Monday, June 11, 2007

Paharganj

Immediately west of New Delhi railway station, Paharganj, centred around the Main Bazaar, provides the first experience of the subcontinent for many budget travellers. Packed with cheap hotels, restaurants, caf├ęs and dhabas, and with a busy fruit and vegetable market halfway along, it's also a paradise for shoestring shoppers seeking psychedelic clothing, bindis, bags and bronzes and essence of patchouli and sandalwood. A constant stream of cycle and auto-rickshaws, handcarts, cows and the odd taxi squeeze through impossible gaps without the flow ever coming to a complete standstill - the winding alleys where children play among chickens and pigs seem worlds away from the commercial city centre only just around the corner. Beware of opportunist thieves here, though, and the attentions of touts, offering dubious hotels, overpriced tours and spurious charas.

As you wander through the mayhem of Paharganj, you may well find your clothes being gently tugged by some of the local street kids begging for rupees. Most of them are runaways who've left difficult homes, often hundreds of kilometres away, and the majority sleep on the street and inhale solvents - any money given directly to them is likely to further their fixes. A (non-registered) charitable organization working in the main bazaar, the Ujala Project, run by a Mizo-Swiss couple, is dedicated to helping street children attain a brighter future. Their main achievement so far has been the establishment of a centre in the heart of the bazaar where the children can meet, study, bathe and wash their clothes in a caring, drug-free space. They also offer informal counselling and teaching, and advice on hygiene and nutrition, and they try to wean the kids away from potentially harmful activities such as glue-sniffing and petty crime. The charity is sustained entirely by donations, and they welcome gifts of secondhand clothes for three- to eighteen-year-olds, coloured pens, pencils and paints, and of course money. They can be contacted at 5099 Gali Sakkan Wali, off Paharganj Main Bazaar (Telephone011/5539 8967, Email:- ujalapaharganj@netscape.net).

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

the email for the ujala project does not work. i have tried ujalapaharganj@netscape.net and @netscape.com, with both failing permanently. any way of getting the right email address?

The Royalepark said...

The Royale Park Hotel - Hotels in Noida Delhi - enjoy holidays in cheap hotels of NOIDA/Delhi and make business plan in best guest house of noida, Accommodation in Noida, book serviced apartments noida at very affordable price.

r.s said...

accommodation in paharganj delhi- R S International Hotel Delhi offer on line room booking services and money changing 24/7 in Cheap budget hotels of delhi and provide Super Deluxe Room, Deluxe Room, Standard Room in cheap hotel of paharganj /delhi, make a mamoriable night in luxury hotels, Deluxe Hotels, accommodation in paharganj delhi.

Anonymous said...

Nice response in return of this matter with solid arguments and telling everything on the
topic of that.

Here is my web blog: light up toys

Anonymous said...

Its not my first time to pay a quick visit this site, i am browsing this web site dailly and take pleasant
facts from here daily.

my web blog 75 Stability Ball

Anonymous said...

Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening.
I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this informative article together.

I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments.
But so what, it was still worth it!

my weblog ... heart beat

Anonymous said...

Thanks to my father who informed me on the topic of this
blog, this weblog is in fact remarkable.

Also visit my web-site; coaching youth baseball

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Quick question that's entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when browsing from my iphone4. I'm trying to
find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this
issue. If you have any recommendations, please share.
Thank you!

Here is my weblog; no snore pillow