As a child, I was a happy go lucky person, always seeing the good things in life and people. I still love being around children because they share the same joy, innocence and positivity. But, on my first trip to India, it left me disturbed, moved and with a changed mind-set.
As a family, we have committed to living by shared values agreed in our family charter. One of these values is to help others less fortunate then ourselves. So, on my first trip to India, I was disturbed and disillusioned with mankind when I witnessed the deprivation that the poor, disabled, sick and even elderly people had to suffer.
It was the first time I saw another human without any limbs shuffling around the streets begging. And a 6 year old girl left with a baby cradled in her arms, protecting another life when someone should have been nurturing her.
With no welfare state, there was no provision and little support for these groups of people. They were literally tossed on the streets and ignored.
As a family, we were so moved that we had to do something. As a result, we went to make a donation to the local charitable home.
The scenes there were even more shocking. A place mixed with babies that had been abandoned by their parents. The children didn’t even cry if they were hungry as it served no purpose, so they sat quietly with a blank sad expression in their eyes. I wanted to take them all home with me.
People were locked up like animals; high fenced so movements were restricted to a small area. Women were stripped of their dignity and femininity as they had their hair shaved off for hygiene reasons. Nor did they have any underwear to wear.
I vowed in some small way that I would take action to show love, equality and humanity to those that are underprivileged. Because we can all make difference. So, every year I set myself a challenge, something that requires some hardship and sacrifice. At 9, I gave up sweets and fizzy drinks for an entire year and raised £500. More recently, I ran the London marathon and raised £11,000 for UNICEF.
But now, I am going to complete my most grueling challenge by swimming The English Channel. Only 1,834 people have been mad enough to complete the challenge which is approximately 24 miles in the numbing cold waters. I am aiming to complete the swim in around 15 hours. The conditions can also be frightful with the strong waves crashing against you, little capability to see ahead, jellyfish bites and not to forget the injuries sustained after: sores, blisters and sprains to name just some.
Please support me by donating via my justgivinglink