India is estimated to have one third of the world’s
poor, defined as earning less than $1.25 USD

 per day (by the Indian Planning Commission).
India is crowded.  There were about 60 people
on this bus!  India averages 954 people per square
mile.  (The US averages 84 people.) India is expected
to take over China as the most populous
nation by 2025.
54% of India’s population is under the age of 25 –
that’s a whopping 550 million young people.
Literacy in India stands at about 74%, well below
the world average of 84%.  By sheer numbers, India
has the largest illiterate population in the world.

All public computers in India use Microsoft Windows –
English Edition.  Internet can be slower than

watching cows graze.
India doesn’t have an official language.
Most Indians speak Hindi, far fewer
speak English
. There are over 22
dialects, each spoken by over 1 million
people, so distinct that they qualify as
languages.  The number of English
speakers increases with each generation.  

Cows in India are sacred, and beef is never on the menu.
Hindus believe that if you kill a cow, it is equivalent
to killing 64 gods and goddesses.   Cows roam
the streets and highways, aimlessly munching on
garbage.  As a result, much of the the milk supply
 is tainted with toxins and chemicals.
India does not excel in modern food distribution.
They lack food chains, refrigeration, trucks and
stable electricity in many areas.  As a result, as
much as 40% of food produced is wasted.  The
Indian Parliament has this on their to-do list as
the growing population needs a stable food supply.

The weather was warm in
October, but India seemed
to have a near permanent
haze from agricultural fires
and vehicle emissions.

India is home to several of
the world’s worst cities 
for air pollution.
We saw scenes like this all over India.  The women’s
long sarees flapped in the breeze as though they
were going to catch the tire at any moment.

Motorcycle helmets are very rare.  India’s
traffic fatality rank is 77th out of 192 countries
in the world.  FYI, the US is 107th.  
Cricket is the number one sport, and the national uniting
 passion of India, with nearly three centuries of history.
  Great cricket players are rock stars, and among the wealthiest
 of Indian society.  This was a rare moment of spontaneous
 recreation along the Ganges River bank.
Most of India’s tap water is unfit for traveller consumption.
  We drank only bottled water in India, and luckily avoided
 diarrhea aka “Delhi Belly”.  75% of India’s rivers
and lakes are so polluted they should not be used
for drinking or bathing.  But they are.