Research and Innovation Project
September – October 2017
“The 50 days spent in India were the hardest test of my life that I had to overcome.
Calcutta is a reality that should not be underestimated and the impact with a city of 4 million inhabitants, most of whom live on the streets and is illiterate, is really challenging. The capital of West Bengal is where IIMC-Institute for Indian Mother & Child is based. This is the non-governmental voluntary organization I collaborated with.
I landed in Calcutta on 29th August, with 35 degrees, 93% of humidity, waiting for me. Considering the number of its inhabitants, it is one of the most populous cities in India, second only to Mumbhai and Delhi, and the chaos and smell in the air remind this at all times. The majority of Indian families, if they do not live directly on the street, lives in dilapidated structures, built with sheets, bricks, wood or straw, with just a few rooms, without floor or internal bathroom.
The main objective of my trip was to submit questionnaires to the women taking part in the Microcredit and Wowen Peace Council project in order to evaluate, through the comparison and analysis of the answers gathered in the last years, the impact of the membership on these groups in their lifestyle.
But, at the end, this experience turned out to be much more. The possibility to know these women personally, to see first-hand how they spend their days, to see the courage they have in dealing with a world that unfortunately is still so hostile, has initially frightened, then amazed and fascinated me.
Contrary to what I had expected, I learned a lot more from them than they did from me.”