Dispatches from India: Scholar volunteers in health clinic

(December 14, 2011) PUNJAB, India - Sophomore Hunter Pittman joins University of Louisville students on a service mission.
Dispatches from India: Scholar volunteers in health clinic

McConnell Scholar Hunter Pittman in India. He is volunteering with other UofL students in Indian health clinics.

A group of UofL students—including McConnell Scholar Hunter Pittman—is traveling in Punjab, India, during winter break to volunteer at health camps. The trip, now in its third year, was started by Louisville senior Deep Aggarwal. The group left Louisville Dec. 8. The students are blogging for UofL Today from India about their experience traveling abroad and working at the camps. Read Hunter's blog below.

A Striking Difference

One of the most striking differences I have noticed since coming to India is the stark contrast of extreme poverty directly around vast wealth.  This is something that I could have hardly imagined before seeing it. Buildings larger, newer and fancier are directly next to people living in tents made of trash bags on top of landfills. Tonight, after being chauffeured and treated around the city of Delhi all day, we took our final trip to a call center. This call center was located in the middle of city alleys and streets. The entrance was a just a simple glass door in the middle of a white brick wall among a hundred others.  The general manager of the center was kind enough to give us almost an hour of his time to talk to us and give us a brief look at the center. The employees work nine-hour shifts at all hours of the day and night.  It is a much better career than begging or selling items on the street and it requires a college degree, but many people back in the states, especially with a college degree, would not want to do it. I have always been taught and tried my best to not be short or angry when talking to customer service and phone marketing operators even if frustrated. I hope this will serve as a reminder for you to do the same.  No matter how upset you may be about the problem you are facing with your product or the time you are taking up you should be aware of the reality the person on the other end may be facing. After they make that call they may walk out into a crowded street and still struggle to feed their family.

On a brighter note almost everyone I have had contact with her has been very friendly and welcoming.  I would encourage anyone who is lucky enough and has the means to come to India.  It is a truly amazing place.

Hunter Pittman

Sophomore Anthropology Major

Hopkinsville, KY