Assignment Asia Episode 41: Transformation

This week’s edition of Assignment Asia brings you different stories about transformation.

We begin in Thailand, where a Buddhist temple has a unique way of rehabilitating drug addicts. Wat Tham Krabok boasts of a secret potion that induces vomiting and detoxification, and a program that seeks to change its patients’ lifestyle. As Tony Cheng discovered, experts and even the monks themselves say the transformation is all in the mind.

Homeless people are everywhere in the Indian city of Hyderabad, a visible sign of poverty in the world’s largest democracy. But instead of alms, volunteers who call themselves the “transformers” give the street dwellers a physical make-over, with free services like a haircut and a bath. Ravinder Bawa met the young people whose generosity is changing not only street dwellers’ lives but also their own.

Ballet is traditionally considered an elite art form. But in the Philippines, children from the slums have made it a ticket out of poverty. Barnaby Lo tells the story of two children who are getting a chance at a better life through ballet, and their mentor who made it possible.

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