Just as there was a learning curve with my knowledge on transportation, it took time for me to get comfortable with the adoption agencies (my main primary source of information).
In Mumbai, there are several government-approved adoption agencies, so you would think that it would be an easy matter to get a contact with the agencies. Unfortunately, there was a difficult wall I had to scale.
Many agencies required some official processing before any information could be divulged. While this is a completely understandable chain in the processing of information, because of my time constraints, it led to an unfortunate drain of time. In all honesty it actually became quite frustrating at times, as I would spend hours on the phone trying to talk to different agencies, just to be stonewalled when it came to getting any real information.
But not to fear, I was able to find a source of light in Betty. She was able to help me through the process of writing up the report, connecting me with people and answering questions I bombarded her with, over the two weeks.
This is what amazed me the most in working with these agencies (and the volunteers at Pankhudi) : They were all working for the benefit of others; a motivation that I have not had the pleasure to see in many places. Thus, with the help of these people and quite a few hours in front of my laptop, I was able to finish the report.
Was it all worth it? A week after I left Mumbai, as I sat to send in the final copy of my write-up, I pondered this very question. Even though my meeting with Pankhudi was purely a coincidence, I met some truly amazing people, experienced a completely new city (including the language, food and rickshaws it had to offer) and was able to help out for a noble cause. Simply put, it was definitely worth it!