In speaking to a friend I mentioned how in India, where I grew up, the only way to survive the daily poverty is to turn a blind eye to it. For those who visit from outside the country, it feels like a callous way to be. For those of us who grew up there it’s the only way to survive.
Now, when I see these pictures of the Calais Jungle, I am reminded of the slums of Bombay. Except it is here, not far from where I live in London. Not very far away at all. And while the conditions here are not as bad as the ones in the shantytowns I’ve passed every day of my growing years … yet it feels a lot worse. Because there was hope back there.
Sure the people are poor in the shanties back in the city where I grew up, but most believed the tomorrow would bring a better future for their children. What disturbs me most about the Calais Jungle is the despair of the migrants caught between countries; in no man’s land. I know a little about being a migrant. And my experience, while nowhere as difficult as those faced in the Jungle, makes me doubly conscious about their plight. When you don’t have a place to call your own it’s the worst feeling of rootlessness. As bad as not having the basics in life.
So, while I can’t head over and help. I do what I can, at least share the real coverage from the volunteers at the camp. Read on-