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Silk Route Project Craig and Simon are currently travelling from India to Istanbul with the fantastic support of World Nomads. On behalf of Footprints, World Nomad's charity, they will be visiting of a number of projects along the route to deliver supplies of essential medicines to impoverished children.

Stone breakers of Siliguri

INDIA | Thursday, 6 July 2006 | Views [4100] | Comments [5]

This week we had the opportunity to represent Footprints (World Nomad’s charity) in Siliguri, where we visited 2 communities of Stone breakers:

Chenga: pop-2500, no electricity, water, or sewage, the nearest hospital was a 12km WALK (that’s a long way to carry a dying child).

Balson: pop-3500, all the same problems as Chenga plus they were in a flood plain. Malaria, HIV and TB were very big problems in this area.

The poverty was extreme in both camps, the people adults and children were earning under $1 dollar a day to break and mine stone out of the nearby river. There were giant mounds of broken and unbroken rocks next to each hut, if it rained work didn’t stop it just got taken inside. Oh and by the way they weren’t using a hammer, they just used a solid cylinder of metal. They had built a school for the children which was open 2hrs a day, when that was over it was back to breaking rocks.

With a bunch of senior chiropractic students from Murdoch University, we set out to do some good. We set up a in the school huts with benches for adjustments plus a triage area with medical supplies provided by Footprints. People turned up with an array of disease and injuries also some were just curious as to what we were up to, especially the chiropractors. We came across some extreme cases, one of the worst was a small boy completely covered in sores as a result of inheriting syphilis, it really was heart wrenching.

We worked for around 11 hrs a day trying to treat as many people as possible in the camps and encouraging them to come back and see us the next time we returned. The great thing was that everybody did and they were all improving. Of course with us two being there it was never going to be serious all the time, we had to have fun as well because sometimes the best cure for anybody is laughter. Due to Craig’s lack of chiropractic skills he was put in charge of entertainment not only for the kids but students as well with pranks a plenty and remakes of the games from the 2006 world cup (in Craig’s version Australia beat Italy). Plus Craig learnt a new trick of putting a rubber glove over his head and blowing it up till it burst, this was a huge hit with the kids.

On our final day we went to the city’s pharmacist to buy enough medicines to last them a year. In total we spent $500.It sure does go a long way out here, the price of medicines are so incredibly cheap with a pack of antibiotics costing the equivalent of 60c Aus.

We had an amazing time here, especially by having such a positive effect on the two communities, and we look forward to our future projects with Footprints.

Tags: doctors, footprints, hospitals & health



wow... you guys rock. what you are doin is completely amazing and honorable, you must go under a variaty of feelings you never had before, goin from agony to enlightment...keep up the good work my angels. Craig i send you hugs and kisses as usual, you're my hero!! by the way, i bought my ticket, arriving in sydney on sept.5. YÉ!

à bientôt et bonne chance!

  Jacinthe the little frenchy Jul 7, 2006 2:40 PM


Stubby, as always you continue to amaze me. Well done you both! Oh and Stubby, you're right the foie gras with raspberry sauce at Kafe Warisan is TO DIE FOR! James and I just had a nice sampling on Saturday.... mmmhhh... We thought about you. ;-)

  Char Jul 10, 2006 5:55 PM


Brave journey, Craig and Simon. Wish you could return to the boy with syphilis - I would pay for some hospital treatment. Take great care and see you soon. Love Val and Alan

  Alan and Val Jul 11, 2006 2:56 AM


Dear Simon
Looking at your web on regular basis. Saw Jymmi on Sunday- got dragged off to a "cocktail party" organised by Billie for her church. Bruce & I wish you both well along your travels. When you see a child you can help with cash lets us know. I am sure all your friends reading your site would assist, if we all did a little bit could go a long way. Not much into giving when there's half spent on admin. Although I do give monthly to Drs without borders - so hope they do a good job. Weather here is strange - no rain so really is now a drought. Look forward to the next read. love Gill & Bruce

  Gillian Webb Jul 12, 2006 4:06 PM


Heard u on Triple J ... so looked up the site ...thanx 4 keeping the human element alive an doin it for real .. hey is there any similar things happening for our Indigenous people? Well done u and footprints... such a loving thing to do. Thankyou it made my day Bethan.

  Bethan May 9, 2007 12:39 PM

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