Calcutta, India. A city of many contrasts, 17 years after Mother Teresa of Calcutta

For more than 45 years Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhia Albanian known as Teresa of Calcutta (name adopted in reference to patroness of missionaries Teresa of Lisieux) naturalized Indian, dedicated her life to work with the underprivileged of the world attending poor, sick, orphans and dying. What I led her to be the Novel of Peace in 1979, among other awards that were granted to her in honor of her immense work. Which also led her to become one of the figures icon in the answers and speeches of beauty pageants with other great figures.

Mother Teresa founded the congregation called Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, which 64 years after its foundation is still working for the needy, “the poorest of the poor” I would say with material shortages. People who feel and are unprotected and rejected by society, devoid of love and many material comforts to live a decent life. But endowed with virtues that are reflected in their eyes which many people living placidly may never experience. The congregation of the Missionaries of Charity is open to anyone wishing to visit the house and see the history of Mother Teresa, take a look at the pictures of the thousands who have been helped, see which her room was and give a contribution as a missionary; for which many foreigners attend each day.

Calcutta is one of the largest cities in India, as it is in population and poverty too. It is a city of contrasts where you can be in a set of luxurious buildings for wealthy and foreigners residing in the country for business issues, to pass the entrance and meet the slums or provisional houses built with cardboard and plastic in which entire families live.

slums, Calcutta

As you can also decide between what kind of transportation you want to use, either subway, carousel, taxi, ferry, bus, auto rickshaw or tuk-tuk (vehicle motor-tricycles), Bicycle rickshaw or what could be called a “float” but its original name is Human Rickshaw or Hand Pulled Rickshaw with the difference that this is not pulled by beautiful horses as in the fairy tales, or for the defenseless hungry and neglected horses we have in Colombia in the known “Zorras”. Actually, these are carried in the arms of skeletal men, in which someone can perfectly study anatomy and not by all the muscles that are detailed in their slender bodies by the hard gym work and intake of protein and anabolic steroids. They also sometimes go barefoot and are willing to take one or two people for long or short distances, through rugged terrain to earn a pittance and survive themselves and their families.

Human Rickshaw, Calcutta 2

Ferry, Calcutta 1

Calcutta is a city of many contrasts, where you can still see people dying in the streets eaten by rats, flies and ants. One of the most interesting places to visit and experience is the Flower Market, where many locals spend their days dedicated to the marketing of flowers and foliage. There you can delight in the many colors of the different kinds of flowers while also struggles to walk between the ways of swamp and puddles. This place is the type to which the Indians call the Real India, the reflections of a society with a corrupt government, with huge social gaps where the rich are less than 1% and the poor are sink deeper and deeper.

Calcutta was one of the cities that I had the opportunity to see and feel in the company of my fellow backpack, whom I met during my trip; three German including a girl who panicked every time we were in places like the flower market and a Polish girl with Spanish soul. Before traveling there the Polish girl always told me a phrase that someone told her before her trip to India “visit all the places you want, but never go to Calcutta, there are some people that put a ring in their ear with which They think they can become invisible so can defecate on every corner. Well, there we were, we never saw anyone with that description, but yes, we saw a lot of shit. But if one day you really want to see the part of India which is not shown on TV, you have to go to Calcutta. For me it was a fascinating experience, also because there you can find all types of markets anywhere, and are the best places to take good pictures, eat, walk and spend the day. Whether in China Town, the Muslim market, among others.

Calcutta, streets

Calcutta, river

In addition, Calcutta is surrounded by beautiful marble palaces, museums, cemeteries museum, parks and many other places worth to be seen but also are unreal worlds between a city that has a lot of humility to show.

I leave you with a quote from Mother Teresa of Calcutta

 “Today is fashionable to speak of the poor. Unfortunately, it is not speak to them”

Versión en Español: Calcuta, India. Una ciudad de múltiples contrastes, 17 años después de la Madre Teresa de Calcuta

 

 

 

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