then). TBH, I think that virtually every country we've been to in the last 10 years have been developing in some way.
Vietnam and Cambodia for example, the children hung around shouting candy at us. I imagine they've been influenced by the US visitors.

sailorsgal Mon 04-Jul-11 11:24:43

I remember giving to a couple of kids and then about 50 suddenly appeared. Felt really bad but didn't have enough change to give to all of them.

maharani Mon 11-Jul-11 10:44:39


I worked as a volunteer with street kids in India and while I understand your want to help these children, giving little gifts to individuals is not the best way to go about it. It's not good for children to accept gifts from strangers and it enhances a donor / benefactor relationship which does not benefit these children in any way. Why dont you get some supplies for a school such as jotters, pencils teaching resources and donate them to an NGO run school for poorer children. If you do a Google search for an NGO in the area your are visiting you will find many organisations that are crying out for donations and they would greatly value anything you have to give. It would also be good for your kids to see how international development work can help the most needy in the world.

I hope this helps and I'm not trying to be cynical. Have a great time in India!

lambethlil Mon 11-Jul-11 11:35:53

Thank you, Maharani!

I do understand and respect your point of view and we will be/ do already make donations direct to NGO out there.

Will do the google/ngo for new areas though.

Lambethlil Tue 02-Aug-11 08:49:57

We're back!

We were in the South, which is so much richer than the North.

I took on board Maharani's point, and although we took some chalk, hairbands and toothbrushes, we struggled to give them away- we weren't asked.

On the last day I bagged up the childrens' clothes that we had taken with the express purpose of giving to children who needed them. On the way to the airpoert in Mumbai a group of girls rapped on the window of the car and we passed them the package.

We were taken around the local village and school when staying at a hotel in the countryside and I have its address. I'm going to send the chalk, left over cash and a set of exercise books with a thank you note for letting us visit.

Thanks to all those who posted!

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