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India trip

(43 Posts)
Tonytiger Mon 01-Oct-12 23:02:40

My DS's school is organizing a trip to India . He is 12 yrs old. His school is very small and a bit alternative which I usually enjoy, however I am concerned about safety on the trip, it's so far from home .... Is it safe ..... What about transport the roads are treacherous . I know this from personal experience. Am I being
over anxious ??? Any thoughts please .

ProudNeathGirl Mon 01-Oct-12 23:15:31

YANBU. That's ridiculous! How on earth do they justify a school trip to India? It must be hugely expensive. Why India!

Tonytiger Mon 01-Oct-12 23:23:41

P.n.g. It's a cricket tour so I guess that's why..... Yes it is v expensive as always !! We could do without the expense but its really the concerns about safety etc that I'm tying myself in knots about.

marykat2004 Mon 01-Oct-12 23:24:51

Can you go along? I want to take my DD to India when she is at least 10, maybe older. But I wouldn't like the thought of her going without me!

Numberlock Mon 01-Oct-12 23:27:06

Can you give us some idea of the itinerary and locations, OP?

Tonytiger Mon 01-Oct-12 23:34:05

I don't think it would be appropriate for me to go along..... I would love to go but think Ds might be a tad embarrassed if mummy rocked up.
Itinerary is five days stay in Mumbai with three days of cricket some sight seeing taj mahal, ride on an elephant etc I'm sure it will be amazing and great fun but is it safe ????

mrsbugsywugsy Mon 01-Oct-12 23:35:16

what an amazing opportunity!

i backpacked around india and always felt pretty safe, and i imagine your son won't be staying in dirt cheap hostels like i was.

i guess it depends on the itinerary as others have said.

Numberlock Mon 01-Oct-12 23:40:38

How are they getting from Mumbai to Delhi? Internal flight I presume?

Tonytiger Mon 01-Oct-12 23:41:44

I have also spent a lot of time traveling in India but I was 20 something .... If I was going along I would not have a problem. I guess it's the lack of control that I'm concerned about. Plus I have had many hair raising journeys running the gauntlet on difficult roads with slightly scary drivers.

Tonytiger Mon 01-Oct-12 23:44:22

Sorry numberlock, meant to say Delhi not Mumbai... At least there's no internal flights involved.

Numberlock Mon 01-Oct-12 23:48:42

Ah got ya. I've also backpacked in India so know what you mean about the bus journeys. But as they will be in one place, this won't apply as much. (I'm thinking of the 24 hour overnight journeys on winding mountainous roads.)

I think I would let him go, you may worry for a few days while he's gone but it will be an amazing experience for him.

Tonytiger Tue 02-Oct-12 00:00:47

Oh my goodness ...... Yeah soooo scary used to just close my eyes and hope we made it in one piece. Beautiful country, I really do want him to go for the experience but.........guess ill just have to sleep on it !! Thanks for your replies.

Numberlock Tue 02-Oct-12 00:05:20

Is he very keen to go?

Tonytiger Tue 02-Oct-12 00:09:03

So so really.... He wasn't that keen until a few of his friends decided to go.

NanAstley Tue 02-Oct-12 14:26:44

So the group will go to Delhi, and stay in Delhi? And they will have a bus/minivan/coach that is theirs for the duration of the stay? In that case, it should be safe.

Do impress on him that he should stay with the group, and not take off with strangers. Of course, that advice applies no matter which country he goes to. Nothing worse than getting into trouble in a foreign country where you don't know how things work and where to go for help.

NanAstley Tue 02-Oct-12 14:27:48

Oh wait, just noticed he will be seeing the Taj Mahal. SO they will be driving to Agra?

I agree that the inter-city roads are heart-attack-inducing!

helpyourself Tue 02-Oct-12 14:40:30

I would want to know what the accompanying adults' experience of India is before I let my child go.
Roads, trains, etc. are definitely factors, but when I took my DCs the biggest concern (before and during) was the culture shock. They will see children their age living on the streets and worse. Will they be allowed to talk to them, or whisked off in an airconditioned coach? I'm not saying either approach is good btw, just that I'd want the school to have given it some thought.

mrsbugsywugsy Tue 02-Oct-12 14:57:43

I remember the backpacker area of Delhi was particularly dodgy, but then I imagine a school group will be carefully chaperoned and won't be allowed to stray into the dodgy areas.

We got the train from Delhi to Agra and I think the trains are much safer than the roads.

The key thing will be whether you trust the adults they are going with; both generally and that they have enough experience of India.

helpyourself Tue 02-Oct-12 15:02:46

There's no closeted way of doing Rajasthan. Even if they whizz them in and out by private jet, they will see incredible poverty. That's not necessairily a bad thing, but I would definitely want to know what the accompanying adults policy was going to be.

QuintessentialShadows Tue 02-Oct-12 15:05:18

And here am agonizing over a school trip to France....

The things I would want to know before sending my child on a school trip to India (and speaking as somebody who lived there for nearly half a year, with an 18 month old):

- Is the minibus/bus air conditioned. If not, they will be driving around in traffic with open windows, which is a risk, not only from a hassle and pick pocketing perspective, but the high led content in the polluted air - most cars and rickshaws use leaded petrol still.

- Will the transport have seat belts. The law says you need to use seat belts if they are there, which means most people rip them out.

- Food hygiene. I would insist any child of mine go vegetarian for the duration (5 cases of food poisoning in my case, all related to poultry)

- What is the plan regards to malaria profylactics

- Will you have time enough to do the compulsory jabs (like BCG) before going?

Aside from that, I would send with him a large supply of antibac wipes and gels..... Sunlotion and insect repellant. Long sleeved clothing.

helpyourself Tue 02-Oct-12 15:11:16

Would you not be more worried about what a 12 yo is going to think of the poverty there, Quint?

QuintessentialShadows Tue 02-Oct-12 15:24:03

helpyourself, hmmm, keeping a 12 year old safe/shielded from the horrors of poverty and human suffering...

This is a altogether a different topic. But does this mean we should not show our children the world in case it upsets them?

My son (9 at the time) saw a cripple begging in France, and now when I mention Nice, it is in his memory luxury intertwined with suffering and poverty.

Some children go on school trips to Auschwitz.

My son will visit the trenches in France in less than three weeks. Granted, this is past suffering, and need to be dealt with on an emotional level.

But I did not get the impression that it was the element of human suffering and poverty that was on the forefront of OPs mind, but roads?

I honestly think that a child who can afford a school that take him on a trip to India could potentially be well served by seeing a dose of harsh reality. Unless they are so cushioned they wont notice. wink

helpyourself Tue 02-Oct-12 15:32:38

I agree, Quint. There's not a definite answer to this. I personally don't shield my DCs, but would want to know that the school had thought through the consequences and were prepared. As for the day trips to Auschwitz, I feel very ambivelant; another DD's school sent a pupil, who came back with not much more to say than it had been 'wierd'. Not the kid's fault- but some things need more than a point and look approach.

Is your son's trip to the Trenches organised by a group in Kent? My DD went on one recently and it sounded superb. Thoughtful but not mawkish.

SnowWide Tue 02-Oct-12 15:32:39

Tony, dont worry too much about road safety. There are spanking new highways all over the place, with no dodgy rickshaws or bullock carts weaving in and out. And I dont imagine, the children will travel on smaller roads if they are going to visit major tourist attractions. Food hygiene is what you have to watch out for. This means absolutely NOTHING that is not boiled or cooked to within an inch of its life. No tap water, no salads ideally, no roadside snacks...

Other than that, its wonderful! And I speak as a native. Im sure your son will have a brilliant time...

QuintessentialShadows Tue 02-Oct-12 16:11:31

Help, I am not sure, the class will be away Monday till Friday. A lot to take in, I hope his teacher is prepared for the emotional aspect. He is already dreading it. He is a sensitive soul! Did your dd "enjoy" it? Enjoy seems a terrible word in the context, but enjoy as in having a good educational experience.

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