Once: Win a trip to India

Win a trip to India with the brand new fair trade book: Coffins, Cats & Fair Trade Sex Toys written by Jeremy Piercy. Jeremy owns the fair trade company, Shared Earth which trades with over 40 suppliers across 15 countries.

The winner will accompany the Shared Earth team on their annual buying trip next year and as well as visiting producer groups will also visit a slum, orphanage, workshops and schools all of which have been set up or funded through fair trade. This is an all expenses paid trip like no other!

You will visit some of Indias most enchanting places and regions including Delhi, Agra, Saharanpur and Kolkatta. Photos and stories from the previous visit to India can be seen at sharedearth.co.uk

To enter, simply read the follow extract of Coffins, Cats & Fair Trade Sex Toys and answer the question below:

It was January, in the middle of the Indian winter. In the daytime the weather is a bit like an English summer day, but the evenings are often chilly. The streets are full of people huddled around fires trying to keep warm, and you see policemen in greatcoats who look as if theyve stepped straight out of Dr Zhivago. As I came out of the toilet, I shivered. I wasnt expecting weather like this in India. I needed something warm to wear.

Dilli Haat was the obvious place to look, and I soon found a stall selling handmade woollen jumpers, similar to those you see from Nepal or Peru. I agreed a price for one, and at the last minute decided I ought to try it on first. It was a good job I did. I could hardly get my head through the neck of the jumper.

I put my money back in my pocket and was about to leave; but the woman running the stall would have none of it. Nahi, nahi! she said No, no! A flood of Hindi followed as she put her hands round my neck and started squeezing in and out.

For a minute I thought she was trying to strangle me. I tried to protest, but it was the end of a long day and my thought processes werent working very fast. After a while, I realised she was telling me the jumper was too tight around my neck which of course I already knew. She pointed at her wrist she didnt have a watch but was obviously referring to one and put ten fingers in the air. Then she waved a pair of knitting needles at me, smiling and nodding her head vigorously up and down.

I gathered from this that she could alter the jumper in ten minutes. I nodded and smiled myself acha, acha good, good and started to walk away. This was not to her liking. Her right hand shot out and she beckoned significantly. Money please! She wasnt having me going away and not coming back.

Ten minutes later I returned, to find the jumper had been altered; it fitted perfectly.

Can you imagine getting that kind of service in Britain? Most sales assistants probably dont know what a knitting needle looks like. The time when tailors, watch-menders, blacksmiths and other tradesmen were around is long gone. We live in a throw-away society where if something breaks or wears, its easier to buy a new one than to have it mended.



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