25,000 miles through South East Asia
Ritchie Calder covered 25,000 miles on his United Nations expedition to study conditions in the countries of South-East Asia. Stars and white lines on map mark his route from the dense jungles of Sarawak to the bleak mountains and plains of Afghanistan. Here live some 800,000,000 people, most of them citizens of new nations which have won independence since the last war. The great majority of the inhabitants are poor. Most merely exist, with no margin of food or wealth above mere subsistence level. Not only are they poor in respect of worldly goods, but illiteracy is the rule and they are often bound by tradition, custom, religion or fear to continue living in the manner of their ancestors. Diseases are endemic and frequently cause wide-spread epidemics. At each point of his journey, however, Ritchie Calder found the people of this huge area awakened to new possibilities and discovered new evidence of the co-operation between the Orient and the Occident which is helping to raise the standards of living of about onethird of the population of the world.