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The Plight of Children in India

Posted by: Annie Voy | September 17, 2012 | 3 Comments |

Moving opinion piece in the New York Times about the plight of India’s children:

For India’s Children, Philanthropy Isn’t Enough

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Responses -

It has to be tough to know that your only glimmer of hope is merely outside your reach. The little girl, Meena, seems to be someone that has so much going for them despite their young age. She is well groomed and poised so as to show that she is the head of the household and to me, that shows courage in the face of adversity. More specifically, the adversity that she is faced with in her own village because she takes such an affirmative stance.

It was absolutely stunning to read that the yearly cost of ensuring that the children could go to school til they were eighteen and had a place to live the entire time was only twelve-hundred dollars a year. That amount is so trivial when we look at it comparatively and yet she was unable to access that money because of her society. They were far too focused on the dollar a day that the eldest male could bring in. It just seems that someone is missing the boat on basic math here. Or, if money is the only driving factor here than maybe we could focus some of the benefit money on the families that “own” the children. Maybe think of it like buying their freedom so that they may receive an education.

What disturbed me the most about this situation was the high likelihood that Meena, barely 11 years old, would be entered into the disgusting world of human trafficking. Someone so young should not have to go through something like that…nor should anyone in general! When the older relatives refuse the offer for her and her siblings to attend school until they are 18 (which would undoubtedly put them in a better place), I feel like their risk of ending up in a dismal situation is even greater. True, it is important to work and support a family…but why refuse an offer for a better situation, at no additional cost? That is baffling.

Better late than never to respond to such a heart wrenching article about a little girl who has so much potential yet absolutely no opportunity to make a better life for herself without the fear of being trafficked and becoming starving. After reading the excerpt from ‘Half of the Sky’ and reading about Meena’s tragic story, I feel that they are comparable in that women are being ‘killed’ by so many different factors whether they are still in the womb or barely surviving at a young age. If the only way to save these girls and implement simple justice is to involve the government, then somehow this needs to change. I feel that aid from different sources will help but in the long run, to save as many girls that need to be saved, the government needs to step in.