Sunday 4 December 2016

Rose of Tralee meets impoverished children living on Indian landfill

Jane O'Faherty

Published 02/11/2015 | 02:30

Rose of Tralee Elysha Brennan working with the Hope Foundation in Kolkata
Rose of Tralee Elysha Brennan working with the Hope Foundation in Kolkata

Rose of Tralee Elysha Brennan said there were "no words" to describe what she saw while volunteering in the Indian city of Kolkata.

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The Rose was helping to paint a school sponsored by The Hope Foundation, close to the massive landfill site of Bhagar. The dump is home to hundreds of families who compete with wild animals and rats to scavenge for a living.

The Hope Foundation, which was founded in Cork, sponsored the school in a bid to break the cycle of scavenging among children.

Elysha said the Bhagar dump was "an attack on the senses", but added that she was especially moved by Rani, a 15-year-old girl who attends the Hope schools.

"She wakes up at 5am every morning to walk to school, studies hard and had top grades in her class in exams.

"Rani told me of her aspiration of one day becoming a doctor," Elysha said.

"Education is a gateway to a brighter future for these children, a better life and the tool to break the cycle of poverty so each child can fulfil their wishes and dreams," she added.

Irish Independent

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