Related: Liverpool attractions woo Indian tourists with themed festival
General Manager Clare Ireland and MD Jerry Goldman meet India’s real slumdogs
Beatles Story managers Clare Ireland and Jerry Goldman have just returned from India where they are working with VisitBritain to develop the next stage of a campaign to promote Liverpool as a top destination for Indian tourists.
The Beatles Story and Merseytravel have been busy promoting Liverpool in India. In November 2009 over 250, 000 visitors attended ‘Imagine Liverpool’, a week long festival in India’s capital Delhi, celebrating all things Liverpool.
With ex-Beatle Pete Best and his band playing at Imagine Liverpool, the festival – supported by VisitBritain – drew media attention from across India raising awareness of Liverpool as a tourism hotspot amongst millions of Indians.
With the growing prosperity of middle-class Indians, more and more of them are venturing into far-flung destinations such as the UK. But India’s recent economic boom has left behind millions of the country’s poorest people, who live in brutal poverty in India’s many slums.
During this recent trip, Clare Ireland and Jerry Goldman visited the south Indian city of Bangalore, where they were taken to one of the city’s slums. They saw first hand the appalling living conditions of slum dwellers.
Roughly 20% of Bangalore’s population live in cramped neighbourhoods consisting of small corrugated iron shacks next to open sewers. Slum dwellers live without gas, electricity or running water, surrounded by piles of rubbish.
The extreme poverty of slum families often makes it impossible for children to go to school or college. There are few job opportunities available to Bangalore’s 2 million slum dwellers.
The Beatles Story team was introduced to an entrepreneur who grew up in the slums of Bangalore and is now helping others to make a fresh start by employing them to make package meals for diabetics.
The attraction is now looking at ways its staff can lend their support and help slum dwellers find a job. Just £30 a month provides meaningful employment and the chance to escape from a life in the slums.
Jerry Goldman, Managing Director of the Beatles Story said: “The Beatles Story is doing a lot of work to promote Liverpool to the Indian population but it’s vital we remember the country’s most disadvantaged people.”
“The conditions these people live in are dreadful. On wet days a foot of rain will flood their shacks. On hot days, when the corrugated iron gets too hot, they have to sleep outside surrounded by open sewers and piles of rubbish. We were hugely impressed with the people who are helping Bangalore’s slum dwellers find employment and we would like to find ways to support their work. Its incredible to think that £30 a month can make such a difference.”
Photo: Clare Ireland and Jerry Goldman with slum dwellers