Eight days ago, the Advocacy Project invited me to become a Peace Fellow for the summer of 2010. I only had to consider the offer for about seven seconds. (Maybe even six.) Not only am I psyched about the spectacular convergence of environmental advocacy and development work which my partner organization, Chintan, represents, but I am also thrilled to get to spend the summer in New Delhi, India.
Although I’m currently a grad student at the University of Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C., I hail from the backwoods of Greenbrier, Arkansas. Coming to D.C. was a big move. Re-locating to India for the summer will assuredly change my life, which leads me to ruminate upon the curious, liminal state I now find myself in. As soon as I signed my contract with the Advocacy Project, I became a Virtual Peace Fellow. I’m now responsible for advocating on behalf of the waste-pickers of New Delhi, also known as people that I have never met in a place that I have never been. But that doesn’t mean I can’t start making a difference right now.
You may have heard a piece on NPR about the waste-pickers just last week. My jaw dropped when, instead of groggily awakening to a piece on health care or financial reform, I found myself listening to a detailed story on the waste-pickers of New Delhi. MY waste-pickers. Mind you, this was the day after I accepted this (currently virtual) peace fellowship. Clearly I was fated to go to India this summer. Anyway, here’s my first bit of virtual advocacy, on behalf of the wonderful people of Chintan whom I cannot wait to meet.
Give the NPR piece a listen, and learn more about what I’ll be doing this summer. Once you’ve heard it, you’ll know about as much as I currently do! As long as I’m a mere virtual peace fellow, India will be a mysterious land of fragrant curries, Bollywood dancing, and luxurious saris. But soon enough, New Delhi will be my temporary home. I fully expect to gain far more from Chintan and the waste-pickers than I could ever hope to give to them.
Posted By Karie Cross
Posted Apr 22nd, 2010