India

Bihar is the poorest state in India. There are more than 100 million inhabitants. The literacy is only 50% of females and 70 % of males. Most people that live here are caught in the Indian caste system, where they are “untouchable”, the lowest in society.

The town of Bodh Gaya is full of contrasts, on the one side there is poverty; children without clothes, walking around at the dump, looking for food or plastic. On the other hand, this is the place where Buddha became enlightened and therefore, a pilgrimage for Buddhists around the world. Many Buddhist communities have a temple here, and have donated lots of money to e.g. build large Buddha statues in the tradition provides good karma. Or like the king of Thailand is decorating the main temple with gold. This demands large good hotels, which uses a lot more of both water and power.

In India schooling is free, yet it is too expensive for many families to buy school uniforms, books, etc. Often the children are needed for labor at home or in the field. This is why only half of the females here can read or write. Most of the people from Bihar earn their living from agriculture.

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