We went and visited one of the rickshaw puller camps this week to get a picture of Maitri’s project for the annual report; this was my second time going there. Maitri has been working hard to educate the community on how HIV is transmitted, encourage testing for HIV, and to facilitate treatment and counselling afterwards. Other agencies have worked to improve the living conditions in the camps. So much more needs to be done. Fairly simple measures could drastically improve the situation- such as cement or concrete walkways to prevent the large mud puddles that appear any time it rains. I was told this becomes a much larger problem during monsoon season. This is just one example of many. The camps are not just for those employed pulling rickshaws- some of the wives and children live in the camps as well. Most of the children were very outgoing and wanted to have their picture taken, but one young girl decided to stay out of the group pictures- it was a quiet reminder of the unique personality
of every individual. It becomes too easy to group people together around the issue. I left the camp feeling as I did on the first visit- glad that there are agencies working to make a change, overwhelmed at the enormous need that is still present, and grateful for the opportunity I had to meet each individual I interacted with.