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The Odyssey Live Chats from India

Welcome to The Odyssey Live Chats! Trekkers Kavitha and Jasmine will be joined by several students from Yamana Pushta, what is considered to be the largest "slum" in Delhi, India. Click here for more pictures and info!

Transcript from live chat:

<Moderator> Good morning. Welcome to The Odyssey World Trek Live Chats. Wel'll be getting started in just a few minutes - so keep those questions coming in!

<Moderator> We've got Trekkers Kavitha and Jasmine with us in New Delhi.

<Moderator> And they have three students with them - two boys, Krishna - 15 years old and Abu Thir - 19 years old - and Shahan, a 17 year old girl.

<kristin (CA)> Hello my name is Kristin Tapia. I live in Montebello CA. I am 17 years old. What time is it in India?

<Shahana> It is 9:24 PM at night here.

<Kristin> Shahana, How many brothers and sisters do you have?

<Shahana> I have 2 sisters, younger than me. No brothers.

<Shahana> I have 2 sisters, both younger to me. No brothers.

<Ramon Alvarez (Los Angeles CA)> I am 17 years old. I have 3 sisters.

<ghjgh (france )> What kinds of food do you eat?

<Abu Tahir> Food - I like to eat rice and chicken. Dal and chapati are also very good too.

<Abu Tahir> Dal is lentils and chapati is flat bread.

<ghigh (france)> What kinds of sports do you do?

<Krishna> I like to play cricket and football.

<Shahana> I like running, and Kho-Kho. Kho-Kho is local game which involves multiple players, half of which are supposed to sit while the others dodge the person who is 'it' while running between all the people sitting.

<Stephan (NY)> Can you describe where you live?

<Shahana> I live in Yamana Pushta in a one bedroom shanty with my mother, father, and 2 sisters. We have lights, a TV, and a bathroom.

<Abu Tahir> I stay at Yamuna Pushta, one of the largest slums in New Delhi. The living conditions in the slums is not very clean...

<Krishna> Krishna I live in one room with my mother, father, one sister and 3 brothers. I have a TV, and lights, but no fridge....

<Abu Tahir> People are engaged in drug taking, rag-picking (or picking through trash) and doing little odd jobs.

<Krishna> ...I sleep on the floor. We all live in a room about 10 feet by 10 feet.

<Abu Tahir> I have lived here for the last three years with my family.

<Kipper (Atlanta, Ga)> How many hours a day do you got to school? What do you like to study the most?

<Shahana> I go to school, 10th class, at 7 AM and I come back at 1:30 PM, then I teach a "Gali School" class at 3 PM for 2 hours.

<Abu Tahir> My favorite subject is life sciences. I like learning about the life of things which I come accross every day...

<Krishna> I like to study English most, and my national language Hindi. I also like Urdu. I like languages most.

<Abu Tahir> like plants and animals.

<Moderator> "Gali" schools are street schools - kids who don't normally have access to school are taught by volunteers in the streets. See our upcoming dispatches on these schools.

<Jessica (Los Angeles, CA)> Hi, I'm a 17 year old girl. I work and go to high school. Do you have to work too?

<Shahana> I don't HAVE to work, but I work as a teacher because I want to. Because I've always wanted to become a teacher. I always used to adore my teachers who used to encourage me to become a teacher one day too.

<Abu Tahir> Yes, I too have to work because I have to help my family earn money.

<Krishna> I don't have to work for my family's sake, I am working as a teacher for the Gali school on a scholarship so that I can have money for my future education.

<Abu Tahir> I am teaching three classes a day at different places.

<St. Patrick School (Carlsbad, CA)> In America we have pets that are dogs, cats, birds and others. What kind of pets do people in India have, if any?

<Shahana> Indians have dogs, cats, horses, cows, birds, goats, and camels....elephants also.

<Alex (Soddy Daisy,TN)> How do you deal with so many languages and religons?

<Krishna> We all stay in peace with a unique feeling of brotherhood....

<Krishna> ....we all communicate in a common language, Hindi.

<Abu Tahir> Languages and religion go hand in hand together in India...

<Abu Tahir> we all live together like friends.

<Diana (Los Angeles, CA)> Do the people there have arranged marriages, or is it different now?

<Abu Tahir> Most marriages here are arranged. I will have an arranged marriage. I think Most marriages here are arranged. I will have an arranged marriage...

<Shahana> Yes we still have mostly arranged marriages in India. No love marriage for me. But my parents will always ask for my consent. They will never go against what I want.

<Abu Tahir> I feel I would be betraying the trust of my parents if I go against their wishes while selecting a bride for me.

<Krishna> It's mostly arranged marriages here. I would like to complete my studies first then only I will think of marriage for myself

<St. Patrick School (carlsbad, CA)> Where do you keep your elephants? You must have a large area for such a large animal. What do you feed them? They must eat a lot!

<Krishna> They have a special shanty made for the elephants in the villages, even in the cities. Even in the middle of the city here in Yamana Pushta, there are many elephants and they are all kept together...outside of the house!.....

<Krishna> ...yes they eat a lot but they work also a lot. They eat sugar cane and vegetables and leaves. India is a big country so there can be a lot of elephants here!

<Krishna> I would like to invite all of you to come visit India somtime. We would love to show you our country and would love to have you.

<Shahana> You asked us about our living conditions, can you tell us about yours?

<St. Patrick School (Carlsbad, CA)> We go shopping, play outside, go to the beach, dance, play computer games, skateboard and go biking for fun. What kinds of things to you do for fun?

<Abu Tahir> I go with my parents on picnics. Sometimes I play cricket with my friends.

<Moderator> Students in the US - send us your answers to Shahana's question about where you live - and what your home is like.

<Krishna> I like to play games (cricket and football), and I like to play volleyball with my brothers and sisters. I like most computers. I am fascinated by the multiple uses of computers, but I have never had a chance to play games on computers. I want to learn all I can to help my country. Can anyone suggest good computer books? Our access is little.

<St. Patrick School (Carlsbad, CA)> We have about 77,000 people in the city of Carlsbad. How many people are in your city and what is the population of India?

<Shahana> We like to go on picnics to fun parks and zoos.

<Mona (Montebello, CA)> My home has 3 bed rooms , 4 1/2 bathroom , a living room , a pool with a pool house.

<Krishna> THe population of Delhi is 10 million, and of India is over 1 billion!

<Shahana> What is your advice about how one can keep those around them happy? What you can do?

<Jessica (CA)> What kind of music do you like to listen to?

<Jessica (Montebello,CA)> I live in a House with my grandma, grandpa, my mom and my 4 brothers.

<Manny (soddy daisy/tn)> We live in Tennessee which is in the south eastern part of the United States. We have alot of technology. Most people own at least one car.

<Krishna> I don't like pop music. I like flute and harmonica and drums.

<St. Patrick School (Carlsbad, CA)> We live in Carlsbad, California. It is about 40 miles north of San Diego and 100 miles south of Los Angeles. Most families at our school have a 3 or 4 bedroom house with 2 to 3 bathrooms. We have a kitchen, family room and living room most often. We also have a garage for storage and cars. Most people have two cars.

<Abu Tahir> I like to play the drums but I like to listen to hindi film music.

<Shahana> I like pop! both Hindi and English pop music. I like Michael Jackson.

<St. Patrick School (Carlsbad, CA)> We have found that service to others provides a feeling of happiness. Also, being kind, and knowing when to be silent.

> <Moderator> Our hour is almost up - send your last questions and answers in now.

<Jeremiah (Soddy-Daisy)> Do you all ever study about the United States in geography or history?

<Krishna> I have a book on American geography. I learned that there are fields in America are dry.

<Abu Tahir> I don't know much about America; only what I hear people say... what I see on the TV. Oh, and I know that President Clinton recently visited India.

<Krishna> I learned about American history in 5th grade.

<Diana (Los Angeles, CA)> What will you study and work for in the future?

<Abu Tahir> I want to continue my work in community service. I feel I am here to help my fellow human beings.

<Shahana> I want to study hard and work for the benefit of others.

<Krishna> I want to teach all the illiterate people wherever I am.

<St. Patrick School (Carlsbad, CA)> Thank you for your time. We learned so much :-)

<Wendy (Los Angeles)> Bye!

<Shahana> I would like to say Shukriya, Shukriya, Shukriya, Shukriya, Shukriya, Shukriya!!!! (Urdu for 'Thank You') WE have really enjoyed chatting with all of you.

<Abu Tahir> I would like to thank all of you who showed interest in chatting with us today.

<trekker Kavitha> our translators wanted to add that when these students speak of their future plans-- at this stage in their studies they are not yet aware of professional courses which could benefit them or of different specialized courses availab le in colleges. They're families have not had such oportunities

<Diana (Los Angeles, CA)> Thank you so much for the chat. It's amazing that we are talking all over the world. I would like to visit India someday.

<Jessica (Montebello)> The poet Rabin Renatagar once said: "The same stream of that life runs through the world and dances with rhythmic measure, runs though my veins night and day." This stream runs through all of us around the world.

<Krishna> Dhanyabad (thank you in Hindi)for taking so much time for us when you don't even know us. YOu gave us an opportunity to interact with you adn a chance to learn what a 'chat' session actually means.

<Moderator> Thank you to Trekkers Kavitha and Jasmine for running this chat. And to Krishan, Abu Thir and Shahana for joining us from Delhi. And to all the students all over the world who tuned in for this chat!

<Jasmine> It is truly inspirational to be in the presence of such awesome participants. I hope you feel you got a peek into their culture and way of life. I am inspired that we all learned so much from one another today! See you next time!

<Kavitha> I would like to thank all of you for joining us, and Sunil Verma, our guide and translator here and the associate director of the India Vision Foundation. Thank you and good night!!