Get Shoes, Give Shoes



Many of you know that India is home to one of the largest populations of poor people. According to data gathered by World Bank, India's current population as of 2019 is about 1.339 billion people. Out of that number, 21.9% of people were estimated to live below the national poverty line (as of 2011, the most recent data). That may not sound like a lot, but 21.9% of 1.339 billion people is roughly 293,241,000 people (that's 273,093,000 people as of 2011-still a huge number)!


While writing this post, I discovered an article written by CNN's Moni Basu as she explored the life of Amina, a poor woman who worked for Basu's family for many years. Her story truly illustrates the terrible lifestyle of the poor:


"She walked every morning -- sometimes in rubber flip-flops, sometimes barefoot -- from her room about a mile and a half away...Amina was probably then already well into her 60s...she was steely from years of domestic labor" (Moni Basu, "Seeing the new India through the eyes of an invisible woman").


Amina visiting a mall for the first time at age 80 with Moni Basu. (Credits below)

From personal experience, I have observed many students at my school, who, when they are told to run a mile in our $100 sneakers, groan and wheeze each lap. When they are told to put the dishes in the dishwasher, they put it off (and I admit, I am guilty of all of this as well). This strong woman went through so much hardship all her life that eventually, "the cracks on her feet [were] blackened by dirt" (Moni Basu, "Seeing the new India through the eyes of an invisible woman").


A picture from a recent trip to India. Notice how only one child owns shoes.

I cannot sit still and witness the people of my parent's homeland, of my homeland, wither away. The least I can do is to reach out with a solution to one of their many problems. Many of the poor, as shown in Amina's story, do not have proper shoes to walk to work or school in. So, for every pair of shoes purchased this year, I will donate a pair of sturdy sneakers to a person in need in one of India's many towns: Hoshiarpur.


More updates about my shoe-donating journey will come soon in July. For now, thank you so much for supporting my cause and business!


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Sources:


World Bank Data: https://data.worldbank.org/country/india

"Seeing the new India through the eyes of an invisible woman" by CNN's Moni Basu: https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/10/world/i-on-india-income-gap/

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