Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Getting Ready For India

Happy to be making
a difference
Welcome to my WaterAid India blog, I am really pleased you have taken the time to stop and read about my journey.

On 16th February 2013 I will be catching a flight to New Delhi for an experience of a lifetime...  Could you call it an adventure? I guess you could, it will certainly be a challenge for me and one that I am certain will be full of experiences that will remain in my memory for the rest of my life.

I have always been someone that wants to make a difference in the world, whether this be on a small scale or on a grand scale is not important, what is important is that I use my time on this planet to do good, in whatever way I possibly can...  It is with this mindset that I have become involved in this trip and through the wonderful opportunity that my employer Northumbrian Water (Essex & Suffolk Water in the southern region) and WaterAid have given me.

Back in November 2012, I was selected by Northumbrian Water to take part in the 2013 WaterAid supporters visit to India, at the time I was shocked, amazed and delighted to have been chosen and since then I have become even more shocked, amazed and delighted, in addition I can now add, overwhelmed, apprehensive, excited, enthusiastic and determined.  You see when I entered this challenge I knew the work of WaterAid was important, however the realisation of just how important has become a daily focus of mine.

Children at one of the fresh water wells
supported by WaterAid
Madhya Pradesh Region
I will be visiting the Madhya Pradesh region during my 7 day stay, which will include time in rural villages and the city slums of Bhopal, I will be witnessing sights that I had never considered and in 2013 find difficult to believe still exist.  The simple facts that a third of the worlds population has no access to basic sanitation (can you imagine not being able to use a toilet?)  or access to safe clean water.  There are millions, yes that's right millions of people living right now in India without these very basic things, things I have taken for granted again and again.  How many times have I used the toilet today without a thought, how many times have I turned on the tap, drank a glass of water, washed the dishes, brushed my teeth, showered or bathed without a second thought?  Too many, especially as whilst I have been doing so,  2,000 children a day have been losing their lives due to not having basic access to clean, safe water and decent sanitation.

This picture was sent to me by Lee Blanchflower following
his trip to an open sewer in the Bangalore slums....  When
I received this picture it made me realise just what I would
be experiencing on my journey through India.

©Copyright 2012 Lee Blanchflower Photography
My mind is not yet able to compute that people out there drink, wash, urinate and defecate in the same waters, often from rivers and sometimes from contaminated wells.  They do this, not through choice but because of the world they were born into...  What would you do? Lets face it, we need water to survive, without it we would die therefore feeding yourself and your loved ones with contaminated water when its the only supply you have is a necessity, not a choice...!  I know that when I arrive in India seeing this as a reality will be difficult for me to cope with emotionally, however it is important that people such as myself do experience these things so that we can highlight the excellent work that WaterAid  is doing and continue to improve the lives of those where projects have and will provide for basic human needs.

Preparing for India
For now I continue to prepare for my trip by having immunisations, drinking cholera solutions (yuck), taking anti-malaria tablets and reading up on the places I will be visiting...  I will provide a couple of updates prior to my departure on 16th and hope you enjoy my experiences.

If you would like to find out a little more about the work of WaterAid  please visit

Thanks for reading!


  1. good luck james you are doing an awesome job and i know your family are proud of you

    1. Thank you Tracy... I am very lucky to have the support I do... It allows me to do so much.

  2. Hi Son at last made it to this page I have loads of wonderful comments on my status which i will transfer over here for you would like my say first I know this Journey will be a hard one for your heart,But i know if anyone can make a difference you will For all those dear little children and their familys. I wish you and all you colleges a safe and unforgettable Journey and know that we are all with you on your Journey Love you xxxx

  3. Just some of the comments sent Via me James Norma..Good Luck James,Claire B. Def be following your Journey Good luck safe trip, Good luck Safe trip Jill&Fred, Clare P. Good luck Cous Love you,Tracy Good luck James ...June Inspirational way to go .. Acknowledgements Sarah,Patricia,Mel,Debbie,Jenniexxxxx

    1. Thank you for the comments Mum, it means a lot to know that I am doing you and others proud.

      Big love to you and all

  4. Patricia Cash has asked me to put this on for her ,Bless her ,"Hi James Good luck on your Fantastic journey I will be following your Blog and look forward to your comments and photos My best wished its great what you are doing xxxx"

  5. Just 7 days left James wishing you a peaceful week to prepare and ponder over the Fantastic journey that lies ahead of you One which will benefit the world 2 bags of nice boiled sweets await you for on the plane xxxx

  6. I am sitting here 7/3/2012 after just reading for the 2nd time James summery now his trip is over ,My whole outlook has changed now to what Wateraid stands for and does ,I will be proud to support them in all they do in the future ...