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General Information from the trip to Southern India

It has been a very busy and exciting trip to India and Mrs MacLauchlan and Brumas hope that everyone at Westfield Infant School will enjoy finding out about school life in India by looking at the photographs and reading the information.

Here is some general information.

  • The flight from London Heathrow airport to Chennai takes 9 and a half hours     
  • The time difference is 5 and a half hours with India being ahead. When it is 9.00 a.m. the start of the school day at Westfield Infant School it is 2.30 p.m. in the afternoon in India
  • The roads are very busy and no one seems to follow any system of lanes. This means that cars and lorries will overtake and undertake but will always sound their horns to warn you 
  • Because everyone sounds their horns all the time it is very noisy and Father Dominic said a lot of people have hearing problems because of this. The horns also made Mrs MacLauchlan and Brumas jump until they got use to the noise!
  •  A lot of people use scooters and motorbikes to get about. Father Dominic told us that the law is that you should wear a helmet but not many people do. Sadly a lot of people die on the roads and they might not have done if they had worn a helmet but they don't want to wear them because they find them too hot
  • Father Dominic explained that you can get fined for not wearing a helmet but it rarely happens because there are so many people on the roads and the Police are busy 
  • You can see a whole family of two adults and two children and even babies on motorbikes around the cities
  • Autos (tut tuts) as Brumas calls them is a three wheeled vehicle and Brumas finds them great fun. Look at some of the photographs and see if you can count how many children and adults can fit into an auto! It is amazing to see how many children can fit in one auto to get to school
  • Autos are used like taxis for short journeys, especially round the cities and towns. The cost of a journey from St Mathias School to the sea front which takes about 15 minutes depending on traffic was the equivalent of £1.00
  • Families share autos and get as many children into an auto as possible to get the children to school. They can then share the cost
  • When you travel on the road there are always a lot of dogs that are running around. There are also cows that wander across the road and if a cow is in the road all the traffic stops to let it cross
  • We also saw a lot of stray dogs on the sea front             
  • Rice is a very important part of the food in India. As we travelled around we saw a lot of paddy fields and people weeding them
  • A lot of the adults and children we met live on a diet of fruit and vegetables but they have a great variety of delicious meals
  • There is no doubt that re-cycling is a serious consideration in India and the Government are keen to promote a greater awareness. However systems are not yet in place for the general public to recycle which is making progress slow
  • The children and young people in the schools know all about the new laws about plastics. They are singing songs about recycling but to actually follow what they are learning about is still quite difficult
  • Shops are starting to give out bags made from newspaper and wrap purchases in newspaper so the awareness is spreading. However we were not able to find anywhere to recycle our plastic water bottles and it was very important that we drank bottled water to avoid getting a tummy upset      
  • Mrs Leeson asked Mrs MacLauchlan to find out what makes children in Southern India happy compared to children in Hinckley. Having met and spoken to so many children and young people the conclusion is that Dancing is the overall activity that makes the children happy. However it is also very clear that the children and young people in Southern India are easily pleased. They do not have a lot of toys and it is difficult to keep things in good condition.The children at St Mathias Junior School were certainly very pleased with the whiteboard and pen we gave them each. In fact we saw one boy climb a cupboard to hide his!