A recent Union College graduate serving a fellowship with underprivileged children near Mumbai, India, is safe, according to a fellow Union graduate who returned from Mumbai last week.
Alex Butts, who graduated this spring, remains at the Welfare Society for Destitute Children outside the besieged Indian financial center and is safe, according to Emily Laing. Laing was participating in the college’s Minerva Fellow Program with Butts until health problems forced her back home.
“I worried about the people I know over there,” Laing said this morning of her reaction to the violence. “It was just surprising to me and crazy. When I heard the Taj Hotel, I’ve been there.”
Laing, who is from Central New York, said she spoke briefly with a counselor at the school by instant message shortly after hearing of the attacks. The counselor confirmed everyone there was OK, including Butts, a native of Massachusetts.
The school is located about 40 minutes outside Mumbai, Laing said, outside the tourist centers that appear to have been the terrorists’ target.
Laing spent much of her time with the school and the students, but she did get into Mumbai in August, seeing the Taj Hotel. The hotel has become the epicenter for the attacks across Mumbai that have so far claimed at least 143 lives.
Laing also spent two weeks in Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital recovering from the health problem that forced her to come home. That is the same hospital where several of the dead and wounded from the attacks were taken, according to news reports.
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