Reporters on the Job
• On the Street in India: Living in India, one quickly becomes hardened to the pathetic sight of beggars, says correspondent Mian Ridge. "Every time you go out, tiny children tap on the car window asking for 'paisa, khana (money, food),' says Mian. "It's an ugly thing to admit, but it becomes a nuisance."
But Mian had a different experience as she reported today's story on New Delhi's efforts to rid the streets of beggars in advance of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. "Driving through Delhi with the beggar raid team – in a battered vehicle with grills in the windows – I knew this was one time I wouldn't be asked for money," she says.
Indeed, every time Mian got out of the van to watch the police make their arrests, beggars ran in the opposite direction. "That," Mian notes, "was properly discomforting."
• Trashy Beaches: Staff writer Sara Llana Miller says that she and her husband have relatives in Veracruz, a bit north of Ixhautlan del Sureste, Mexico, where she reported today's story. "They had lots of stories about how polluted the area south of them is," Sara says. "They told me you can barely breathe when you drive through."
Sara says that was a bit of an exaggeration. But the signs of pollution abound. "First, there is constant smoke pouring from local factories and installations. But perhaps the most disturbing thing is the beach, which looks like a garbage dump. There are bottles everywhere, plastic bags, potato chip bags, food all over the place."
The residents still enjoy the area, says Sara, running along the shorefront during sunset and sitting on the wall looking out at the sea. "I talked to a politician who said they are working hard to clean it up and instill a sense of social responsibility in schools," Sara notes, "but locals say there is a long way to go."
– Amelia Newcomb
Deputy World editor